Arts Desk

Reviewed: Alexander Vasiljev at Watergate Gallery

After explorations in photographing people painted as animals (in 2009) and heavily massaged landscape images mounted on wooden boxes (in 2011), Alexander Vasiljev now turns to a more straightforward project in his exhibit at Watergate Gallery and Frame Design: documenting the land and people of Nepal.

Vasiljev’s color works are landscapes; some have insufficient grain for their size, but others offer pleasing depictions of bucolic vistas dotted by the occasional sapphire-hued pagoda. Vasiljev's black-and-white images are all close-up portraits of Nepalese subjects—an array of wrinkled faces, turbans, face paint, nose jewelry and, most memorably, long, curlicued beards that lose all shades of gray in Vasiljev’s high-contrast technique. The most notable image in either format, however, is a color photograph of a panoply of flapping flags (top), striking for its variety of airy, translucent hues.

Through Nov. 27 at Watergate Gallery and Frame Design, 2552 Virginia Avenue, NW. Mon-Fri 10-6, Sat 12-5.


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