art in july

art in july

There is so much going on in the Second Life art world right now, it’s hard to keep up. Besides the installation The Swamp (image of Bloody Hands – The Church avatar above, free at landing), by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, the photograph exhibit Loss, by Senna Coronet, and the permanent Gallery M show The Other, by Mich Michabo, at my own gallery Berg by Nordan Art, there are some excellent art shows all over the grid.

There are two new shows at UTSA ArtSpace, curated by constructivIST Solo and Igor Ballyhoo; a collection of photographs by ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦ and an installation by Romy Nayar. The new nineteen large mostly color, and a few black and white, photographs on display here by ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦ are taken at The DNA Tower (Igor Ballyhoo), The Sacrificed Angel (Igor Ballyhoo), The Joy Formidable (Livio Korobase), Penumbra (CapCat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur) and Empty Minds (Romy Nayar). They fit so well in the beautiful gallery build created by Igor. To me, each of ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦’s images has a dream-like quality, which draws me in and consistently holds my attention. There is a painterly quality to her work, which I think at this point has become a major aspect of her style. Bravo, ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦, such a strong collection. I never tire of looking at your photographs.

The installation Lamento by Romy Nayar consists of three parts. There is a small build in the gallery itself and two other parts accessible via teleport. Each little build consists of various figures, mostly women I think, that are part of a scene, displaying some form of metaphor. It’s hard to immediately grasp the meaning of these scenes, which all seem quite subjective, all in one way or another perhaps dealing with sadness or grief. To me, Romy’s work is becoming more and more surreal, which I like. There was always something magical about her installations and that has not changed.

There is a new exhibit, Creatures of Light, by Harbor Galaxy, curated by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar, at MetaLES. There are twenty large color images on display by Harbor in the intriguing MetaLES space. The space consists of a floor and walls enveloped in a solid, black velvet-like texture and a ceiling adorned with black and white geometric 3D shapes; dispersed in rows throughout are tall, white street-light-shaped poles. Ux and Romy, the talented curators of this place, continue recognizing that the environment housing the art plays an integral part of the overall display and presentation. Love it. It’s very modern and very much immersive virtual art. It struck me, when first viewing Harbor’s images from a distance, that they remind me of something the abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock could have created. Looking closer, however, there is much more to it than that; the subject, lines, light and colors merge invisibly somehow. This is a change for Harbor from her previous style. She notes that [f]or those of you who are familiar with my work through Flickr or shows here inworld…CREATURES OF LIGHT may be something of a departure from my usual style. My objective was to use an avatar devoid of ornamentation and to only utilize poses, light and color to create these pieces and to give myself permission to play and to step outside my comfort zone. So great, Harbor; I am in awe of your utterly new and courageous  approach to virtual images.

There is a new exhibit, Absences, by Melusina Parkin, curated by Dido Haas, at Nitroglobus. Most of us know the images by Melusina from Flickr, where she regularly posts series of five or six photographs that display various themes. Her work is minimalist and I believe barely processed with any kind of photo-tools outside of Second Life. There is something incredibly captivating about viewing her series as each image provides a hint of an idea, but it is really the whole, all images in the series together, that leaves one with a lasting impression. The twelve large color images on display in the Nitroglobus address lack, specifically as it pertains to Second Life. Melusina notes about her exhibit that [a]bsence is a negative concept: it means that something should be there and it doesn’t. So, when we look at an empty place – a room, a seashore, a road or even a chair – we can’t avoid thinking of something or somebody who has been or will be there. That’s even more true when a world, including nature and landscape, is entirely made by humans, like Second Life does…[o]n the other hand, looking at empty spaces is stimulating: when humans aren’t there they can be everything. I love imagining what has happened in a place when people has gone. Or what will happen when it will be populated by people. Spaces and objects shape our behavior: they are the limits or the starts of our actions and of our imagination. This is a wonderful exhibit that should not be missed. Melusina’s photographs fit so beautifully in the Nitroglobus gallery, both compliment each other. Head over and take a look.

Let me end with a few comments about other noteworthy art events. The talented Imani Nayar has a new show, My Furillen, curated by Serene Footman, at Furillen. The exhibit Her and Him, by Hillany Scofield, at dathuil, has been extended over the summer months. There is a new multi-artist show, Beautiful Bizarre, at DaphneArts Gallery. DiXmiX Gallery had an opening of a retrospective group show, Best of 2016-2017, yesterday. There are regular rotating exhibits and weekend-themed events at the gallery Blue Orange, the most recent one, Vintage Circus Freak Show. Last, but not least, the Itakos Gallery has been awarded a LEA grant and the gallery relocated to a new sim, the LEA16 Itakos Project. The opening of the new location will take place tomorrow, Sunday, July 16, at 2PM SLT, make sure not to miss it.

As always when it comes to these monthly art reports, I feel I need to point out that there just is not enough time in the day to cover every exhibit. So there are great Second Life art shows out there that I didn’t cover, my apologies. Let me mention here also that I have rarely experienced as vibrant an art world as we see it right now in our metaverse. More than ever before, we see sim-sized installations and photograph exhibits of incredible quality, all pulled together in collaboration by visionary artists and compassionate curators. We are not getting any kind of monetary reward for doing this, we are all driven simply by the pleasure of creating and sharing art. Bravo, thank you to all and keep it coming!

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf
Exhibit posters by respective galleries and artists

art in november

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There is plenty of art to be seen in SL in November. Currently at my own gallery, Berg by Nordan Art, we have The Joy Formidable, by Livio Korobase, and L’avion en Papier, by ◦⊱Mi⊰◦, both open until the end of the year. My first stop on my gallery tour this morning then was the recently opened From here on there be dragons, by Alpha Auer, curated by Dividini Shostakovich, at Split Screen Installation Space. The installation will be open until the end of January 2017. First off, let me just say, nobody does gold in SL like Alpha Auer (previously covered here). This installation consists of several large golden dragons, mirrored in the renaissance map surface below, and surrounded by modern geometric black structures. Alpha notes that [w]hen Medieval and Renaissance map makers got to the edge of the world, they used to write “beyond this place there be dragons,” meaning dangerous or unexplored territories that sailors should beware of before attempting to cross into them. This was expressed by the visual practice of putting dragons, sea serpents and other mythological creatures in uncharted areas of maps. In this installation I have used a Renaissance map, a leaf from Abraham Ortelius’s “Theatrum Orbis Terrarum,” as the floor of a dark, geometric architecture which floats high in the sky, depicting an abstract, reflected world guarded by tangibly real-looking dragons. Alpha Auer, aka Elif Ayiter, is a designer, educator and researcher, you can read more about what she does on her website.

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My second gallery stop was the exhibit Always Closer, by the French artist Lil’ Frenchie elo, curated by Dido Haas at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery. The exhibit will be open until the end of December 2016. Here we find sixteen large photographs, mostly studies of BDSM, beautifully put together and quite expressive. Elo notes that [s]ubmission is the ability to give the best of you to the one you love, without any questioning about the reasons of this love. It’s there, that’s all and you must show it, you must say it, and get Always Closer to it, because life is too short. Great job putting this together Elo, congratulations.

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At MetaLES, curated by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar, is still open on the ground the installation Tumor by Igor Ballyhoo. In the MetaLES sky space can be found the exhibit, Tout Est Allume, by  Tutsy Navarathna. This is a compilation of 16 machinima and 19 animated shorts by Tutsy. About this exhibit, he notes that [a] friend of mine, Etienne Armand Amato, once mentioned this: It’s because we only have one life we need . . . several. Virtual reality, augmented reality, virtual life, immersive worlds … These new words describe a part of our future. My movies in Second Life try to show how virtuality is part of our reality. The influence it has on our thoughts, our artistic creations, our friendly or romantic relationships. A phenomenon still very young, virtual life has a bright future and like all major revolutions it is worth to see more closely, trying to understand, even flying too close to the sun and burn your wings . . . The show will be open until the end of the year.

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Lastly, we have an exhibit an multi-artist exhibit by Maloe Vansant, Fingers Scintilla and Dixmix Source at the DIXMIX Gallery, which opens tomorrow, Wednesday, November 23 at 12 PM SLT. Head over to the opening if you can, it promises to be a great exhibit by these three talented photographers.

Photograph on top by Kate Bergdorf

Art Highlights in July

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The arts are alive and kicking in Second Life. There are several installations and exhibits on display at the moment and I figured I’d compile some of them here. This is by no means a complete list, but merely a few suggestions. Most of these events have already been posted by myself and other bloggers and I provide links when this is the case. So here are some of the SL July art highlights, listed in no particular order at all.

Gallery: MetaLES
Exhibit: Bury your fears – Bury your dreams
Curator(s): Ux Hax and Romy Nayar
About: See Ziki Questi’s Blog
Artist(s): Selavy Oh
Time: Last day is August 8, 2016

Gallery: Berg by Nordan Art
Exhibit: Yesterday: Retrospective and Close Ups of a Doll
Curator(s): Kate Bergdorf
About: See The Bergdorf Reports
Artist(s): Maloe Vansant
Time: July through September 2016

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Gallery: The Pretentious Gallery (former Broadstreet Gallery)
Exhibit: MEN
Curator(s): Isa Messioptra
About: Men. Some are strong, some are sweet. Some are slobs with smelly feet. Men come in all varieties, handsome, sexy, dashing, sensitive, brilliant, brave, pompous, bastards, pigs, assholes etc. For this months exhibit Isa Messioptra asked ten women to submit an image depicting men through their own experiences.
Artist(s): .kiki, Jammeh, Amona Savira, imani Nayer, Tatiana Easterwood, Maloe Vansant, Kate Bergdorf, Isa Messioptra, Jordan Giant, Oakley Foxtrot
Time: Opens Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 12 PM SLT (open for about a month)

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Gallery: dathuil Gallery of Art
Exhibit: Inked
Curator(s): Lucy Diamond and Max Butoh
About: See The Bergdorf Reports
Artist(s): ElizabethNantes
Time: Open for the month of July 2016

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Gallery: Furillen Gallery
ExhibitWorks by Ini Inaka
Curator(s): Serene Footman
About: Photography by Ini Inaka
Artist(s): Ini Inaka
Time: Closes sometime in August 2016

Gallery: LEA13
Exhibit: Snarl
Curator(s): Mac Kanashimi
About: See The Bergdorf Reports
Artist(s): Mac Kanashimi
Time: Open until the end of the year 2016

Gallery: The Good Days Gallery
Exhibit: [in the dark]
Curator(s): G o o d C r o s s
About: Photographs by Mr. Gausman
Artist(s): Cicciuzzo Gausman
Time: Ends early August 2016

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Gallery: Nitroglubus Hall
Exhibit: All_Most Real
Curator(s): Dido Haas
About: See The Bergdorf Reports
Artist(s): MM (Mysterr)
Time: July and August 2016

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Gallery: UTSA ArtSpace
Exhibit: Reopening of UTSA
Curator(s): constructivIST Solo
About: See The Bergdorf Reports
Artist(s): Rebeca Bashly, Igor Ballyhoo,Eupalinos Ugajin, Ini Inaka, and Bryn Oh
Time: Closes last day of July 2016

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Gallery: Dixmix Gallery
Exhibit: The Bearable Lazyness of Being
Curator(s): dixmix Source
About: Photographs by Maloe Vansant and Burk Bode
Artist(s): Maloe Vansant and Burk Bode
Time: Unknown

Top photograph of MetaLES exhibit by Kate Bergdorf

All_Most Real

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There is a tremendously beautiful exhibit, All_Most Real, by the talented MM (Mysterr), currently at Nitroglobus Hall. Eighteen large black and white photographs, depicting both real and virtual life nude subjects, adorn the walls of the vast gallery space (which, by the way, is so very suitable for this kind of photography). It is not readily apparent which pictures display real life or virtual life and perhaps this is in fact intended since our virtual and real life experiences so often overlap. The artist notes that [t]he exhibition ALL_MOST REAL is a quest on reality and perception, and how they influence our emotions. We know perceptions win over facts and reality so many times, conditioning our lives. In MM’s 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… It does not really matter that you solve the puzzle. Believe in what you want to believe… Change your beliefs along the path. “Life is a journey, not a destination”… The only way possible should be a free one. Congratulations both to MM for these exquisite photographs and to Dido Haas for curating. The show will be up until the end of August.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Ini in Inaka at Nitroglobus Hall

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Ini in Inaka is the first artist showing her work at the newly opened Nitroglobus Hall and her exhibit The Journey Home opened on January 15, 2016. Ini’s work looks great on the large-scale canvases in this space and some of the images are truly outstanding. Nitroglobus Hall is the new gallery by Dido Haas; this space looks much like the old gallery, with gorgeous shiny floors, high ceilings and large wall surfaces. Head over and take a look!

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

The Path

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There is a new show at Nitroglobus Gallery that I mentioned in an earlier post; we went back to visit and I decided to put together a more detailed impression of this outstanding exhibit. The exhibit, curated by Dido Haas, really consists of two parts so I ended up also putting together two posts, one about The Path by Nitro Fireguard here and another one about What If…by Senna Coronet and MM (Mysterr).

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The statues created by Nitro are avatar-sized mesh figures and other abstract objects with a shiny metal finish. These have been placed in various positions on paths that branch out and extend throughout the gallery and are framed by the photographs by MM (Mysterr) and Senna Coronet. Each little road offers a different experience and ultimately also a different destination. Based on the myth of Sisyphus, the installation touches upon issues surrounding man’s search for meaning in life. In Greek mythology Sisyphus was the king of Ephyra, punished for his actions to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, repeating this action for eternity. Nitro successfully integrates this notion into his beautiful installation, taking us down winding roads on journeys of struggle, love and discovery. This is such a strong body of work. Bravo, Nitro.

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I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy. (Albert Camus, 1942, The Myth Of Sisyphus)

Photographs by Tutsy Navarathna

What If…

1What If by Senna Coronet and MM (Mysterr) is one part out of a two-part exhibit that opened a few days ago at the Nitroglobus Gallery. I will add a post about the other part of the exhibit, The Path by Nitro Fireguard, here on this blog very soon. Curated by Dido Haas, this show is an extraordinarily beautiful fit for the gallery with its expansive size and reflective floors. The large-sized images on the walls work incredibly well. The photographs also complement the sculptures by Nitro without overpowering them; all in all this is one of the best shows I have seen in this gallery so far.

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This exhibit by Senna and Mysterr is inspired by the poem If by Rudyard Kipling. The photographs are about longing and the possibility of love as well as the fear of loss. The images are all large and seem oversized, the nude bodies depicted expand over the entirety of the surfaces and cover them completely. It is hard to look away. The bodies in these images are either entangled in poses or alone. There is such strong sensual emotion depicted here. For those of us who know the photographs by these two artists from Flickr, this show is even the more remarkable I think. The work we have seen by them is already so stellar and now this. Fantastic work, Senna and Mysterr!

Photographs of images by Senna Coronet and Mysterr by Kate Bergdorf

série noire

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There are lots of art gallery and art installation openings in Second Life going on right now, which means I have become a very busy blogger. The exhibit I am writing about today is Tutsy Navarathna‘s série noire at the Nitroglobus Gallery, which opens with a série noire-inspired party on Sunday, July 19, 2015 at 12 PM SLT. To most of us, Tutsy is known as an award-winning Second Life machinima maker; more recently he is also increasingly active within the realm of photography. His new exhibit, série noire, has been skillfully curated by Dido Haas and is shown in the gorgeous Nitroglobus Gallery, built by Nitro Fireguard. There is little doubt in my mind that this is one of the most beautiful large-scale galleries in Second Life at this time; several large rooms, some with a glass-like floor that truly has me stunned, come together to form a beautiful and cohesive exhibit space. The exhibit contains images by Tutsy and sculptures by his friend Nitro. Inspired by the série noire, a French publishing imprint founded in 1945 by Marcel Duhamel, the works here are all in one way or another related to the themes of love, hate, passion, detectives and crime. Head over and take a look and join the party on Sunday, which promises to be great fun!

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Photograph on top of Tutsy Navarathna’s photograph You Never Know With Women! by Kate Bergdorf
Poster on bottom by Tutsy Navarathna