Arts Desk

Reviewed: Joshua Cogan at 6th and I Historic Synagogue

Joshua Cogan, a D.C.-based photographer, barely empties his own extensive vaults in a FotoWeek exhibition at the 6th and I Historic Synagogue. Using both color and black-and-white, Cogan has documented street and village life from Louisiana to Jamaica and from Vietnam to Zanzibar, producing an ambitious portfolio that is at turns gritty, heartbreaking and joyous, all elevated by smart explanatory captions. Despite Cogan's far-flung forays, some of his most impressive (and down-to-earth) work actually comes from his home city, including a wistful workbench portrait of a shoe repairer with a shop on H Street NE. But Cogan’s most coherent (albeit less emotional) work in this exhibit may well be his affectionate portrayal of food vendors around the world, from fishmongers in Bangkok to a funnel cake counterman in Coney Island. In fact, a food vendor provides his finest image in the exhibit—a portrait of a jerk chicken salesman in Jamaica bathed in the ethereal glow of dusk.

Through Jan. 31 at the 6th and I Historic Synagogue, 6th and I Streets NW. (202) 408-3100. Open Mon-Thu  9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Fri 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

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