Pump Me Up

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Go-Go producer and TTED label exec Maxx Kidd's Go-Go license plate.

(Courtesy Maxx Kidd)

Pump Me Up

A new exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery explores D.C.’s subculture of graffiti, go-go, hardcore punk music and the influences that live on today.

It was the era of Chuck Brown, the ubiquitous tags of "Cool 'Disco' Dan" and influential hardcore bands like Minor Threat. Amid a rising tide of drugs and crime, D.C. in the '80s also saw the rise of local graffiti, go-go and hardcore punk scenes. This was the "other" D.C., and the influence of these subcultures lives on today. A new exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery explores the period through street art, photographs, posters, music and videos.


Roger Gastman

Co-curator, “Pump Me Up: DC Subculture of the 1980s” exhibit, Corcoran Gallery of Art; Creative Director and Founder of R. Rock Enterprises. Co-author (with Caleb Neelon), “History of American Graffiti;” Producer of the documentary film, “The Legend of Cool ‘Disco’ Dan.”

Alona Wartofsky

Former staff writer and editor, The Washington Post and City Paper

Iley Brown

Music producer; music supervisor and associate producer, "Legend of Cool Disco Dan"

Clinton Yates

Columnist, The Washington Post and the Root DC; Local News Editor, Express

Related Links

Photos From The "Pump Me Up" Exhibit

"Pump Me Up: DC Subculture of the 1980s" is on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art from February 23, 2013 - April 7, 2013.

Trailer For "The Legend Of 'Cool Disco Dan'"

Discover the "other" Washington of the 1980s through this documentary of legendary graffiti artist "Cool 'Disco' Dan," a mysterious, ubiquitous presence during the height of go-go music, record crime rates and city-wide dysfunction.

Read An Excerpt

A 320-page publication, entitled "Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s," will be published alongside the exhibition. The book includes a foreword by Sarah Newman, curator of contemporary art at the Corcoran.

"Pump Me Up" Programs At The Corcoran

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