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All words and photos: Britt Elyse Nelson

On the eve of their upcoming Decon/Recon exhibition, we visited the Union Warehouse District with several of the participating artists and organizers to capture and discuss their styles behind the art. Curated by Micah Greenberg and Ra-Jah S. Kelly (SHAM) as part of the CapitalBop D.C. Jazz Loft Series, DECON/RECON (or deconstruction/reconstruction) showcases the work of several cutting-edge local artists, pushing the boundaries of traditional material, process and presentation. These imaginative and experimental works honor the spirit of free jazz and the legacy of Series headliner and free jazz legend Peter Brötzmann.

Tonight’s opening party will provide guests with the opportunity to meet the artists and organizers, as well as feature DJ Underdog and DJ Native Son spinning jazz, funk, soul and much more.

 

DECON/RECON DC Style Interview

  • Tendani Mpulubusi El – Filmmaker, Artist, Activist

“I started doing fashion design around 15 in high school. I feel I’ve developed a distinct style of making jewelry and clothes. I’m big on accessories and they always accent my wardrobe. I’m inspired by art, my body becomes a canvas every time I’m getting dressed to go out the door.”

DECON/RECON DC Style Interview

  • Giovanni Russonello – Jazz Writer, CapitalBop

“I was in my grandmother’s house after she died, going through the ritual where you get closer to somebody by burying yourself in the things they valued least….a bounty of unopened Christmas gifts, oceans of costume jewelry. In a moment, something stood out: a gentleman’s hat, clearly of value to her because of its associations, but elided into the closet when its owner disappeared from her life. It belonged to my grandfather, someone I never got to meet. For me, clothes at their best are like people – they hug you, as they get to know you they start to move along with the rhythm of your step, they get messy and need to be cared for. And ultimately they break down, and fall apart, and they’re no more.”

 

DECON/RECON DC Style Interview

  • Tariq Tucker – Prominent U St. Artist

“Mine is of the style classic 2 piece suit mentality, with a lust for color accents and a thrust of minimalism.”

 

DECON/RECON DC Style Interview

  • Nate Lewis – Somophany, Sketch Lounge

“I rock a combination of plain shirts, often greys, and patterned vintage shirts. I find a pair of shoes that I like and wear them everyday. However to me it’s ultimately all about the hat.”

 

DECON/RECON DC Style Interview

  • DJ Native Son – DC, OkayAfrica

“I’m inspired by so many things at once but I definitely have to say when I narrow it down, Music! Music really pushes me to be creative in all aspects of life especially with my style. Music and fashion go hand and hand. When i’m getting dress if I have some cool tunes playing in the background everything comes together.”

 

DECON/RECON DC Style Interview

  • Micah Greenberg – DECON/RECON, Above the Bike Shop

“These days, I’m all about the local fashion scene. Everything I’m wearing in the shoot — down to the hat and the sunglasses — comes from two of my favorite local boutique owners: Lori Parkerson of Redeem, and Andrew Nguyen of Blue’s Hard Goods.”

 

DECON/RECON DC Style Interview

  • Camille Schefter – Artist, Temple

“Day to day my style is pretty basic but when I go out, I like to dress to embody a more specific expression, even if it’s not quite ‘me.’ I’m interested in the performative aspect of fashion, how you might drastically alter yourself through a few simple moves. My art has to do with issues surrounding the self and a changing America, about hybridity and the myth of authenticity. Those notions probably come out in how I present myself to the world.”

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