I made my first 2021 trip to the GenovArt Galleries, curated by Juna (Junanuj) this week to take in the latest exhibition to open at the centre’s B&W hall. It will certainly no be my last.
Featuring the work of Calypso Applewhyte, Sandi Benelli, Sisi Biedermann and Christower Dae, the exhibition opened on Monday May 31st, and is very much a must-see collection of art by SL artists and photographers I highly respect or am just coming to appreciate.
Sisi Biedermann is someone who needs no introduction to those who regularly read these pages. I have been, and remain, in awe of her artistry, which is broad-ranging in style and technique, encompassing everything from photography to oil or watercolour on canvas, etchings, tiled mosaics, and digital mixed media, whilst encompassing just about every kind of subject.
The pieces offered at GenovArt are very much from Sisi’s digital etching / collage portfolio, and they take visitors on the most captivating journeys into nature and spring, featuring as they do the rich diversity of bloom and flower and the vibrancy of life they represent.
Across the hall, Caly Applewhyte presents an exhibition of two parts, each entitled Geisha, and repectively sub-titled In the Soul and Next Gen.
Caly is, without a doubt one of the most gifted and evocative avatar portrait artists in Second Life – and this portfolio of her art is utterly astounding. Offered as oils-on-canvas, with brooding deep tones and background, these are pieces that are deeply alive and vibrant in the degree of life and vitality running through them and bringing to the fore a narrative of the Geisha as the mother, warrior, daughter, lover, artist – the very soul of her civilisation.
Sandi Bellini sees her art as a means of achieve freedom and peace from the scurrying demands of life, and anyone who has seen her Second Life landscape images cannot fail to have felt that same sense of calmness and escape wash over them. Often using muted tones or backgrounds against which deeper colours are set, Sandi has a way of bringing the places she has imaged not just to life, but as locations in which you can place yourself such that you can feel the breeze, hear the splash of water, touch the softness of the grass or the roughness of the wood found within them.
I’m not aware of having encountered the avatar photography of Christower Dae (ChrisTower Dae) previously, but on the strength of the pieces offered on the upper level of the hall at GenovArt alongside Sandi’ space, I want to see more.
Set on white backdrops and within a white space that brings them vividly before the eye, these are portraits of avatars that are incredibly life-like; the deftness of touch in post-processing is quite extraordinary – so much so that it is almost invisible, and the eye becomes convinced that it is not looking upon images of digital characters, but into the faces of living, breathing people.
Bringing together four truly unique talents into a single space, this ensemble exhibition at the GenovArt B&W Gallery is a must see – and be sure to walk across the Glass Gallery hall, where four more artists may be appreciated – and to which I’ll be returning for another article anon.
- GenovArt B&W Gallery (Nabru City, rated; Adult)