20 July 2016

Close Ups of a Doll

Now open at Berg by Nordan Art, and curated by Kate Bergdorf, are two concurrent exhibitions by photographer Maloe Vansant: Close Ups of a Doll, situated on the water level of the sim, and Yesterday: Retrospective, located in the small gallery overhead. The former, consisting of fifteen large and beautifully composed photographs (depicted in the first two images in this post) "are all new photographs depicting close-ups of avatars, inspired by our perception of the avatar as a doll," states the curator, reflecting Maloe's preferred way of being in Second Life.

The exhibition overhead, while dubbed a retrospective, features works not previously exhibited, and Maloe draws on a poem by Emily Dickinson, "Yesterday is History" (provided on the exhibition's accompanying notecard), to provide a context for her thoughts. Maloe's artworks are available for purchase, and the exhibitions will remain on display through September. Visitors should also consider visiting Berg by Nordan Art's l'annexe, which displays photography by Kate Bergdorf, and which has recently been refreshed with an excellent show of black and white images.

18 July 2016

Beautiful Bizarre (images NSFW)

Now open at DaphneArts Gallery I, curated by SheldonBR and Angelika Corral, is Beautiful Bizarre, an exhibition of photographic compositions by Angelika Corral, Asa Vordun, Gwenarielle, Leeleu Lemondrop, Loki (LokiSilverson), Maghda, Paradox Messmer, Rainbow Mubble, Sabbian Paine, SheldonBR, terrygold and Theda Tammas (the last of whom offers a three-dimensional work, pictured below). Each artist was expressly invited to create an image or object reflecting the exhibition's theme.

"It is not easy to define beauty ... It’s not about prettiness," state the curators. "Beauty is something subjective." Here, embracing styles ranging from the grotesque to the surreal to the nightmarish, the artists explore the "beautiful bizarre" in their works. Most, but not all, of the artworks are available for purchase. Beautiful Bizarre will continue on display through the month of August.

17 July 2016

The last harbor

Artist Giovanna Cerise, whose works have been mentioned many times in this blog and have been featured at many Second Life venues, has recently opened a permanent location for the display of her creations, an outdoor gallery space entitled The last harbor. Roughly a couple dozen artworks are displayed in a beautiful setting along a long stretch of land that borders the sea, allowing the viewer to study many of the objects with only the sky as background.

Generally, Giovanna has selected items that would fit admirably into a small sculpture park or personal gallery space, and has included both two- and three-dimensional creations. Her works vary considerably in style, ranging from immersive environments to what might pass for wall drawings, and most are clearly imbued with some sort of mathematical structure or design.

Visitors can venture through a set of arches to reach a seashore along the eastern edge of the parcel, where a cozy, sandy area awaits that includes places for solace or for couples to relax. Several additional works are situated along the beach. For the collector, each of the items is available for purchase.

15 July 2016

bury your fears - bury your dreams

Now open at MetaLES is Selavy Oh's bury your fears – bury your dreams, one of three interdependent elements comprising a broader work by the artist, the other two components being a real life series of "interventions" at various German graveyards staged between 2014 and 2016, and a book (published through Blurb and available either in a hardcover edition or a pdf (click here to see a preview, including a complete set of images)), subtitled "the tombstone project," that documents the interventions.

Cemeteries are culturally fascinating places of reflection in which people honor the dead, recollect memories and emotions, find themselves fascinated by history, mourn for those who have passed, and express regret for what wasn't said. In Selavy's real life interventions, a visually distinctive bright white stone is positioned on or near a grave site, photographed, and published with accompanying texts — for example, any given photo might be captioned "for the turbidity in my dreams," "for the secret left untold," "for the void behind the mirror," or any of several other short phrases. The artist refrains from providing much context — are the captions meant as expressions of regret or remorse? Are they being expressed by the artist, or by those whose remains are buried under the stones?

In the MetaLES exhibition, the artist has constructed an entire field of headstones: the stark white markers rest on the ground, slightly tilted this way and that, while letters spelling out "bury your fears" and "bury your dreams" form and disappear in the air overhead. Over time, the stones begin to ascend into the sky (view from below, second image), while large dark spheres (black flakes, Selavy calls them) languidly descend from above into the earth and sea. Although the stones are generally blank, it's possible to click on them (at the right moment) to briefly show some text (image above, where one says "for the uncertainty I felt" and another says "for the trust I put in you"). As the stones prepare to climb into the sky, their physics state changes, and it's possible to bump into the them and knock them about or over (or even take a ride on one). Bury your fears – bury your dreams will continue on display through August 8; the MetaLES 7th Anniversary exhibition, featuring photography by Anita Witt (read here) continues overhead.

12 July 2016

Creative Inhalation: Breaking Bad in Frenzyville

Now open at the Paris Metro Art Gallery, curated by Captain Sir Walter Gendenspire, is an exhibition of recent works by Molly Bloom entitled Creative Inhalation: Breaking Bad in Frenzyville. It's filled with Molly's trademark faux-three-dimension images, featuring figures seemingly bursting through the edges of the frame, and with subject matter ranging from the poetic to the slightly surreal to the downright silly and ridiculous.

Molly dedicates the exhibition to the memory of her father, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 95 (and from whom, she reports, she received her remarkable sense of humor). Each of the artworks is available for purchase; Creative Inhalation: Breaking Bad in Frenzyville will remain on display through the end of August.

11 July 2016

All_Most Real (images NSFW)

Now open at Nitroglobus Hall, curated by Dido Haas, is All_Most Real, an exhibition of photographic images by MM (Mysterr). Eighteen black and white photos that generally explore the female nude form are displayed on a large scale in the gallery's distinctive space, where inverted images appear to shine on the mirror-like floor. In the hands of an outstanding photographer, Second Life images can sometimes appear to be almost life-like, and many images in All_Most Real might fool the viewer if they were displayed alongside similar images created in the real world.

But the focus in All_Most Real extends beyond Second Life photography that might approach real life realism: "The exhibition is a quest on reality and perception, and how they influence our emotions," she explains. "We know perceptions win over facts and reality so many times, conditioning our lives. In my search for realism, could it be that the doll finally (like Pinocchio) transforms pixels into flesh? Or will she be a doll forever, keeping alive the hope and flame of the search? These works are meant to challenge you to look deeper, not only with your eyes, but also with your heart. Just let yourself go: will you be able to tell what's real and what's not? Maybe nothing is real, or all is, or just a part..." Sculptures by the late Nitro Fireguard are also on display throughout the gallery. The images in All_Most Real are all available for purchase, and the exhibition will continue on display through August.

07 July 2016

The Village & BarDeco

The Village and BarDeco, which stretches horizontally and narrowly along the southern edge of the sim Hot Bodies, is described by its creator, Dandy Warhlol (Terry Fotherington) as "a small village on the water where you can stroll beside the sea in a Zen atmosphere and relax." A maritime area, with boats languidly bobbing in the water, extends along the western portion, while to the east a railroad disappears into a mountain tunnel.

Between these points of commerce rests the village itself, an exquisite blend of urban and rural, refined and shabby, with homes (some beautifully furnished), an artist studio, a record store, an antique shop, a church, a motel, a tea room, a garage and other venues. Well-worn cars and trucks line the town's dirt streets. The BarDeco, which hosts frequent live music events, is situated at the very southwestern tip of the parcel bordering the sea. If you enjoy your visit, please consider leaving a contribution toward The Village & BarDeco's support.

04 July 2016

It all starts with a smile

Kaelyn Alecto's sim, It all starts with a smile, closed its doors for renovations several weeks ago, and recently reopened as a tropical paradise, where palms and mangroves line the shore and flamingos and waterbirds wade in peaceful lagoons. The sometimes thick jungle vegetation contrasts with broad open sightlines across inner bodies of quiet water.

Wanderers and couples will find opportunities not only to sit or cuddle through the sim — in boats, in caves, on sofas and elsewhere — but also to play in the water by floating on inflatable devices or rezzing a rowboat. Shown in these images is It all starts with a smile's default environmental settings, a deep tawny sky that blends beautifully with the rich greens of the foliage. If you enjoy the sim, please consider leaving a contribution toward its support.

03 July 2016

Inked (images NSFW)

Now on display at the DathĂșil Gallery of Art is Inked, a celebration of tattoo art by photographer Elizabeth (ElizabethNantes), featuring tattoos by 7Prodigy, Bolson, Cureless, WhiteWidow, Aitui, and SpeakEasy; poses by DelMay and Elizabeth; and models Brandon Taselian, Daze(DaisyDaze), Kazu Koray, EllaSparkss, Hillany Scofield, Jammie Hill, Joslyn Benson, 7Prodigy and Cicciuzzo Gausman.

In these beautifully crafted images — some featuring solo bodies and others a delightfully tangled mass of limbs — visitors are invited not only to enjoy the photographic compositions, but also the tattoos themselves as distinctive artworks, their forms actually accentuating the curvature of the human body. Inked will remain on display at the gallery, curated by Lucy (Lucydiam0nd) and Max Butoh, through the month of July.

01 July 2016

Snarl

"Oh, by the way, don't expect a fractal," said Mac Kanashimi as he prepared to rez the dynamic (and enormous) artwork Snarl, now open at LEA13. Here, rather than one of Mac's quintessential fractals, is a tangled mass, a snarl, "a messed up thread, fiber, vine, etc. which curls at random in every direction," as the artist says.

It is staggeringly large, rising 4,060 meters into the sky, and is filled with about 5,000 objects that beautifully curl at random in every direction. Given Snarl's size, it's not possible to visually absorb it in a single glance (set your draw distance as high as it can go), but the phantom prims do allow visitors to fly directly inside and through the structure. (Right now, the landing point is set, perhaps inadvertently, at the top of the structure, and falling through Snarl to the ground is a fascinating experience, and one way to experience its height.)

Snarl rebuilds at least once a day, from tail to head. In a notecard available on the ground level, the artist describes the methodology behind the artwork's colors and the way in which hue, saturation and lightness are used in the build. Mac acknowledges artist Mikati Slade for her assistance. Snarl will remain open until December 31.