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Iwan Bagus, a D.C. photographer and professor, asks, “How long does an image last?” His answer: “An eternity and a blink of the eye.” That pretty much sums up his newest series, now on exhibit at the Studio Gallery. Bagus took a series of fractured self-portraits using rolls of old-school color transparency film, cut out the individual images and froze them in distilled water, leaving a disembodied, sprocketed image for Bagus to rephotograph and mount. The self-portraits offer some impressively deep blue backgrounds to offset Bagus’ skin tone, and the ice adds visual interest—-as well as a dash of serendipity—-by enveloping the images with translucent cracks, filigrees and bubbles. Also on display are the mixed-media assemblages of Peter Karp, which have rather opaque themes but striking combinations of black, gray and silver hues, and the paintings and drawings of Amy Davis, which range from Saul Steinberg-style line sketches to oil-and-encaustic canvases with a riot of heavily impastoed color. Finally, the gallery offers “A Person and a Story,” an exhibition in which local artists present some of their favorite portraits, including Joshua Cogan’s cobbler from H Street N.E.; Keith Lane’s mine-clearing workers in Cambodia; Joshua Yospyn’s pairing of a female figure perched on a rocky ledge in the Shenandoah with an American flag in two divergent poses; and David Y. Lee’s ailing man in a pew, ethereally lit by a shaft of sunlight. The promised stories are hit and miss, though the tales behind Jim Darling’s portraits of two Washingtonians, a homeless man and a young and beautiful lawnparty-goer, are unquestionably memorable.
The exhibition is on view 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday to March 24 at Studio Gallery. Free.