By Matt Higgins, contributor, Washington, D.C.
The Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC received some new color this week. What started as a small project to paint a couple of new pieces organically grew into a local, national, and international paint jam. The building located at 1416 P Street NW, owned by Jim Abdo, an enthusiastic art supporter was refreshed and transformed with new artwork by artists from DC, New York, Vienna (Austria, not Virginia), and Manchester, England.
England born, Tel Aviv based artist AME72 (@james_ame), also known as “The Lego Guy” put up two fun Lego guys. One, an astronaut chasing a stars and stripes balloon is representative of how the American Dream has grown out of reach for so many. The other is an homage to AME’s graffiti days getting up in England. Ame’s artistic stylings cross-over and frequently blend street art and graffiti. Although street art has been a big part of his life, Ame has said “Even though I see myself as both today, as a street artist and a graffiti artist, I still won’t put my street art over tags, or pieces, or dubs, or throws, or anything graffiti. To me that’s still a no-no, you know, graffiti always comes first. And then there’s the street art.”
DC born, Vienna, Austria based artist Tabby (@Tabbythis) painted three new pieces on the wall. They accompany one of the most photographed artworks in DC – the “Lying King.” The largest piece is a reflection on police brutality disproportionately affecting the vulnerable and people of color. The other two are Tabby cats vs. Banksy rats, a nod to the elusive master stencilist and arguably the most famous street artist today. There are messages in all of Tabby’s pieces, messages about current events and past events, and hopefully those messages resonate with some people. Tabby often incorporates humor into his pieces and tries to connect with people: “…humor is, like, a universal language so you can be serious but you still like to laugh…humor is a way to connect people with messages no matter who you are in the world because everybody likes to laugh and that’s a good way to highlight something especially if it’s important. If you just say this is bad and you’re a terrible person, nobody’s going to change but, if you can make the person laugh about it himself then he’ll be, like, ok, I get your point. It seems like a better way to bring across a message.”
DC based Jah-One (@you_are_jah) had an unexpectedly busy day. His first piece was a National Geographic inspired portrait of a mama and a baby chimpanzee, with a twist. It was a reflection on the evolution, or perhaps the devolution, of man in this mobile device, social media driven world. As he was putting on the finishing touches, a friend and legendary New York graffiti writer randomly wandered by to see what was happening. All it took was a simple question “do you want to paint?” to spur the JAH – GREED collaboration that adorns the back end of the wall. The writer was “the doctor formally known as GREED,” a “multi-faceted artist from Queens, NY” who started painting graffiti in 1983. Greed One (@drgreedy) is now a doctor in DC but he can still rock a burner. The collaboration was painted with scraps (left-over paint cans) in less than two hours, and it looks amazing. One man’s scraps are another man’s meal!
To see the art in person, stroll down the alley on the south side of P Street, NW just west of 14th Street NW in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC.
Matt Higgins is a street art enthusiast and photographer who enjoys going on street art recon missions, meeting artists, and shooting walls in all of the cities he visits. All photos taken and copyright by the author. See more street art photography on Instagram @streetartpoetryslam.”