Art and artistry: Toysoldier Thor

Toysoldier Thor
Toysoldier Thor

Blogger, activist, supporter of live entertainment, raconteur, content creator – there are many ways in which Toysoldier Thor can be defined. However, the one by which he is perhaps best known is that of artist – and deservedly so.

A resident of Second Life since 2008, Toy works in both 2D and 3D mediums, many of which bridge the physical and virtual “divide” in the most interesting of ways. While his art has been widely exhibited across the grid – and even interpreted through dance – perhaps the best way to become acquainted with his work is by visiting his in-world gallery.

Toysoldier Thor
Toysoldier Thor

It would be easy to attempt witticism by referring to the gallery as his “toybox”,  but it would also be unfair; what is on offer across five floors of viewing rooms is a veritable treasure trove of unique art. All of the pieces on display are available for purchase (and any aficionado of art is going to be hard-pressed not to walk away with one or two purchases); but more to the point, each comes with its one descriptive note card, obtained by touching the work in question.

These cards are well worth reading. Far from being a purely descriptive piece on the art itself, they delve into the history of the work  – the inspiration behind it, the techniques used to produce it, the sources from which Toy drew in developing it, and so on. In this way, the cards not only reveal more about the piece, they allow us to share in the entire creative process, and provide links to influences and so on, thus providing a unique insight into not only Toy’s craft, but also to Toy himself.

Toysoldier Thor
Toysoldier Thor

The uppermost floor of the gallery includes a number of Toy’s mesh sculptures, including the remarkable Shattered. A remarkable and emotive piece Toy has produced as both 2D art in the physical world and a 3D mesh model in Second Life, Shattered and the artist have been engaged on a remarkable journey, further narrowing the perceived divide between the virtual and the physical; the piece first becoming a 3D printed model, and which now looks set to become cast in bronze in the physical world as well (and which you can still pre-order).

It’s actually this element of physical / virtual cross-over that I find really compelling in Toy’s art. By this, I don’t mean how he might use Photoshop or other digital wizardry in order to edit and enhance photos originating from in-world, but how he actually combines virtual and physical world images to create some quite spectacular works of art. As examples of this, I would point visitors to both Assassin’s Prayer and to Death Seer (seen in the above picture, on the right), which are, in a gallery of quite extraordinary art, utterly stunning.

Toysoldier Thor
Toysoldier Thor

Those familiar with toy’s work will need no prompting when it comes to a visit to his gallery. If, however, you’ve not taken the time to pay a visit, then it is well worth adding to your itinerary. Anyone who enjoys and appreciates art in either the virtual or the physical world is unlikely to be disappointed; quite the reverse, in fact.

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4 thoughts on “Art and artistry: Toysoldier Thor

  1. WOW Inara! What a complete and pleasant surprise tonight!! I did not know about this blog posting at all. I was at a live music event tonight.

    Some stranger IMed me and thanked me for sharing my art in SL and that she loved Inara’s article of me. I said “What??” since I was just written up on another article so I thought she meant that. Then she passed me the link.

    What an awesome article and so humbling. So glad you actually came to visit my gallery and how well you captured what i think is an important part of my art – my “artist comment” notecards I write for each work I create.

    An honor… thanks!


    1. 🙂

      You’re very welcome, Toy, and so glad you like the piece! I do actually owe you an apology, both for not having written-up something a lot sooner, and for the fact while I did start this one a little while ago, it got stuck in a “draft” state, waiting for me to get myself sorted out so I could hop over again and re-take a number of photos.

      I do think your “artist’s comments” note cards add considerable depth to the items you have on display. It adds enormous depth to exhibitions when an artist provides such individual write-ups, and as noted in the article, I think yours present such a fully-rounded view of the art, the creative process and you as an artist and a person, that people really shouldn’t miss taking the time to stop and read them. It’s very much akin to touring the gallery with an exhibition catalogue in hand.

      Good luck with the bronze casting as well; that really is a story in its own right!


      1. Thanks Inara again. And YES you will likely hear a lot about the Bronze Casting project as soon as I get the finished castings in my hands. 🙂 I might have to ask Ebbe for a photo op with his edition of the casting.


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