No Life Without Art in Second Life

No Life Without Art: Kandinsky

“My passion for art has been part of my virtual life from the start, and in RL began many years ago,” Alo (Aloisio Congrejo) says of himself. “As an artistic ‘consumer’ there have been many artists both great and lesser known that I have followed and admired, but what is most important to me is to see the work of anyone who can craft various media in such a way as to express their feelings.”

Thus it is that for his latest exhibition, No Life Without Art, he uses his own artistic expressionism to celebrate some of the most influential artists of the early 20th century – Wassily Kandinsky, credited with painting one of the first recognised purely abstract works; Paul Klee, whose unique approach to art drew upon abstraction, cubism, expressionism and surrealism and surrealists Joan Miró, René Magritte and Giorgio de Chirico.

No Life Without Art: Giorgio de Chirico

A visit to the installation begins on a platform overlooking a 3D tribute to Kandinsky with a piece that – for me at least – echoes his Small World pieces, produced in the 1920s when teaching at the Bauhaus in Berlin. This part of the installation is perhaps best viewed from above and by camming, although there is a walkway leading down to it for those who wish to explore more closely.

Beneath this, and reached via teleport board at the landing point sit the tributes to Giorgio de Chirico and René Magritte. In the early years of the 20th century, de Chirico founded the scuola metafisica metaphysical art movement, which profoundly influenced the surrealists. Featuring dream-like scenes offering strong contrasts in light and shadow and often with an undertone of mystery or threat, the movement flourished through the second decade of the 20th Century and is notable commemorated in this installation through the inclusion of a representation of The Disquieting Muses (circa 1917) and what might be a play on The Seer (circa 1914/15), together with architecture and backgrounds reflecting those seen in many of de Chirico’s works from this period.

No Life Without Art: René Magritte

Set across three platforms linked by walkways, the de Chirico pieces overlook a wall of identical pieces which offer a play on Magritte’s 1964 composition The Son Of Man and which also might be said it echo his 1966 piece, The Pilgrim. These form a link with the lowest level, where the artists is again celebrated, with another image of a faceless man, together with that of an apple, which for Magritte symbolised the tension between the hidden and visible.  Both of these images are also symbolic for the artist’s influence on the pop, minimalist and conceptual art movements, whilst also offering a tip of the hat towards his own playful use of art.

This level also celebrates Joan Miró and Paul Klee, with the latter’s highly individualistic style very well represented through a reproduction of his 1922 composition, Red Balloon, and a 3D representation of Flagged Pavilion (1927), while Miro is represented by his 1925 work, The Garden.

No Life Without Art: Paul Klee

All five artists are well represented, and Alo also provides biographical note cards on each, allowing visitors to gain a greater understanding of their lives and works. In introducing himself, Alo notes that he appreciates those who can express their feelings through their art. In No Life Without Art, he clearly reveals his own depth of feeling for, and admiration of, these five influential and provocative artists.

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