Ken Ashton, “The Ontario Theater” (1993)

ArtInfo asked DC’s own awesome gallerist and arts activist Jayme McLellan what art she suggested for the White House and here are her ideas:

“The Obamas would most definitely benefit from having the work of Sam Gilliam in the White House. Gilliam is internationally recognized as the foremost contemporary African-American Color Field painter and lyrical abstractionist. Further, he has called Washington, D.C., his home since 1962. Adding his work to the collection would contribute to the breadth of the White House collection and support D.C. as a place for historical, living artists.

“Ken Ashton resides in Washington, D.C., and has spent the past decade photographing neighborhoods throughout the world. He has undertaken an encyclopedic project of photographing communities in the Northeastern corridor of the U.S., from D.C. to Boston, entitled ‘Megalopolis.’

“Iona Rozeal Brown’s most recent paintings are an unprecedented mixture of anonymous courtesans, geisha, and other Japanese subjects. She explores the theme of Afro-Asiatic allegory, addressing the global influence of African-American culture as fetish. Brown’s work signals the energy, critical direction, and complexity of contemporary practice that is engaged in a tenuous marriage of commerce and resistance. Brown brings a subversion to her art and manipulates hyper-self-conscious imagery to articulate contemporary concerns regarding race, gender, and class.”