Photography and painting in Second Life

Club LA and Gallery – Liz Winterstorm

Now available on the ground level at Club LA and Gallery, curated by Fuyuko ‘冬子’ Amano (Wintergeist), are two small exhibitions of art and photography available for public appreciation, and which together demonstrate the broad canvas of art in Second Life. To one side of this boutique-style gallery with its own garden space behind it, is an exhibition of Second Life photography by Liz Winterstorm (TinLiz); on the other are reproductions of physical world art by Vangogh Rembranch.

Officially opening at 12:00 noon on Saturday, February 3rd 2018, the exhibition by Liz Winterstorm presents six avatar studies taken from around Second Life. Set within a display area modelled to enhance the pieces with props, this is something of an autobiographical exhibition, with Liz noting that (like many) when she came into SL, she went through the usual round of shopping, spending time with friends, trying new looks, having fun, but without any real sense of purpose to her in-world time. At least until she discovered photography.

Club LA and Gallery – Liz Winterstorm

As her creativity evolved and her confidence grew, so  did her connection with her avatar. “She depicts a part of me that I’ve never really shown anyone,” Liz notes. “In the world of Second Life, when a person can be anyone they want to be, it’s given me the freedom to be the truest form of myself. And I’m very thankful to have this creative outlet, it’s made me look at myself differently and with that has come knowledge and strength. ”

And so it is that while small in number, the images she offers at Club LA and Gallery offer a rich insight into a person who embraces her creativity and who enjoys natural settings, finding them to be perhaps reflective of her moods and thoughts. Each brings together colour, tone, framing, perspective and proportion both naturally and perfectly; which in each there is a suggestion of someone who, while not lonely or afraid of company, enjoys the freedom of being on her own, and the opportunities for private expression it brings. Similarly, the props offered in the exhibition space reflects more of Liz’s creativity; framing the pieces at they do, they heighten appreciation of the images by suggesting not so much viewing photographs, but that we are new friends, invited to share a few quiet and personal moments with Liz.

Club LA and Gallery – Vangogh Rembranch

Italian artist Vangogh Rembranch, by contrast, presents nine reproductions of his physical world art, the majority of which are presented in strong, bold colours, and within an open display area bereft of furnishings or set design which serves to emphasise their boldness. Self-taught, and as his name might suggest, Vangogh is strongly influenced by the art of Vincent Van Gogh, and this is marvellously reflected in the pieces exhibited at Club LA and Gallery. He is also known for his skill in reproducing works by some of the great Impressionists.

Eight of the painting presented here appear to be originals by Vangogh, representing – I believe – scenes from around the Apulia (Puglia) region of Italy – which many might know as being popularly referred to as the “heel” of Italy’s boot. These are all strikingly evocative of Vincent Van Gogh’s art without being derivative. The use of colour, the style and composition all echo Van Gogh, while the subject matter is unique and individual. Among these is one in particular that caught my eye: Vento di luna (“Moon Wind”); with its cold blue tones, to the sky, the white dots of leaves and the shape of the trees are all reminiscent of The Starry Night.

Club LA and Gallery – Vangogh Rembranch

The last image in the series demonstrates Vangogh’s ability to reproduce the work of Impressionist painters. It is a representation of Rue de Paris, Temps de Pluie  (“Paris Street; Rainy Day”) by Gustave Caillebotte. Originally painted in oil in 1877, it is Caillebotte’s most famous work, and Vangogh reproduces it here in detail; but again, rather than being a direct copy, Vangogh offers something of an interpretive approach to his version, which he calls Giorno di Pioggia a Parigi (“Rainy Day in Paris”).

Together these two exhibits offer and interesting pairing. One, as noted, presents in-world photography and the other, physical world painting uploaded to Second Life. They are both strongly contrasting in art, presentation and style, whilst also being complementary – one naturally draws visitor to the other, and encourages consideration of both.

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