Dali had a paintbrush. Escher had a pencil. British surrealist photographer Dominic Rouse has Photoshop. Rouse marries striking black-and-white photos with impeccable photo editing abilities to create strange and eerie scenes and bizarre juxtapositions. Consider his photo Angeline. It shows a blindfolded little girl in a white dress and socks walking down a decrepit hallway in a crumbling building. A vulture perched on a nearby banister eyes her, a snake slithers near her feet, and she is about to step directly on a shard of broken glass. This nightmarish scenario did not happen in real life, of course; it happened inside Rouse's head and computer. To create the image, Rouse shot the hallway in an abandoned hotel in Cambodia, the vulture in an aviary in Britain, the snake in a Thai snake farm, and the girl and glass shard in his studio. The girl's hair came from a photo of a doll. And yet, you would never know it to look at the picture. Rouse balances light perfectly and merges his images' elements seamlessly, leaving your reasoning ability as the only clue that the photos aren't real. But really, it's more fun to think that they are. Also opening is Howard Christopherson's collection, "Pieces of Italy." Opening reception 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, May 17.
May 17-Aug. 9, 2008