Akim Alonzo, owner and creator of The Itakos Project, is also an excellent photographer artist in his own right, as I’ve noted in a number of pieces in this blog where I’ve covered his exhibitions (see Water and a Matrix: Reflections on Life by Akim Alonzo, for example).
The latest selection of Akim’s work is now on display at the Main Gallery of the Kondor Art Centre, curated by Hermes Kondor. It presents a mix of works that offer a choice of themes within it, and which also echo past exhibition themes Akim has produced, making for another eye-catching and thought-provoking display of art from a man who is a master of frame, tone and composition.
The images presented are offered under the title of Anima and comprise 27 individual images and 2 slide shows. One of the latter pages through a selection of the images on display, the other displays a collection of additional portraits. Between them, these two slide shows present the core themes to be found within this collection – both of which intertwine into a single, larger perspective.
One of these themes is that of the avatar-as-a-person. Avatar studies are a common theme with Second Life art – although more often than not, such studies tend to focus on presenting an emotional story / emotive response utilising the entire image – expression, pose, surroundings, etc., – that together form a single frame narrative. Akim, however, is one of the few Second Life artists who takes a very deliberate path in his studies: one that focuses on the emotions that may exist within an avatar.
Whether these emotions are real, or a projection of our own, or a reflection of the emotions Akim felt in composing each image, really doesn’t matter; although I would suggest that there is combination of all of these aspects involved. What is important is that each piece is a marvellously layered composition, the focus always on the subject, the background and lighting a means to project / capture the emotions that we see as coming from within the avatar. This are pieces that make extraordinary use of chiaroscuro to imbue the subject of each image with a depth of life and feeling that is bewitching.
The second theme to be found within this collection is that of life itself – real or virtual – and the questions we can harbour about it; in this, some of the pieces are drawn from or reflect his 2019 exhibition The Matrix. There is a wealth of metaphor within these particular pieces – the majority of which can be found on the gallery’s upper floor – and also question: what is real? Is the digital realm any less “real” than the physical? Might we all in fact be unwittingly operating within a virtual realm, our need to project ourselves into a digital realm a reflection of this?
Both of these thematic strands come together to offer a broader set of ideas / questions related to the identity, self and who we are as individuals; to questions of – dare I say it – soul.
Beautifully composed, perfectly executed and presented, Anima is an extraordinary exhibition by an extraordinary artist.
- Kondor Main Gallery (Waka, rated Moderate)