Artist Charlie Visconage is trying to get the word out that D.C. is more than a conservative town full of suits. Like his bold-colored paintings, Visconage views D.C.’s style as vibrant and bursting with creativity.
District Fray: What D.C. style means to you
Charlie Visconage: Out-of-towners think D.C. is a stuffy town of plain-suited Feds, and while that used to be true, I’m always telling people how vibrant, fun and creative I believe D.C. is these days. I love everything from the scrappy DIY style aesthetic of somewhere like Hole in the Sky Collective, where I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in many art shows and a residency in 2019, to the long-running arts programming that DC Arts Center showcases. I also started riding motorcycles in the past few years (a bright red ‘90s era BMW is my current one), so I’ve really appreciated the style of that community. It’s not just black leather everywhere.
Style icon and/or inspiration
Even though I don’t think I could pull off his looks, I love the clothes that local rapper Born I Music wears in his music videos. We were fortunate to work together on a project many years ago, and that guy has so much swag with anything he wears.
I tend to let my paintings be the things in my life that are full of loud colors, but a staple I love that everyone should have: fitted short-sleeve button-down shirts. I look for ones with a fun pattern or pop of color, and you can pair them with pretty much anything. On the other side of the coin, for guys: tank tops. I recently got a very fun one over at Dunn Lewis that they designed in-house and will be buying a few more the next time I go over [there] to work on my bike.
I dress pretty simply most of the time. If I’m at my studio, [I’m] in scrubby clothes I can get paint on. If I’m going out, it’s a little more composed with the aforementioned short-sleeve button-downs, and either shorts or fitted jeans. I do love some loud sneakers. These days, I’m wearing bright red Nike Pegasus Air 37s [and] the insane color combos of all the sneakers [by] Onitsuka Tigers. I spend a lot of time composing the psychedelic neon aesthetic of my paintings, so that’s where the majority of my brain’s style energy usually goes.
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