Impressions and surrealism in Second Life

ArtCare Gallery, August 2021: Anja and Therese Carfagno

August 26th, 2021 saw the opening of a joint exhibition at Carelyna’s ArtCare Gallery. featuring the work of two very different artists whose work nevertheless presents something of a whole when presented side-by-side.

Anja (Neobookie) describes herself as a Second Life photographer who enjoys exploring Second Life and capturing the places she visits – as witnessed with her Flickr stream.  However, as she has demonstrated in recent exhibitions, she has a gift for creating pieces of surrealist art that perfectly encompass the richness of that movement, and at ArtCare she presents six large-format pieces in proof of this.

Each offers a backdrop of a wooden fence in front of which has been strung a washing line, and it is what is on the line that forms the focus of each piece. Offered in vibrant colours, these subject range from surf boards to toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes, passing by way of  Minion handbags and melting ice lollies. and more.

ArtCare Gallery, August 2021: Anja

These are images that initially appear simple in their presentation, rich in colour but which – for those who look – perhaps offer a little comment on life and living (might Minion Bags, for example a commentary on the drive for us all to conform as best we can to the dictates of  modern consumerism, and Ice Ice Baby a reflection on the passage of time (or the brevity of summer?). But however you take them, there is no mistaking the joy and lightness each piece offers when simply taken in its ability to bring together the ordinary and the extraordinary to create completely something truly unique and engaging.

Therese Carfagno is an artist with an intriguing range of styles and presentation that can encompass real and Second Life photography, her work touching upon abstraction, collage, impressionism, expressionism and more.

The pieces offered at ArtCare very much reflect this richness; they are also offered as “families” or “collections” of themed images, ranging from pairs of pieces through to a quartet entitled Blood. Within them we can find abstraction in the form of Wall, collage in the triple set entitled Sophia and digital overlays with the Sita pairing – and more, including a touch of sensuality a triple set of monochrome pieces. However, the most striking set is that of Blood, a quartet of portraits, again monochrome, that offer a depth of narrative that forces the attention to come back to it over and over.

ArtCare Gallery, August 2021: Therese Carfagno

The contrast between these two small exhibitions couldn’t be stronger in terms of colour: Anja’s works are all vibrantly saturated in their use of colour, their brightness infectious. With the exception of the Wall and Sophia series, Therese’s selection is generally heavier in tone – if not mood;  the colours more muted, and lean more towards monochrome. Individually, they are very different selections, yet together they offer a flow of art and style from one to the other that is impressively engaging.

Needless to say, a visit to this joint exhibition is highly recommended.

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