Towards the start of the year I wrote about the simply brilliant art of Kraven Klees, at the time being exhibited at Chuck Clip’s Janus Gallery I, Sinful Retreat (see: The digital mastery of Kraven Klees in Second Life). It therefore seems only right that as the year draws to a close, I return to Sinful Retreat and the Janus Gallery III, where Kraven is again the guest artist – and once again, presents a simply magnificent select of his work.
While it is a term more usually applied to the world of film and the idea of cinematic collaboration, it’s hard to look at Kraven’s digital art and not see him as a auteur. By taking photographs and combining them with both fractal generating software and assorted art genres – impressionism, abstractionism, surrealism, Kraven works subjectively to bring together multiple ideas and techniques to create pieces that are stunningly layered and narratively rich.
Within Twisted Imagery, we are treated to all of this and more. Whether a piece utilises an iconic image as its basis – such as with Shhh, featuring Pete Humphreys’ finger-on-lips David Bowie – or offers a landscape that offers us a glimpse of autumnal warmth not only through the use of colour, but also through the manner in which the use of fractals creates a sense of flow within its lines (Autumn Road), all of the the pieces on display are an utter delight to behold. Wrapped within all them is not only a use of fractal generation, but also touches of abstraction, impressionism, realism and surrealism.
In terms of narrative, these are pieces are as equally as engaging. In some, the narrative is as layered as the piece; in others it forms a symbiosis with the art. Take Welcome My Son on the upper level of the gallery, for example, together with Peyote alongside of it. In the first, we have a richly layered narrative: there’s the natural protectiveness and comfort in the way the father is holding his baby son, the suggestion that the babe is either new or recently born; there’s then the sense of wonder and confusion in the baby’s eyes while his overall expression of calm suggests he is being comforted by that parental warmth, and finally the colours and swirls give the depth of emotion and feeling – pride from the father, and trust and peace from the child.
Beside it, Peyote sits as a piece and title that both inform one another, working in a symbiosis that carries us into the world of native American Indians. Both evoke the manner in which the spineless cactus, rich in psychoactive alkaloids, has played a central medicinal roles in American Indian culture, and also its use without non-medicinal “vision quests”. Meanwhile, those seeking a rich presentation of surrealism need look no further than the exotic Clockhead, whilst on the lower level, 101st Airborne presents a richly evocative piece that draws on paintings that commemorate the US military, thus taking us in yet another direction.
All of the above really just scratches the surface of Kraven’s art, both as a whole and within Twisted Imagery as an exhibition of selected pieces. I say this because all of his work has a depth – in content, colour, narrative, and style – that is genuinely unique. As such, this is (again) an exhibition that should not be missed by anyone with a passion or interest in art.
- Janus Gallery III (Sinful Retreat, rated; Adult)