“When I started in Second Life, I’d never worked in digital art, and photography for me in either world was a mystery. When a friend mentioned I might enjoy this activity in Second Life, I laughed at him. I am the person with the shaky, blurry picture in RL photos, even with an automatic zoom. Slowly and tentatively I started trying to be artistic with pictures, which were of course initially hideous. I became obsessed with the effort.”
So open the introductory notes Molly Bloom has provided for the latest exhibition of her work, which opens at the Renaissance Gallery, curated by JolieElle Parfort, which officially opens on Monday, July 27th.
Entitled Artist Evolution, the exhibit offers an examination of Molly’s SL art as it has evolved together with her mastery of the many composite elements that go into her work. As such it is a fascinating piece, not only for those who – like me – enjoy Molly’s work immensely, but for anyone interested in how an artist develops their eye, style, skill and artistry.
The pieces on display present the visitor with something of a historical look at Molly’s work as it has evolved, from her first “flat” snapshot (seen on the left wall as one enters the gallery), and progressing through her learning to build sets and make poses, discovering the power of lighting and lighting tools, to the influence of physical world art on her digital work as a result of her studies as an art history student.
“[I] have always been fascinated with Chiaroscuro, or the use of strong contrasts of dark and light. Artists Raphael, Caravaggio, Rubens and a host of others from the 15th Century are known for this technique,” Molly says. “My first very serious work was a reproduction of this lighting technique set in a classical style [shown in the headline image for this review, and in more detail directly above, left] … That lighting technique became my signature. From there I started playing with adding 3D elements to my work …”
…And thus we come to Molly’s stunning 3D art pieces which have so delighted audiences in Second Life wherever they’ve been displayed, and which I’ve previously covered in the pages of this blog when reviewing exhibitions such as Brain-Gasm, Rock’n’Roll, and Depth Perception.
The evolution of style and content is clear through the pieces displayed. But more than that, this exhibit also reveals more about the artist herself; through the works displayed here, we also catch a sight of her drive, her determination to master new techniques, to expand her own abilities and her range of creative expression. There’s a joy in art to be witnessed here that underlines the fact that this is both an insightful and delightful exhibition; one not to be missed.
- Artist Evolution, Renaissance Gallery (Rated: Moderate)