Starz Art Corner is a Mainland boutique art gallery operated and curated by StarZ (StarZ33 McCullough). at the time of my visit, it was hosting four exhibitions: the three lower floor display areas offering works by DJ Silky (Sandralee Palianta), Baub Alred (Baub Clarity), and Sisi Biedermann respectively; the upper floor devoted to a special and personal display of art by StarZ herself.
I’ve always enjoyed Sisi’s art within Second Life; her paintings are always engaging, rich in colour and pleasing to the eye. At Starz Art Corner she presents what is probably my favourite among her many exhibitions: Wild Animals in Art. It’s an exhibit that presents exactly what it says on the introductory poster: wild animals as the subject of art. It does so in the most endearing and eye-catching of ways: the animals presented against – or as part of, in some cases – tiled mosaics of the most vibrant colours.
In viewing these paintings, it’s tempting to use the phrase, “lions and foxes and bears, oh my!” (in difference to the fact there’s no painting of a tiger here), but this runs the risk of trivialising the sheer beauty of the pieces on offer, which fully deserve to be seen first-hand. They are truly marvellous pictures in which the animals and birds come across as very much alive even when – as with the wolves and the elephant – seemingly a part of the mosaic background.
Flanking Sisi to one side is Baub Alred, a digital artist who uses physical world people as the inspiration for his art, which can tend to focus on ” the area of magic, mythos, & the macabre”.
For Starz, he presents some 13 pieces which definitely – thanks to the frequent inclusion of a little ghost, as well as the appearance the odd skull and foggy backdrop – have a decidedly Halloween feel to them. These are again marvellous pieces, beautifully executed, each with a sense of fun that is often finely juxtaposed with a more serious leaning title.
To the other side of Sisi’s exhibition is DJ Silky, who presents 19 pieces of 2D part and one 3D element – a large vase with an animated texture. There is a rich variety of styles and subject here: with five monochrome pen-and-ink pictures face off against coloured painting comprising acrylics on canvas, vector paintings, house paint on plywood and a set of very unique 2D representations of scenes painted inside wooden wine boxes.
There is a richness and depth to all of these pieces that is again incredible and which definitely holds the eye; the monochrome drawings and two vector painting in particular captivating me.
Dark Times is offered at the title for StarZ’s exhibition on the upper floor of the gallery. It’s a deeply personal exhibition with a series of dark themes: verbal abuse, depression and alcoholism – but it is also about happiness and survival, as StarZ notes. As such, she offer the pieces within the exhibition as both a means of reflecting on her own dark times, and also to offer those who are facing their own struggles and demons a sign that life can move beyond what might seem to be the most insurmountable barriers and horrifying depths of pain and depression.
The dark sounding theme of this exhibition contrasts strongly with the rich use of bold and primal colours in many of the images presented. However, colour can often be a means to define moods, emotions, feelings – love, anger, hurt, pain, resentment – that the depth of colour in these images is entirely appropriate, both in terms of giving voice to those emotions and responses felt by the artist and, conversely, as a means to demonstrate that even in our darkest moments light – as exemplified by colour – can prevail.
Abstract and expressive, Dark Times is a powerful display of art, one that hold a person within a personal mix of emotions and responses which can in turn further draw them deeper into the substance of this exhibit.
Individually and collectively, these four exhibitions make for an engaging and provocative visit without the visitor being necessarily overwhelmed by any one of them. All of which makes time spend at Starz Art Corner very worthwhile.
- Starz Art Corner (Draconis, rated: Moderate)