Archive | 7:29 am

Artomatic: A Photo Essay

24 Jun

One of my favorite DC events is something called Artomatic. It’s a month-long art festival held every 1-3 years (depending on their ability to get organized and secure space) – usually in a building that’s under construction or slated for demolition. This year’s festival occupied ten floors of an old office building in Arlington and featured more than 1,000 artists.

Pretty awesome, right?

The event is not juried, so it’s a mishmash of stuff – some is Art with a capital-A, while other stuff looks like a classroom of kindergarteners could produce it.

Since the building is otherwise vacant, it’s easy to get lost. Fortunately they have bars on almost every floor, so you’re usually well fortified for your wandering. And there’s a stage area for entertainment on each floor – everything from poetry readings, to garage bands to fashion shows.

Last night was this year’s closing night, so my friend Betsy and I went over to check it out. Here are some of the more bizarre highlights:

There almost an entire floor dedicated to dioramas made from Peeps. This was my favorite because it was a fairly accurate portrayal of the Occupy movement in DC:

Peep Show

This was an entire room decorated bizarrely. Kind of what I assume a crack den looks like:

The End Is Near?

Not exactly sure what’s happening here, but it’s the only clown exhibit that didn’t completely terrify me:

Maybe because the hands are more creepy?

I took this mainly to taunt my sister, who offers to knit me things. If you REALLY loved me, you would make me a body-sized glove. Or a mitten. I’m not that picky…

Ain’t no needles large enough…

I’m pretty sure this is some kind of Cat’s Cradle reference, but I named him MC Knittin’ Kitten.

Let’s raise the roof.

I’m not sure what makes this art. Did the guy make Godzilla’s body from scratch? If so, I’ll put a tick in the “art” column. If he simply chopped holes and stuck frightening baby arms out of a dinosaur? Not so much.

How evolution really started…

Um… anyone want to attempt to interpret this one?

At least give her more nipples.

Forget about the goose who lays the golden egg. I want to birth a solid gold baby.

When gold-diggers get pregnant.

I didn’t take this photo for the message, though I do like the “Buy car, kick tires” idea. No. I liked this because the little drip of paint running down from his crown reminded me of the stick that holds up opera glasses. Very delicate for an Abe Lincoln skull.

Kick those tires!

Back on the Peep floor – someone had constructed a Peepmobile for kids to play with. What you may not be able to see – in this photo, it is a large fifty year old man in there driving.

When you can’t afford a corvette for your midlife crisis…

So Artomatic. Aren’t you sad you missed it? I swear – there is also REAL art there. It just didn’t photograph well.

Also? There was a fashion show with legitimate models walking a catwalk in ridiculous shoes. Knowing my obsession with models falling, any guesses what I spent my time doing? Standing with my iPhone filming, hoping I’d get footage for my own YouTube wipeout. Maybe next year.

A girl can hope.