Fair Card Value 



May 31 – July 8, 2018

Opening Reception May 31 / 6:30 - 8

Michael Crossett is a mixed media artist with roots in photography. As a child, he was drawn to the mystery and excitement of waiting and watching for imagery to develop via traditional darkroom methods. In an effort to recreate a similar feeling of wonder while creating art in a world dominated by digital photography, he turned to silk screens. 

Crossett’s process always begins with a camera. He captures the familiar sights of Washington, D.C., with a discerning and creative eye: both celebrating the city’s rich history and recording its fast-paced changes. He also collects relevant historical imagery and other iconography to add to his final compositions. It is from here that Crossett transforms from photographer to mixed media artist. Rather than relying on digital platforms such as Photoshop to edit, crop, layer, and otherwise transform his imagery, he creates silk screens. One at a time, Crossett hand-pulls color through these screens, layering hundreds of images into vibrant arrangements of recognizable icons. With an undeniable nod to graffiti, his pieces show us Washington, D.C., through his eyes, breathing new life in to landmarks often considered stale or stoic.

In Fair Card Value, Crossett’s unique process and distinct vision of life in Washington D.C. shine through. Referencing the now obsolete Metro fare card, many of the works are composed with layered imagery of DC landmarks behind the familiar magnetic stripe running the length of the right side of the artwork. Other pieces rely on the iconic, coffered architecture of the Metro tubes as a backdrop for other electric D.C. spots such as Black Cat, Howard Theater, Dacha and Dock Five. Metro cars themselves often shoot through the middle of his compositions, a nod to the past and also the speed in which this city is changing.  

“As DC continues to transform, I am drawn to contrast of historic and contemporary architecture and design, commercialism, and the energy that surrounds me. In a way, I am my own architect by creating new structures that juxtapose photography and found images with relevant and most often commercial symbols and icons. They shouldn’t always go together but do—one of the reasons I love graffiti. If it wasn’t illegal, I’d be doing it all the time."

1234 Ninth St. NW
Washington, DC 20001

Wednesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm, 
unday, 12pm – 5pm, and by appointment.