Sep 24, 2013

Street Artist Run-in: EVER

Nicolas Santiago Romero, better known with the name “EVER,” adopted a huge, bare concrete wall erected in the corner of 3rd street and I St NW. For the past two weeks, EVER has been painting the wall and occupying the giant empty parking lot as part of The Mural Project DC. Last Wednesday evening, his public studio turned into an appropriate venue for a lively pop-up party, where spectators watched and celebrated as EVER put finishing touches to his beautiful, mysterious piece of art.

The street artist, originally from Argentina, said that his main inspirations come from two main sources: French philosopher named Michel Foucault and famous Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. Foucault’s work focused on the relationship between power and knowledge as a way of controlling the society. 

“The big legs represent power. You don’t know whom the legs belong to because I purposely didn’t put a face on it. And the surrounding environment -- the forest -- represents society,” Ever said, explaining his mural piece by piece.

The face coming out of the water signifies connection between society and an invisible figure of power. To its right, you can identify a face of a beautiful woman, which EVER intended to represent beauty of life.

“It’s the contradiction of life. I try to put everything in metaphorical way. I also want people to take their own interpretation; you could look at the wall and see something different than I do. It can be anything,” continued the artist, as he took a step back to admire his artwork again.

EVER comes from a graffiti background. Although he has been trying to steer away from being boxed in as a graffiti artist, there is something within him that keeps driving him back to his graffiti routes -- and that struggle is visible in his work. Now, he tries to incorporate more of artists’ brush, acrylic, and oil paint.
“I often use bright colors and strong brush strokes, which were inspired by Van Gogh’s work. I used to have vision problems as a child, so I had a deeper connection with Gogh’s work,” EVER explained, “when you see my work, you sometimes have to play with your mind a little bit to figure out what it is.”

EVER’s vision behind his artwork is simple and benign: “I don’t sign the murals anymore after I paint it,” EVER said, “whenever I finish a wall, it doesn’t belong to me anymore. It could belong to you, or to anyone else.”

When asked about the name of his mural, he smiled and proudly said that he doesn’t name his artwork until after it’s finished. For him, the last finishing step is always giving his piece of art a name.

After interviewing him, I stuck around for a bit, just watching the artist and his partner/assistant wrap up for the night.

Sep 16, 2013

Weekend Recap: Lake House + Bike Rides

What a weekend! It started out with a breakfast-themed party at my apartment, thanks to my roommate who generously cooked literally everything - from mushroom and leek galette with gorgonzola to breakfast tacos to tater tots to frittata. Then she surprised us at the end by presenting a huge (and very delicious) monkey bread that we devoured within 20 minutes. (please excuse the iPhone photos)

Then I got up pretty early for a Saturday (8:30...yup) because I was so excited to finally bike around, since weekends are the only time I can actually do anything outdoorsy. So I decided to ride it all the way to M.E. Swing Coffee Co in Del Ray, near Old Town Alexandria. The ride was smooth and breezy, but one thing I should've thought of beforehand: those damn hills. But anyway, the espresso shot was definitely worth the ride.

then, the afternoon was spent at a beautiful lake house for a company-wide picnic. I sort of learned how to eat a crab...sort of.

Sunday bike-riding along the Potomac, then around the monument to the memorials to museums - and I finally met the light tunnel!

I am absolutely loving the crispiness of autumn here. Can't wait for the leaves to change colors soon!

Sep 8, 2013

Lazy Saturday

There are two kinds of weekends for me. One, is the one where I pack a camera and wear some comfy shoes and I go meet up with friends, explore the area, get some coffee, etc etc. Those weekends, I usually stay out all day and come home to pass out. The other one, is pretty unusual but absolutely necessary every month or so - is the one with homemade coffee and crackers and netflix and blog surfing and reading.

This past weekend, my body chose the latter. And it was awesome. Much needed rest indeed.

Sep 4, 2013

March On Washington, 50 Years Later.

On August 28, 1963, thousands gathered right here in the capital city of the United States under the shadow of the 16th President and managed to pull off a peaceful, nonviolent political rally that would go down in history as one of the monumental fights for civil rights and freedom. "The Great March on Washington," it was called, and reports say that thousands drove to Washington D.C. from all over the country to protest their rights with much hope. They dreamt of equal opportunities to have a chance at being tested for a job, and of getting equal treatment in public places. I simply cannot imagine the hush and emotional movement in the air as thousands quietly listened to Martin Luther King Jr.'s infamous speech.

50 years later, the celebration of freedom and equal rights continue as people gathered again in Washington D.C. to reenact the march. Although I was stuck at work on the 28th and couldn't be a part of the march, several coworkers and I did get to witness some action the weekend before.

Lots of T-shirt selling, lawn chairs, food trucks, reporters and journalism students, OVERFLOWING trashcans, signs and banners, and lingering Trayvon Martin talks as the nation was faced with such tragedy and some serious questions of justice the past year and a half.

Then there are, of course, the ones that busted out a trumpet in the middle of the day at the top of the Lincoln Memorial and serenaded a bunch of confused Asian tourists. We actually ran into an old tourist couple who had absolutely no idea why the National Mall was so dang packed. Nope, it's not like this every weekend - maybe every 50 years or so. ;)