All photos: Denis Largeron
The creative team King Larish held the premier of their ‘Renegade DC’ series this past Thursday at Foto Space DC in Adams Morgan. The exhibit featured a series of compelling photographic images set against Washington’s stoic landmarks and tourist attractions.
Rebellion against authority plays a central theme in the Renegade DC exhibit as most shoots were done illegally, and without permission. However, while heavily employed, rebellion isn’t the focus of the series. Instead, King Larish uses its flaunting of convention to focus attention on the unconventional side of Washington by setting it against the rigid landmarks of official DC.
Perhaps the most arresting photograph in the series is a shot of five-and-six year old children playing war against the statues of the Korean War Memorial. “We had about two minutes to compose and shoot the scene before we were shut down,” Larish told BYT at the exhibit. “Although we planned for it, I’m still surprised we got the shot off.” It worked. One can’t help but feel a pang of guilt from viewing the trespass of something so sacred. Yet, the image of children at play upon a war monument causes the viewer to examine deeper themes.
Not all photographs in the series are so dark. A bikini car wash on the National Mall, completely nude models in the Botanical Gardens, a drag queen plantation fantasy on the Smithsonian Castle grounds, all evoke humor and whimsy.
Some of the earliest shots in the nearly two-year long series might be familiar to BYT readers. Shot at Ben’s Chili Bowl, the images show cavemen taking over the iconic institution and was used to promote a Brightest Young Things and Capital Pride party in the summer of 2010. “Ben’s was kind enough to give us access after hours,” says Larish. “We just didn’t tell them everything we would be doing.” That included lighting a campfire on U Street at 4:00 in the morning. “That was our last shot of the night,” says Larish. “We had three look-outs for cops. We’re pretty sure lighting a fire on U Street is illegal.”
While King Larish displayed some of the series photos last week, they plan to release more and to take the series on the road. Those interested in reviewing and purchasing prints, or learning more about the series, can visit www.jodikingphotography.com