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Rainbow Streets, Kurt Powers and Plenty of Patterns

by Borderstan.com — June 6, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

Capital Pride Decorations on 17th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Capital Pride Decorations on 17th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Dito Sevilla. Email him at dito[AT]borderstan.com, follow him on Twitter @DitoDC.

This week we’ve once again festoon anything and everything with the six colors that comprise the rainbow flag. It’s that special time of year, when our usually gay neighborhoods become cloyingly gay. And, yes, I contribute my fair share.

Each year in a futile attempt to outdo the previous one, I encrust the facades of several 17th Street businesses, Floriana included, with just enough rainbow materials to make Rainbow Brite wish she were colorblind. It’s fun, it’s harmless, and it couldn’t be tackier. Trust me, we’ve tried.

We call it Capital Pride because this is the nation’s Capital after all, and frankly, because it really helps with getting permits to close city streets for several hours so we can parade & party. Of course, anything involving gay men, summer heat, and vodka quickly becomes a large, messy, sweaty, street fair — albeit one attended by the happiest and best looking people you’ll eve run into.

Basically it’s fun, it’s upbeat, and it’s gayer than Barbara Streisand riding a unicorn sidesaddle, though the wedding of Lindsey Graham and Marcus Bachmann.

Kurt Powers, Patterns

With all these “Pride” related events  (Jello-O Wrestling is tonight (9 pm at Phase 1 of Dupont), other, dare I say, equally interesting, less colorful pursuits may be overlooked. To that end, may I suggest you experience the world through the eye of Kurt Powers.

Kurt is a DC-based photographer who has a knack for capturing the ordinary in a rather extraordinary light. Beginning this weekend, his work will be on display at Caramel, 1603 U Street NW. The show, “Patterns,” includes some wonderfully deceptive pieces from his travels through Yellowstone National Park.  Moments of self-reflection are all but guaranteed moments after even paying them a cursory glance. A reminder that first impression are not always what they seem.

"Kurt Powers"

Kurt Powers, “Patterns,” at Caramel Boutique. (Courtesy of Powers).

I know just what you’re thinking. This year’s Pride theme is Heroes, and his name — Kurt Powers — sort of sounds like he might look splendid in a cape… and that perhaps Yellowstone is the material the Yellow Brick Road was fashioned from. But trust me, it’s well worth your time.

Juxtaposed among deeply exposed, highly saturated scenes resembling nebulas, outer space, and the vibrant cosmos are hung somber images captured at Fort Zachary Taylor Park in Key West.

There, a stack of cannonballs piled ominously against one side of a diptych created by uneven decay of an exterior wall provides an excellent foil for the optimistic scenery captured at Yellowstone.

“Patterns” runs from June 7 to July 27 at Caramel Boutique (1603 U Street NW). Get a further glimpse of Kurt’s work.

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