Blue Roses: New Works by John Largaespada

John Largaespada is a sweetheart, but his art — photographic tableaux, pristinely captured and then psychologically reamed in a digital insane asylum — is some of the most off-putting in town. Which is why we love him. His shtick is to photograph staged scenes from opera and literature (the clowns in "Pagliacci," the suicide of Lucretia), then subject them to manipulations in a software collage-and-paint process. It's as if he's taken the great moments of the Western canon — stuff typically treated with oil-paint reverence — and rendered them as a cracked-out '90s CD-ROM adventure game (think the Residents' "Bad Day on the Midway"). The result is an impeccable eeriness, cartoonish yet clean, with all the skin-crawling uncanniness of a wax museum. Great highbrow/lowbrow stuff. (Opening reception 6-10 p.m. Fri., Rogue Buddha Gallery, 357 13th Av. NE., Mpls.