Between Michael Wycoff and Keni Burke ballads playing in the background, a cozy Sunday at 52 O Studios gave way to a bit of magic. Wafts of sunlight, monochrome and melanin filled the loft as we peeled back the mastery behind the man, Pierre Edwards.
Photographer, videographer and visual artist digitally known as @Districtdodger, Edwards unveiled “In Real Life” on Jan. 25 at Union Market, after five months of intense research into theories of the multiverse and the digital world as an alternate reality.
“As a videographer and visual artist, I spend a lot of time in the digital realm and realized there’s an existential juxtaposition that also lives in the physical realm. This idea that if I exist, I need to know my purpose sort of spans beyond one dimension and I wanted to highlight those parallels we find in community, news, sex, desire, etc.,” he said.
A collector of “hardcopy books, photos, vinyl, anything tactile,” the 26-year-old Waldorf native was meticulous and provoking in creating each piece of his first solo installation, for he appreciates that inspiration isn’t confined to any one particular place or thing. The exhibit features light design, projections, sculpture pieces as well as paintings that give birth to the idea of living simultaneously in conflicting realities.
A thoughtful hue of collective consciousness infuses his work and his demeanor. Edwards affirms that his role as an artist is to demystify what it actually means to be one, and to promote a climate of inclusivity while remaining creatively aware at all times. “Whatever your art is, is your art,” he said. “It presents itself in limitless ways.”
“In Real Life” was so well-received that Edwards is now slated to feature his exhibit in Atlanta in May, as well as Basel (Miami) in December. He is also working on a short film to coincide with the installation and incubating a few other projects that remain close to his chest for the time being.
Currently, one of his favorite artists is British designer and creative director, Samuel Ross. Edwards says he respects the “thoughtful stance, interdisciplinarities and structure” woven into his collections. He also recently visited the “Pulse” exhibit by Mexican-Canadian artist, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, at Hirshhorn Museum. Interactive technology, sound design and light installations are mutually admired amongst these three savants.
Before presenting “In Real Life” to the masses, Edwards was busy collaborating with a number of clients such as Asics, Under Armour, Dreamville Records, Smithsonian, Howard Theatre and Broccoli City Music Festival. One of his favorite collaborations however, was with Just Us Girls DC, an accessories line created by his supremely talented girlfriend, Kiki, that embodies “a divine balance between feminine and masculine.” He also partnered up with his friend, Forrest, on the look book and short film for Nativus, a clothing line inspired by backcountry Virginia.
The trajectory of Edwards’ vision is taking flight and making waves. He’s swiftly carving his niche in the multiverse of art with technicolor, humility and a curiosity for any and everything. He gives special thanks to No Kings DC, Rock Creek Social Club, Ainsworth Neal Sr., and Eliud for their continued support.