FOR THE ORGANIZERS behind Art Soiree, a celebration to spotlight political cartoons satirizing the White House, the president’s second inauguration is actually Obama 3.0.
“This idea was born three years ago, when myself and our co-founder, Tati Pastukhova, decided we should highlight the artistic skills of cartoonists and give them great attention,” Sandro Kereselidze tells Comic Riffs. “From the beginning, Art Soiree Productions goal has always been to promote art in its many different forms through the events we produce ‘where art has no limits and takes any form.’ “
On Saturday night, promoting art takes the form of “First-Term Retrospective,” an exhibition and party at Georgetown’s Malmaison that will feature such Pulitzer-winning cartoonists as Mike Keefe, Signe Wilkinson, The Post’s Tom Toles and Ann Telnaes — as well as Kevin ”KAL” Kallaugher, the Economist and Baltimore Sun cartoonist who just launched a Kickstarter campaign.
(The event will also spotlight a performance by Suspicious Package, the Toles-led journo/wonk band.)
Comic Riffs caught up with Kereselidze to discuss the event:
MC: How did this event come to be born — and can you shed some light on how this all came together?
SK: On Jan. 17th, 2010 with a touch of art and style, Art Soiree Productions celebrated the first year of Obama’s presidency by presenting a one of a kind exhibition: “Obama’s Portfolio. “
Obama’s first inauguration really gave us the opportunity to promote this kind of art in a way that would appeal to the political sensibilities of the area. And it turned out to be a great success. It was the first organized exhibit of political cartoons that artistically highlighted the major events of last election cycle. It attracted over 300 attendees, some from political and social arenas as well as created a buzz in both local and international news.
On Jan. 26, 2012, we hosted another successful cartoonist exhibition called “Apocalyptoon 2012” — where the exhibit was focused on End of the World predictions by Myans and also unveiling what 2012 will be bringing to political world. This time we let cartoonists predict with their simple pen stroke and to foreshadowed the future.
The public exhibit attracted 2,500 attendees over the weekend and was highlighted at many local and international media.
This year just in time for the inauguration weekend, we decided to host Art Soiree’s 3rd annual cartoonist exhibit where we offer a journey back through Obama’s first-term in the office through the eyes of the world’s most respected contemporary editorial cartoonist. in this unique exhibition, which will document the highs and lows of those years during Obama’s presidency and commenting on politics, society, economy, education, human rights, presidential elections, war, republican and democratic political figures, and more.
MC: Was the show curated and constructed around a theme?
SK: Yes, all shows by Art Soiree Productions are curated and constructed around a theme. This exclusive exhibition will feature nine of the most renowned editorial and political cartoonists from world’s top newspapers and magazines (including Daryl Cagle, Jimmy Margulies, Christo Komarnitski and Damien Glez).
MC: Given that it’s the inauguration of a Democratic president, just curious: Are there any right-leaning cartoonists in this show?
SK: Actually the showcase is pretty bipartisan. They take shots at people on both sides of the isle, so no matter where you are on the political spectrum there’s an opportunity to relate.
INFORMATION: 3401 Water St. NW. 202-841-6441. www.theartsoiree.com. 8 p.m. to midnight. $15 in advance; $20 at the door.