dc photography

2014 SwatchRoom Salon Artist: Brian Petro

Artist Brian Petro is all about the maintenance of a global perspective and is inspired by everything that surrounds him. His work has a large range and often features iconic images with a unique twist that alters the viewer's perception of the familiar. Petro creates a lot of interesting patterns in his work through layering and mixing of materials. This overlapping and quilting of different images challenges us to really think about what we are looking at and what we do not see.

Petro had some wonderfully eloquent responses to a few questions that we sent his way in preparation for the Salon Party that explore his journey as an artist. I noticed that his answers to these questions display his distinct  personality, which is very noticeable in his work. 

ArtSee: What do you think has changed in your art career and your work since the beginning of your career?
Brian Petro: I used to wait to be inspired to work, now I GO TO WORK!  I love to 'work,' but, I don’t rest through slow periods anymore. There is always something to do, even if not putting paint to canvas, or clicking off  photographs, finding objects in dumpsters, meeting clients, establishing relationships, approaching galleries… and  the paperwork, and business end of Art is never finished.

A.S:: What is the biggest inspiration for your art?
B.P: The realization that with the ideas in my mind, the dexterity in my hands, the view of my eye, the acquisition of stuff from the streets and dumpsters, simple materials bought off a shelf… to use those aspects, and make something never, ever made, by anyone else that has existed on this planet, is something is completely of me, and I am able to offer emotion, educate, document, titillate, inspire, offend, give joy…  and give back to society and others in my lifetime, and well after my spirit ceases in our realm.

A.S: And where do you currently create your work?
B.P: Although I have had studios in NYC, in Brooklyn, NY, and in Philadelphia over the years, presently have studios in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and Washington DC, on 14th Street, between T and S, NW, off the lower showroom of the Amazing Interiors Showroom, Vastu.  (I’ve had a studio there for the last 10 years.)

A.S: What are your thoughts on collecting art? Do you collect art yourself?
B.P: I do collect artwork.  I have very little of my own work in my home, My first real piece I ever purchased was a Rauschenberg [Petro's favorite artist] that was purchased from the savings of the first 5 pieces of my own art I ever sold.  I purchase when I travel abroad (I love skilled street artist’s work – Especially in Brasil,) and I have been very fortunate to swap artwork with artists I have met over my 16 professional art making years of artists that I love and respect.  I also have a several pieces that have just been sent to me as gifts by other artists just because they found out I liked a particular piece of theirs.  Those mean the most to me.

A.S: If you weren’t creating art what would you be doing?
B.P: I’d be a Mortician.

A.S: Finally, What are you most excited for at the Salon Party?
B.P: I really look forward to meet many new artists and art enthusiasts, learn about them, and hopefully have them visit me in my studio in the near future, so they can really see what I am all about, and how I think, and how I perceive life!

Preview Brian Petro's art on his site

The SwatchRoom Salon is a three-day celebration of local and emerging artists, designers, and collaborations and giving back. 

Bringing the Art in DC to You

Mica Hartman 

The Built vs. Natural Worlds: Pam Rogers and Radio Sebastian at AAC


As many of our readers know, I am a HUGE fan of Radio Sebastian. I featured several of their pieces on my holiday wish list last year for Panda Head Magazine (which were later acquired by the DC Art Bank). This summer, they teamed up with Pam Rogers to open the two-person show Agri Interior at the Arlington Arts Center on June 29. Radio Sebastian will continue the show with a live Ikebana arranging on Thursday, September 12, 2013, followed by a closing reception on Saturday, October 12, 2013.  Their mixed media exhibition explores dual realities through ruptures in the intersection of the built and natural worlds.

RadioSebastian04 (1)


Pam Rogers is an AAC artist in residence that first showed together with the dynamic artist duo Radio Sebastian in 2010 at Hillyer Art Space. For their new show, Radio Sebastian and Rogers created pieces for this show that incorporate their past experiences into artwork. They are true mixed media artists using plants, rubber, polymer clay, books, video, and wall paneling. In this exhibit, Rogers and Radio question familiar reality and ask the viewer to look at what lurks beneath—whether it delights or makes us eerily uncomfortable.

"Faint Fields Faucet no. 5"; 2013; Sculpey on fixtures

Described as one of the highlights of the Arlington Arts Center's summer exhibits by Pinkline Project, Agri Interior will, on September 12, host a live Ikebana sculptural experience.  Directly in response to their organic work, Reiko Blackwell will create flower sculptures in the traditional Japanese style. “Viewers are encouraged to come appreciate the harmony of line, color and shape as they learn about Ikebana [and] sip wine,” says the Arlington Arts Center.

 I personally am looking forward to seeing how the show’s end will coincide with the great vision of these artists. See you there! 


Looking for great local, affordable and generally awesome photography? Look no further…

Last Wednesday night, DCist launched their 6th annual photography show Exposed at Longview Gallery.  I snuck in a little late but just in time to enjoy the awesome photography that was selected this year by local, emerging photographers.  The music and flowing beverages helped too!

This year there were some stellar standouts in the crowd; among them were Ryan Maxwell, Markus Krisetya, Henry Throop and Ivan Sciupac.  Each of these pieces really stood out to me for several reasons, their color, content and angle of each image really stuck.  Ryan Maxwell’s Prepare for Liftoff is not immediately recognizable by any means and really takes you a minute to figure out what he is depicted where as Henry Throop’s Weathering the Storm is just simply beautiful and slightly ironic considering the lack of snow this year in our fair city.  Also, chosen as the cover image for this year’s guide to Exposed, Ivan Sciupac’s Stairway to Lincoln just grabs you from the minute you see it with a blue sky so beautiful that you wish you had been outside with him the day it was taken (or could at least bottle the color for a rainy day).  My personal favorite however? Drum roll please… Markus Krisetya’s Untitled of our infamous President Lincoln bobble head, known best for beating Teddy Roosevelt at every home Nationals game, descending the lengthy escalator of one of our metro stations – wonderful image!

Although I selected all of the cliché DC pieces here there were so many that really stood out! I suggest stopping by Longview any time before April 1 when Exposed closes to take a peak and every piece is reasonably priced around $175 so definitely bring your wallets!

Bringing the Art in DC to You,


PS – Tonight at Longview join them for a panel discussion sponsored by Pink Line Project with distinguished DC artists and patrons to learn about collecting photography. 

PPS – this year’s program is available in addition to the 5-year anniversary additionfrom last year – together just $30!