Man about town: Jake McGuire and his D.C. photos appear to be everywhere at once

Jake McGuire and his Washington photos appear to be everywhere at once.
By Monica Hesse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 6, 2010

In the grand Mansfield Room of the U.S. Capitol, at a reception held by the National Association of Business Political Action Committees, Jake McGuire is selling.

"Ike Skelton bought about 600 of these," he is saying. "It's a classic, elegant shot."

He is selling to Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) -- trying to convince the cornered congressman to buy his photos because fellow congressmen like Skelton have purchased his photos, because Important Moguls have purchased his photos, because Oprah Winfrey has one of his photos.

She didn't purchase it so much as he handed it to her when he saw her at the bar of the Georgetown Four Seasons, but still.

The photo in question is one of several of McGuire's on display, each one depicting a different federal scene: the Washington Monument in silhouette, the snowy Capitol steps, Marine One lifting off.

You know when you walk into a Washington lobbying firm or political outfit? And all of the art looks the same?

It is probably done by the same man.

Mattresses have kings. Tires have kings.

Jake McGuire is aspiring to be the king of patriotic office art.

* * *

The Washington political office is a compilation of interchangeable fixtures:

The decor may be faux colonial, or faux Renaissance, or industrial chic. The candy on the receptionist's desk may be Starlight mints, or pastel mints, or Wint-O-Green Life Savers. The plants may be ferns, or peace lilies, or generic greenery with broad, waxy leaves.

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