Art is a popular aspect of Second Life, and as anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I enjoy following elements of the SL art world. So I’ve been curious to see just what might pop-up in terms of art within Sansar, and wasn’t at all surprised to see many SL 3D artists applying for the Creator Preview – among them Livio Korobase, Cica Ghost, Moya, and Bryn Oh. However, I was recently drawn to one 3D art exhibition in particular, which has – literally – a most unusual perspective.
The Reverse Perspective Art gallery popped into my consciousness on Friday, September 1st, when I noticed it sitting high up in the Atlas listings. My interest was further piqued when, chatting at one of the Product meet-ups that same day, Sansar user Gindipple stated how much he had enjoyed a visit, and offered it as a possible venue for a future Sansar social meet-up. So, off I went to have a look.
Designed by JackTheRipper, the gallery features reproductions of eye-crossing 3D art by Patrick Hughes of the UK. Hughes is famous for his “reverspective” art – 3D pieces in which the parts of which seem farthest away are actually physically the nearest to the observer.
He achieves this by using one or more 4-sided pyramids, ranged side-by-side and with their tops cut flat. These protrude outward from their picture frame, and have the points “closest” to the observer painted or placed on the sloping sides of the pyramid(s) and the points the furthest from the observer painted or placed on the flat tops.
This results in the described optical illusion: the parts of the art on the tops of pyramid appear to be furthest away from the observer, while the elements of the pictures on the sloping sides of the pyramids appear to be much closer to the observer – as if the complete image is inset into the frame holding it, rather than protruding outward from it. A further optical effect can be achieved by moving from side-to-side in front of one of Hughes’ works (or by turning one’s head gently from side to side), which results in the picture appearing to “move” and change perspective from the observer’s viewpoint.
All of this is perfectly recaptured within the Reverse Perspective Art gallery, where some sixteen pieces are arranged in a minimalist, but effective, setting of four corridors arranged into a square, the images displayed on either wall of each hall. Ideally viewed using a VR headset (where only slight head movements are required to witness the optical effects of the images), the gallery can also be enjoyed in Desktop mode in one of two ways.
The first is to follow the instructions provided next to the experience spawn point: switch to first-person mode (F3) and walk to the red triangle before an image, face it, and then walk to the left and right. The camera will move smoothly left/right across the picture as you do so, revealing its optical illusion.
The second, if you are reasonably proficient in free-flying the camera, is to tap F4 and do so, advancing down the corridor, turning to face each picture and then sliding left/right – remember you can fine tune (slow down) your camera motion speed using the numeric pad minus (-) key. When viewing the pictures, it’s best to move left/right in front of them in one fluid movement, rather than via repeatedly tapping either arrow key or A/D. This will reveal the optical effects of each image more perfectly.
Simple in presentation, this is nevertheless an effective demonstration of Hughes’ art, and demonstrates yet another way in which an artist’s work can potentially reach a much wider audience and be enjoyed as intended, than might otherwise be the case.