Elizabeth Kleinveld and Epaul Julien's photographic versions of paintings from art history reflect their concerns about the ethnic stereotyping seen in some news reports after Hurricane Katrina, but they lend themselves to a variety of interpretations. Here all races and orientations are reflected in remakes of European masterpieces like Manet's Picnic on the Grass, David's Death of Marat, and Van Eyck's Arnolfini Wedding, pictured, in images that avoid trite multicultural moralizing by being so beautifully and wittily crafted that they invite us to see the world anew, without the stereotypical expectations that attend notions of race, gender or ethnicity--concepts already put through the Creole blender that is Julien and Kleinveld's native New Orleans.
Cole Pratt, below, and Brooke Shaden's buoyantly otherworldly series of female figures seemingly transported into a realm of daydreams made real, left, at Soren Christensen.
Close to Home: Photographs by Tina Freeman, The Art of Empathy: Photographs by E2 (Elizabeth Kleinveld & Epaul Julien), through Dec. 28 Octavia Art Gallery, 4532 Magazine St., 309-4249. Wallace Merritt at Cole Pratt through Dec 28; Brooke Shaden at Soren Christensen through Dec. 31.