Spotlight on Intersections@5: Allan deSouza

The Phillips celebrates the fifth anniversary of its Intersections contemporary art series with Intersections@5, an exhibition comprising work by 20 of the participating artists. In this blog series, each artist writes about his or her work on view.

deSouza_World Series

Installation view of Allan deSouza’s The World Series (2012)

Allan deSouza’s The World Series (2012), was inspired by Jacob Lawrence’s iconic 1941 Migration Series. While Lawrence’s paintings document the historical migration of African Americans from the South to Northern cities, deSouza presents a visual “script” for a fictional migration to becoming American, seen through the signage and psychology of metaphorical and political sites. Merging the past into the present, deSouza captures what might seem to be otherwise fleeting moments to stage possible futures that speak to the real effects of time and migration within the contemporary world. The four images here, from the full sequence of 60 photographs, depict pivotal points in deSouza’s “script,” in which his fictional migrant undergoes literal rites of passage, moving from one location and one time period to another.

A Closer Look: Esther Bubley’s American Moments

Jean Bubley, director of the Esther Bubley Photography Archive, discusses the work of her aunt Esther Bubley featured in American Moments: Photographs from The Phillips Collection. Jean will give a gallery talk at the Phillips Thursday, August 27.

American Moments Photo Contest Honorable Mentions

Last week, we announced the grand prize winner of the American Moments photo contest. Put your hands together for our five Honorable Mentions! These submissions caught the attention of our judges for their thoughtful captions and artful composition. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Honorable Mention_Chuck Flether_DC Street Hoops

Photo: Chuck Fletcher

DC Street Hoops by Chuck Fletcher
This American Moment was taken on U Street in Washington DC, the city’s cultural epicenter of black history. Until the 1920s, the U Street Corridor was home to the nation’s largest urban African American community. During the 1920s and 1930s, the area thrived with world-renowned entertainment venues like the Howard and Lincoln Theaters and private clubs hosting legendary entertainers including the neighborhood’s own Edward “Duke” Ellington. In 1968, the neighborhood declined after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the resulting DC riots. Today, we see a diverse blend of nationalities, talent, and skin tones on U Street.

Honorable Mention_Andrew Nathan Morgan_Nathan

Photo: Andrew Nathan Morgan

Nathan by Andrew Nathan Morgan
Picture I took of my son on his first trip to NYC. He’s looking over the city from the top of the Empire State building. We took a train from DC and spent the day walking around, seeing as much as we could before catching the train back.

Honorable Mention_Ann McCormick Saybolt_Fourth of July

Photo: Ann McCormick Saybolt

Fourth of July by Ann McCormick Saybolt
Annual parade in the Palisades neighborhood of Washington, DC. Americans were warned by federal homeland security officials to “remain vigilant” during holiday celebrations due to a heightened security alert. July 4, 2015.

Honorable Mention_Lou Havlicek_Mom_2016_06–29

Photo: Lou Havlicek

Mom_2016_06–29 by Lou Havlicek
So many baby boomers are dealing with aging parents today. Though there is profound beauty in death—just as in birth—this does not make the road leading towards it any less hard. I took this image of my mother as she enters her final days. Our family is so grateful to my sister who has both the burden and privilege of caring for her. There is no tougher job. The rest of us help as we can, but negotiating the maze of the American healthcare system makes an already difficult time even more so.

Honorable Mention_Jere Kittle_A November Fog

Photo: Jere Kittle

A November Fog by Jere Kittle
Dense fog minimizes details, revealing the bold dynamic between a pair of bridges—one suspended beneath the other—and reflects the contrast in lifestyle and pace between the decades that separate them. The upper bridge carries vehicular traffic along historic U.S. Route 1; the lower, suspended by cables, provides pedestrian access to Belle Isle, a 540-acre natural area in the James River in the heart of Richmond, Virginia. Two figures cross over river rapids below for a morning walk on the island where forested trails and rock formations offer respite from 21st century urban life.