Now open at La Maison d’Aneli Gallery, curated by Aneli Abeyante, is a new ensemble art exhibition, one which offers a rich mix of virtual and physical art and photography in what is an eclectic but engaging display. On offer are pieces by Lam Erin, Renoir Adder, Bump Squeegee, Layachi Ihnen, Chapichapo Delvalle and the inimitable Moya Patrick (Moya Janus).
For those unfamiliar with Moya (Patrick Moya in the physical world), he has been a part of the artistic movement Ecole de Nice, and throughout his career has been as the forefront of artistic expression through all forms of media and technology, including virtual spaces. He is an early pioneer of video art, and was quickly drawn to the potential of virtual spaces like Second Life, in which he has been involved since 2007 and where he continues to maintain his Moya estate of four regions. He was also one of the first artists to actively promote Second Life in the physical world, with Rinascimento Virtuale, hosted by the museum of Anthropology of Florence, in 2009.
Entitled Carnaval et fêtes populaires (literally “Carnival and popular festivals”, but given the English title “Carnival and popular traditions” in English), it is a typical piece from Moya, full of vitality, reflecting elements of his physical world art. Within it is – as one would expect – his alter-ego of Moya, familiar by his Pinocchio-like nose, and little Dolly, inspired by the cloned sheep of the same name. Frivolous, engaging, with some subtle motifs, Carnaval et fêtes populaires is a colourful piece, well in keeping with the time of the year.
Below it, on the lower floor of the gallery are three exhibition spaces presenting the physical world art of three very different artists: Renoir Adder, Layachi Ihnen and Bump Squeegee.
I confess to being unfamiliar with Layachi’s art, which is offered here as the largest of the three displays. A profession of mathematics, Layachi started painting in 1969, and since 1999 has focused on mixed media, combining digital painting on computer with traditional techniques. For this exhibition, he presents pieces that reflect this mixing – notes the faces in many of the paintings -, all offered in a unique and distinctive style.
As an artist, Renoir Adder straddles genres. Within his pieces can be found elements of post-impressionism, potentially influenced by the like of Van Gogh; suggestions of Picasso; and impressionist leanings.
Much of this is in evidence in the 15 pieces displayed at La Maison d’Aneli, in the midst of which are, to my eyes, three absorbing painting of Geishas which exhibit a unique and eye-catching style that focuses the attention marvellously, encouraging the observer to work outwards from them and take in the rest of the paintings in turn.
Bump Squeegee’s collage art is, for those familiar with it, instantly recognisable. Rich in colour and style, the dozen pieces here are a marvellous selection of Bump’s work. By their very nature, these are pieces for which description is meaningless; they deserve to be seen first-hand in order to appreciate them fully.
Back on the upper level of the gallery is a selection of physical world photography by Chapichapo Delvalle. Another artists with whom I was unfamiliar, Chapichao’s work focuses on nature and natural settings, varying from full landscape pieces to focusing down to things like a small branch of pine cones set on the stonework of a footpath, offered as a series of studies in colour and style.
Colour is a major element in these images, and might be said to be a physical reflection of Chapichao’s vibrant view of Second Life.
Lam Erin, in providing full disclosure, is one of my favourite Second Life landscape artists, although I only discovered his work less than two years ago. As a virtual artist, Lam takes images captured within Second Life and transforms them into the most fantastic digital works of art, so rich in detail, you feel as if you can see the individual brush strokes in an original piece of art.
One of the hallmarks of Lam’s work is his presentation of cloudscapes. These cast a dramatic, even foreboding, look to the skies of his art that brings an added depth of realism and narrative to his paintings that is utterly remarkable. It is this attention to his clouds and skies that also makes his art redolent of some of the great masters of landscape painting.
As always from Aneli and La Maison d’Aneli, an engaging exhibition of works by talented artists, and not one to be missed.
- La Maison d’Aneli (Virtual Holland, rated: Moderate)