May 232013
 

If you’ve been past Logan hardware and Whole Foods by 14th & P St. NW over the past 4 years, in the alley behind Irvine Contemporary and Transformer galleries, you’ve seen a long standing set of murals by Shephard Fairey, Gaia, and others.

Slowly, as to be expected, the murals met their fate. Possibly first was when Whole Foods mistakenly painted over Gaia’s part of it after a neighbor complained. Then the Cat Aids moniker showed up on the Shephard Fairey portion at street view. Lame. Piece by piece, the murals broke down.

Now, a new set of murals is up and fresh — a NEKST tribute + PEAR x AREK x ELI x CON. Go catch them in person before they’re gone!

IMG_0553-edit copy - 2000 px

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Sep 062012
 

Barack Obama inspired his way into the White House in 2008 with a message that resonated on the streets of Washington, DC. Since then, depictions of the President have popped up across the nation’s capital. Obama-related graffiti even made it into our very first blog post, just after inauguration in 2009.

Here’s how the Prez has been depicted during the first four years on the streets of the seat of power:

Barack Obama Sticker - Portrait

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Apr 012011
 

The DC Department of Public Works (DPW) is searching for mural sites in all DC Wards to be considered for the MuralsDC program from June-August 2011. MuralsDC is a partnership between DPW and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) – created to help replace illegal graffiti with artistic works, to revitalize the DC community, and engage DC youth.

MuralsDC DCCAH DC DPW Adams Morgan

There are currently 27 MuralsDC projects throughout the District. Each tell a unique story of DC’s diverse neighborhoods while deterring further illegal graffiti. DPW and DCCAH will focus on sites that are frequent targets of graffiti.

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Jan 182011
 

A series of wheat-pasted posters appeared this week in DC’s historic U Street neighborhood to mark Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – under the banner of non-violence and “revolutionary spirit”.

MLK Posters @ Busboys + Poets on 14th + V St. NW DC

The posters read: “Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit … declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.”

The work appears in mid-town’s U Street Corridor, historically known for both turmoil and triumph. “The intersection of 14th Street and U Street was the epicenter of violence and destruction during the 1968 Washington, D.C. riots” (Wikipedia) – and the site of spontaneous celebration 40 years later on the election night of President Barack Obama.

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Jan 102011
 

“MR. OBAMA, WE NEED’E’ JOBS” – write OLHA + STEF in a message to President Obama on the DC Metro Orange line. In context, there’s a strangely hysterical irony here that both the left + right side of the political aisle can back: People need jobs!


Got a great photo of graffiti + advertising in Washington DC? Send us your pics!

We’re collecting photos of graffiti + advertising in Washington DC to catalog the influence of cultural arts in the media, marketing, community + politics of America’s Capital. Our second week features some great shots thanks to readers JS + HH.

Find + share more Reader Shots at: http://www.flickr.com/groups/mixedmediadistrict/

Oct 052010
 

Riverfront Fest

Riverfront Fest hits the District this Saturday, October 9th — with a lineup featuring the No Kings Collective b-boy + break-dance battle, art by The Fridge + Art Whino, and event sponsorship by the ReadySetDC crew.

I’ve got 10 free tickets! First 5 people to LIKE, TWEET or COMMENT … go!

Jun 102010
 

Seen this poster pasted around DC recently? The image has cropped up all over the city in the past few weeks, with the quote:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocked fired signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed”

— President Dwight Eisenhower

Refugee + Eisenhower Quote

The poster brings us back to the real meaning of “innocent bystanders” in Heineken’s coy ad pitch – and illustrates yet again the influence of art in media. That influence, of art and counterculture in mainstream marketing, is what sparked our new Ad/Remix series for eSocialMediaShop.

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Dec 282009
 

Graffiti draws a remarkable counterpart to marketing and advertising. Memorable street campaigns take the same creativity, consistency, branding and visibility needed to make marketing work.

DC Graffiti

Street artists are marketers gone rogue (also a popular theme of the year) – developing and executing creative concepts, many with a specific and often populist tone. Like it or not, the closer you look, the more of a message there is to see in the details of graffiti.

Four Mile Run Bridge 2

Practice Wall 4

Four Mile Run Bridge

Practice Wall 2

Practice Wall 3

DC represented big in 2009, and themes in our graffiti and street art reflected important, meaningful local issues: problems of homelessness, DC’s non-state status, and few (but expanding) outlets for public art. Check out a full photo set of the year in DC graffiti on Flickr.

These are the freshest names and stand out styles in DC graffiti:

Names Up Everywhere:

JAKE

JAKE1

CHE

CHE1 CHE2 CHE+JAKE+Chinatown

MOE

MOE1 MOE2

REZIST

PEAR

PEAR1 PEAR2

AERA

AERA1 AERA2

DECOY

DECOY1 DECOY2

Click here to see a Flickr photo set of the year in DC graffiti.

Top Creative in DC Graffiti:

JAKE3

Fill: REZIST. (Next: JAKE). REZIST’s fill-ins are always crazy colorful – and legible. Same with JAKE, who tones down the new school funk and maintains a wild style.

REZIST


MOE

Bomb: CHE. (Next: MOE). A close call but easy to pick. MOE may have more tags up, but CHE is mighty close – with bigger fill-ins and better, riskier, more visible spots. MOE tagged Adams Morgan’s mural on DC’s non-state status – an ironic, shady move to deface a message the rest of DC’s graffiti seems to be all about. Watching CHE and MOE get up this year was like watching the good guy vs. the bad guy – and here, the good guy wins.

CHE


Che5

Spot: JAKE. (Next: CHE). JAKE is up in the undisputedly best spot in DC – in the middle of the Patomac River on Georgetown’s Key Bridge. To hit the spot, JAKE had to either get a boat, or haul gallons of paint and loads of supplies under the bridge span across its huge arcs, starting at several chainlink fences directly next to the US Park Police office. JAKE’s piece is one of the most visible in the District, in a place that’s the antithesis of graffiti – squeaky clean, picture perfect Georgetown. A huge hassle, if not nearly impossible to remove. It epitomizes graffiti in a clean, simple, colorful piece that carries impressive implications in logistics and location.

JAKE5

 

51*

Stencil: RVLTN. (Next: 51). Stencil images hit the streets of DC to illuminate two big issues in DC: homelessness and political representation. Amidst the toughest economic time in decades, DC slashed funding to social services that help the homeless. Next, the 51 stencil hit corners and street boxes with a simple, clear, concise message: make DC the 51st state – no matter how our vote tips the political scales.

ParkMyHome

PEEPSPoster: DECOY (Next: DIABETIK). DECOY covered more DC walls than any other poster artist this year with a distinct style that’s easy to spot. DECOY was part of an awesome cartoon poster campaign in early December at 14th/T (already removed!) along with the next pick: Peeps. All year, poster Peeps popped up all over the place in DC.

DECOY5

Sticker: Crook. This sticker is iconic of everything about graffiti and Washington DC: free speech, politics, corruption and dissent. The sticker’s amazing wit calls attention to the fundamental issues in both graffiti and politics – and common to us all: open access, free speech, expression, opportunity, and equality.

CROOK

A full photo set of the year in DC’s graffiti is posted on Flickr.

Something missing? Leave a comment and links to pics of your favorite DC graffiti!