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Local photographer Joshua Cogan barely empties his own extensive vaults in his exhibition at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue. Using both color and black-and-white, Cogan has documented street and village life in varied locales like Louisiana, Vietnam, and 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 exhibition may well be his affectionate portrayal of food vendors around the world, from fishmongers in Bangkok to a funnel cake counterman in Coney Island. Indeed, a food vendor is the subject of the finest image in the exhibit—a portrait of a jerk chicken salesman in Jamaica bathed in the ethereal glow of dusk.
THE EXHIBIT IS ON VIEW MONDAY TO THURSDAY, 9 A.M. TO 5 P.M. AND FRIDAY, 9 A.M. TO 4 P.M. (CLOSED DEC. 27–31) AT THE SIXTH AND I HISTORIC SYNAGOGUE, 600 I ST. NW. FREE. (202) 408-3100.