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G. Washington implores viewers to consider how notions of heroism, celebrity, and rebellion have shaped the popular culture of two distinct epochs in American history: the period of the Revolutionary War and the Hip-Hop era. This recent series of photographs by Joshua Reiman draws upon the stylistic cues of contemporary Bling-Bling – a visually overt system of status display – while also placing this culture in dialogue with popular representations of this nation’s forefathers. Viewers are confronted by provocative images of George Washington and his compatriots wearing powdered wigs, grills (gold teeth), diamond-encrusted pendants, and customized basketball uniforms – individuals who strut around with a sense of swagger and confidence more befitting gangster rappers of the late 1990s than revolutionary leaders.
Take from a 2008 essay by Stefan Osdene.