DiXmiX Gallery, curated by Dixmix Source, is currently hosting three exhibitions side-by-side by Second Life artists, all of which opened in April and run through (at least in part) to May. As is always the case with this gallery, the exhibitions are both intriguing and a little frustrating.
First up, and in the foyer area of the Grey Gallery, is I’m a Magic Marker (SquarePegRoundHole69), an artist to whom I was introduced – or her work at least – by Sorcha Tyles. “For me, Second Life is a way to escape into a novel that you write yourself, but with me, the story is generally without a plot,” Magic said at the time of her exhibition at Sorcha’s gallery. “Some images are cathartic, some are just because I like to look at pretty things.”
It’s a point of view that can be applied to the twelve images offered at DiXmiX. Quirky, eye-catching and often featuring bold colours which demand our attention, they present attention-grabbing avatar studies (with a little nudity in places). Some might appear to be straight-forward almost studio style photos (such as “#1” and “#7”); others offer that opening to a story mentioned in passing by Magic, while some evoke echoes of art and artistry from other sources – notably #5 and the wonderfully eye-catching #3 with its hint of a Jackson pollack influence.
Adjoining this in the ground floor Black Gallery is Blanc by Oyo, a series of fourteen quite striking studies, largely of avatars, but also featuring landscapes, in which white – and the title might suggest – plays something of a role almost throughout. Again untitled, given only a number, these are attention-holding studies which although free from narrative, instantly draw one into them each in turn. There is a vibrancy and life within each, beautifully encapsulated in their largely muted tones.
Most of the images stand as individual pieces, each to be appreciated in its own right. the exceptions to this are “IV”, “V” and “VI” which form an impressive triptych-like trio of images (above), each on standing as an individual piece, but all three combine perfectly together to form a single and evocative whole; a glimpse of a vacation or favourite coastal place caught in the mind’s eye.
On the upper floor of the gallery, in the White Gallery space, is 12 Photographers and 1 Chair, by Mr. S. As the name implies, this is a set of twelve studies of Second Life photographers – all of them male, and welcome in an age where the camera is still often preoccupied with studies of the female form – seated in an armchair and presented with a glimpse of their own work as a backdrop.
Caught in the same lighting, the 12 artists, Yann Whoa, Aran M., Skippy Beresford, Dixmix Source, Terry Fotherington, Gaus, Burk Bode, SL Senna, Moon Edenbaum, Oscar Sabra, Vrir Resident and Serene Footman, all make for intriguing studies; although I did find that in a couple of the images, the supporting “background” image tended to draw my eyes away from the main subject perhaps a little too much. Nevertheless, these are striking studies, and with several, I couldn’t help but feel Mr. S had caught not only the look, but the very essence of his subjects through both their portrait and the selected supporting image.
My frustration, such as it is, lies again with the lack of liner notes accompanying this three exhibitions. With 12 Photographers and 1 Chair in particular, it would have been interesting to get Mr. S’s perspective on his images, and perhaps those of some of his subjects. This (usual) quibble aside, all three exhibits are well worth a visit.
- DiXmiX Gallery (Bay Port, rated: Moderate)