Letter from the editor:
I decided a year ago that our November issues would celebrate D.C.’s “art-o-sphere.” Why? Simple, it’s my birthday month, I love the arts, and this isn’t a democracy.
2019’s Art’s Issue was a decent first attempt, but it still felt raw. 2020, despite the Covid effect, is much more refined, thoughtful, unapologetically black, and wrapped in a “Drip” found only in the “D dot C.”
The front cover, designed by artist Absurdly Well, features a commissioned portrait of the late Micahel B. Platt (1948 – 2019), a local legend whose work and teachings were influential both near and far. On the back, Absurdly Well blesses us with a reimagined painting by French Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin. Attacking Gauguin’s misrepresentations and sexual abuse of the native Tahitians he became famous for depicting, Absurdly wipes away everything except the young woman’s brown face. Seeking to restore her dignity and reclaim her identity.
Between the pages, we focus on the arts and cultural workers that make the city go around. Yes, it is about the artists and the work, but it’s also about the infrastructure; the collectors, curators, and space creators. You’ll learn about collecting from the ever-connected Charles Moore and discover a new platform for buying art started by Tatiana Rice, our resident art rebel with a cause. We pop into an experimental space with Amir Browder, explore the curatorial mind of Jarvis DuBois, and celebrate the force that is performance artist Holly Bass. There’ll also be a web special about the DMV chapter of the Wide Awakes, a national activist group of creatives that resists by spreading joy.
Let this issue be a muse.
Claudia M. Watts