Elizabeth Kleinveld is an artist and photographer who divides her time between Amsterdam and New Orleans. For her, art is about creative self-expression and storytelling; it is about responding to what she observes in the world. While some of her work is about striving to express the beauty she sees, other work focuses on themes she finds politically important. Often she uses art to transform her reality as she did in 2007, while working to come to terms with the raw reality of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Kleinveld later found inspiration from exotic flowers and their reflection in water, resulting in the images of her series Flower Reflections that have an almost dreamlike and painterly quality.
Next to her current work on the series In Empathy We Trust, Kleinveld is developing several new projects that she hopes to present in the coming years. Her work has been featured in galleries, museums and private collections in Europe, Asia and the United States including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Arts, the Colorado Fine Arts Center, Houston Center for Photography, Museum Palazzo Fortuny in Venice, Royal Delft Museum in Delft (the Netherlands), the United States Embassy in The Hague, and the Dutch Embassy in Washington, D.C. Elizabeth Kleinveld is represented amongst others by the Italian galleries PH-Neutro and Galleria Bongiovanni, and by Octavia Art Gallery in New Orleans.
Epaul Julien is an artist from New Orleans who began his career as a photographer in 1995 when a near death experience changed his life. Creating art for him is a necessity, vitally linked to his existence. His artistic practice has also been shaped by the extremity of his circumstances. When the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina forced him to abandon his darkroom and bulky photographic equipment, he emerged with a new approach; six months of exile pushed him to use the images he had salvaged and to create a new form of mixed media. For Julien, working on In Empathy We Trust seemed like the logical outcome of his biography. As an African American raised forty-five minutes from New Orleans on a family plantation named Africa, Julien was always keenly aware of racial stereotypes and divides. “I think growing up in America and especially in the South makes you very much aware of color and race,” says Julien, who uses this awareness “to explore life through a unique perspective.” He was very cognizant that the Africa Plantation’s history was steeped deeply in slave labor, but to him, it was also a spiritual place that put him in touch with nature and stimulated his imagination, and the place where his father taught him to use his first camera.
Julien’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe in such venues as the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Houston Center for Photography, Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, Photoville in New York City, Museum Palazzo Fortuny in Venice, Verona’s PH-Neutro, and the Galleria Bongiovanni in Bologna. It has been featured in such publications as Black and White, Houston Chronicle, and Before (During) After: Louisiana Photographers’ Visual Reaction to Hurricane Katrina (University of New Orleans Press, 2010).