Reduce, Reuse, Make Art 

Dean Kessmann, artist and professor of photography at George Washington University, exhibits 24 large-scale and 24 small-scale digital pigment prints of plastic shopping bags at White Flag Projects (4568 Manchester Avenue) in his solo show, Dean Kessmann: Plastic on Paper. Kessmann arranged and illuminated the bags so that the printing on each is reduced to diluted pools of color suspended in amorphous blobs; they resemble X-rays of human organs, or jellyfish. But they're all titled according to the stores the bags come from — Best Buy, Safeway, Toys "R" Us — allowing the viewer to still identify them as shopping bags. His artist's statement on the project references ideas of consumerism, the environment, marketing and the political implications of these topics, while also citing the floating-bag scene from the film American Beauty and its "transformation of a commonplace object into something worthy of contemplation" as an inspiration for his work. Dean Kessmann: Plastic on Paper opens with a free public reception from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, February 24; the gallery is open on Wednesday and Saturday, and the show remains up through Saturday, March 31. For more information call 314-531-3442 or visit
Wednesdays, Saturdays. Starts: Feb. 24. Continues through March 31

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