Officially opening on Saturday November 7th, is the annual Movember art exhibition at the Men in Focus Gallery, curated by JMB Balogh. Sponsored by the Men in Motion dance troupe, the exhibition is in support of the Movember Foundation, and furthers the gallery’s aim to both promote and feature photography by male artists.
Once again, I was graciously granted the opportunity to preview the exhibition – thank you, Jo! – which sees 2D artists Darkyn Dover, Winter Jefferson, Pavel Stransky and Arnno Planer join several of the Men in Motion dance troupe in displaying their work, together with 3D artists Mistero Hifeng, Luc Lameth and Reycharles.
Of the 2D artists, I’ve long been familiar with the work of both Darkyn Dover’s Pavel Stransky, and admire both for their ability to frame images as stories. This is very much displayed with the selections they present in this exhibition, where Darkyn’s work can be found on the ground floor and Pavel on the third, with some more “traditional” posed avatar studies (lying on the beach and looking out to sea) and portraits (notably Pavel’s striking studio-like piece simply entitled Portrait) added to the mix.
For those images offering a narrative, within these two selections, I found myself particularly drawn to: Darkyn’s No Ideas, which offers both a story in its own right whilst offering a strong feeling of familiarity and understanding for those of us who have ever suffered from a bout of extended writer’s block. Meanwhile, Pavel’s Singing in the Rain, which not only brings to mind Gene Kelly’s entire magical dance routine from that film, but also tells a story of Kelly’s entire genius as a dancer and the heyday of the Hollywood musical; it’s a genuinely evocative piece, beautifully framed.
Sandwiching Pavel’s work are the selections are those by Winter Jefferson (2nd floor) and Arnno Planer (4th floor). Both offer more “traditional” avatar studies, mostly tightly focused on the avatar such that while costumes are used, the narrative that might be offered is a lot narrower in presentation. This is not a critique of either artist in any way at all; every artist in SL has a specific style and approach to their work, and both Arnno and Winter’s work is engaging and very much broaden the mix of art here.
Of the 3D artists, all are making a return to the gallery, and their pieces – as enticing as ever – can be found on each of the guest artists levels, and the two levels devoted to the art of members of the Men in Motion dance troupe.
The Movember exhibit officially opens with a 2-hour event featuring the music of Ame Starostin Cheveyo, starting at 17:00 SLT on Saturday, November 7th.
About the Movember Foundation
The Movember Foundation is a multinational charity raising awareness of, and money for, men’s health and welfare, with a focus on cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Its titular and widely known campaign is Movember, which encourages men to grow moustaches during the month of November. The foundation partners annually with the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride to also raise money for men’s health.
Founded in 2003, in Melbourne, Australia by Adam Garone, Travis Garone, Luke Slattery, and Justin Coghlan, the organisation attained registered charity status in 2006, and has raised approximately US $700m in charitable donations. These funds have been used to fund more than 800 programmes focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, men’s health awareness and healthy lifestyles. It is active in 21 countries and has a global workforce of 130 people. In addition, Movember coincides with International Men’s Day (November 19th), which among its aims, shares the goal of promoting the health and well-being of men and boys.