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TO JAN. 7, 2004
Several years ago, Washington-area artist Lydia Ann Douglas made the documentary film Nappy, about 14 African-American women and girls who decided to wear their hair “natural.” More recently, Douglas traveled to Cuba with 10 other photographers, and the photographs she took can now be seen in “Cuba Through My Eyes,” an exhibition at Teaism in Dupont Circle. In a year in which Washington galleries have been flooded with art by Cubansand by outsiders who have visited CubaDouglas’ work is not the hardest-hitting, yet her range of techniques merits a look. Several of Douglas’ images are black-and-white portraits of musicians, including a number of winning children; these echo, both thematically and aesthetically, the impressive Cuban photographs by Washingtonian Nestor Hernandez. But Douglas also varies her approach: Using black-and-white film, she makes surprisingly detailed, almost fanciful images of landscapes and such domestic tableaux as Courtyard in Habana (pictured), in which delicately wrinkled pieces of laundry obscure a head atop a nicely cut torso. And though the elaborate furniture on the airy balcony of Raul’s Patio seems to skew too prosperous to be representative of the struggling island nation, other images by Douglas document such crumbling Cuban standbys as ’50s-era sedans, pedi-cabs, and flaky plasterall in modest, but surprisingly evocative, shades of color. The show is on view from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays, and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, to Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2004, at Teaism, 2009 R St. NW. Free. (202) 667-3827. (Louis Jacobson)