The 2021 Movember art exhibition at the Men in Focus Gallery curated by JMB Balogh, open on November 1st, once again sponsored by the Men in Motion dance troupe. As with previous years, the exhibition is primarily in support of the Movember Foundation, the leading charity changing the face of men’s health, with the secondary aim of promoting and featuring photography by male Second Life artists.
For 2021, the gallery is displaying the talents of four invited 2D artists – Ethan Lane, Looker Lumet, OSO (akash25g Resident), and Akim Alonzo, whose images are displayed together with works by members of the Men in Motion Dance Troupe and 3D sculptures and pieces by Mistero Hifeng, Silas Merlin, Harry Cover (Impossibleisnotfrench) and Jⓞhan Lionheart (AndreJohan).
The owner and designer of Tulum Reserve, a publicly-accessible region, Ethan Lane specialises in avatar studies, producing single frame stories with his images designed to give flight to the imagination of those viewing them. As an explorer and photographer, he is constantly seeking new themes to incorporate into his images and new or different styles by which he can bring them to life, whilst unabashedly admitting much of his own dreaming (and what he calls his geekiness) is bound within all of his pieces.
Looker Lumet is a Belgian photographer-hobbyist who discovered Second Life photography in 2007. That discovery led him into the world of digital editing and photo-manipulation, and he notes that more than a decade on, he is still honing his post-processing skills and continuing to learn about the tools at his disposal. Through the skills he has acquired, he attempts to present his images as realistically as possible, noting that many of the technical and other improvements that have been made to the platform naturally encourage photographer to move in this direction.
“Art is always a way to express oneself when words fail and that’s the beauty of it,” OSO (akash25g Resident) says of his work and photography and art as a whole. Hailing from India, OSO has the misfortune of having witnessed many unpleasant things in life, a fact that has given him the desire to travel in a world that is free from hate and greed, and where love and care can be freely expressed – an attitude that sharply informs his photography, as can those things in life that have impacted him. His work is intense in narrative, beauty, metaphor and mood as can be particularly witnessed through his Flickr stream.
Hailing from Italy, Akim Alonzo is both a creative photographer and digital artist and the curator of the Itakos Project Gallery, which ran from 2017, when initially leveraged facilities provided by the former Linden Endowment for the Artist (LEA) grant system to display art by those artists in Second Life who might not be confident enough to apply for a grant in their own, through until 2021. Akim made the decision to close the gallery in order to focus his efforts on a new project, details of which are to be announced in the near future. as Akim has a new project in mind. In the meantime, the Itakos Project website remains as an archive of the exhibitions hosted by the project.
The upper floor of the gallery displays work by three members of the Men in Motion dance troupe – photographer and dance choreographer Antonio Atovio, Men In Motion founder Sebastain Bourne, who marks his work with as little post-processing as possible to give it a natural edge; and Quient, who came to SL as an explorer who used the platform to help educate his daughter, taking her on visits to in-world galleries and museums, before himself becoming enraptured with dance in SL and the opportunities for photography.
Located throughout the gallery’s floor are pieces by the 3D artists exhibiting at the gallery, none of whom need any introduction, their work being familiar across Second Life. All four never fail to engage their audience be it through pieces that combine the near-classical with the modern (Jⓞhan Lionheart (AndreJohan)), or those that engage the emotions (Mistero Hifeng) or offer the potential for narrative (Silas Merlin) or are simply and quite wonderfully quirky (Harry Cover),
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.