WHAT IF? Celebrates the Beauty of Black Culture at 11:Eleven Gallery

As we reflect on February and the celebration of Black History Month, it’s easy to focus on the events and contributions that have already been made. But the best part about history is that so many of the best parts have not been created yet. 

This March, 11:Eleven gallery in Truxton Circle is thrilled to continue the celebration of Black contributions. Through March, 21, see the work of DC Artist Maurice E. James Jr. in his first solo show titled ‘WHAT IF?’

From the press release: 

The show seeks to intertwine iconic American pop culture references with powerful Black images to positively promote Black Love, Black Beauty, and Black Power. James Jr’s work focuses on portraying the splendor and strength of Black People. His work also embodies the importance of Black representation in mainstream pop culture. 

As a classic film lover and collector of baseball cards and comic books, James Jr’s art answers questions through art. “What if we traded baseball cards of important Black leaders?” “How could Black folklore integrate into comic book culture?” “What if Black artistic genius was hailed in the light of deity?” His work strives to create glimpses into a reality in which Black People and Black Culture are one with Pop Culture. 

Using digital graphics and merging genres, James Jr’s work unapologetically manifests a positive new reality. He hopes to leave you pondering the question ‘WHAT IF?”

Black superhero from x-men
Photo of art from WHAT IF? provided by Nicola Charles

When to Visit

Artist talk: Thursday, March 11, 6.30pm

Weekday hours: Wednesday – Friday, 1pm – 6.30pm 

Weekend hours: Saturday – Sunday, 11am – 5pm 

Per CDC guidelines, capacity will be limited and face masks are required. For tickets and event information, visit the website or email Nicola Charles at info@11elevengallery.com. You can also keep up with the gallery on Instagram.

About the Artist

Maurice James Jr. is a self-taught Contemporary Artist and Graphic Designer.  Born in Philadelphia, PA, Maurice now lives and works in Washington, DC. DC has been his greatest source of inspiration as an artist.

James Jr is a cinephile and avid collector of baseball cards and comic books. He challenges the false narrative of what mainstream power and beauty looks like by placing heroic Black icons and fictional characters in prominent roles. His work provides a glimpse into an alternative reality where Black Culture and Folklore is American Pop Culture.

About 11:Eleven gallery

11:Eleven gallery is a unique and dynamic addition to Washington D.C’s art scene, specializing in UK contemporary and urban art.

The gallery’s mission is to broaden the horizons of the already vibrant art scene within The District. Charles strives to introduce a more international approach, bridging the gap between the US and UK art markets. The gallery features some truly spectacular and sought-after pieces while developing the careers of local and UK emerging and under-represented artists.

Charles believes that art should be inclusive to all and exclusive to none. This ethos is at the heart of everything the gallery does. This is particularly visible in the exciting program of gallery visits we’ve provided for schools in underserved neighborhoods and mentoring artists. 

At a Glance

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