Ego: travels with an artist in Second Life

Art Korner Gallery II: Mihailsk – Ego

Update, June 27th, 2022: Art Korner has Closed.

Yes, this exhibition is me. Me, the explorer in SL, who travels from light to dark, from colour to monochrome, depending on the mood and moment.
Each of my works expresses a moment with a different mood. Sometimes visible and sometimes hidden. But do not try to look for hidden meanings and symbolism behind the images, because there is none. All my images represent an aspect of me/show a part of who I am.

– Mihailsk in Ego, his latest exhibition

I first encountered the photography of Mihailsk in July 2021, at his very first public exhibition. Despite being active in SL for several years, he had only relatively recently entered the world of SL photography and artistic creation, and his first exhibition came as a result of encouragement on the part of Dido Haas, who hosted that exhibition – and indeed, Mihailsk’s second exhibition – at her Nitroglobus Roof Gallery(see: Mihailsk’s Baptism of Fire in Second Life and Mihailsk’s Red Sky at Nitroglobus in Second Life).

From the start, I was captivated by his approach to Second Life photography; whilst avatar-centric, his work is not precisely focused on his avatar as a subject for / of study in the manner of many SL photographers; rather he utilises his avatar as part of a larger canvas, one that brings together both avatar and location (as in region, rather than constructed studio setting) to offer an expression of a moment, a mood; something reflective of his own mood at the time the image was created. And I’m not alone in finding his work captivating.

Art Korner Gallery II: Mihailsk – Ego

Further appreciation of his work can currently be gained at Art Korner Gallery II, curated by Frank Atisso., where Mihailsk presented his largest exhibition to date. Comprising more than 30 pieces specifically produced for it, Ego is a remarkable journey through the art and mind of the artist. And by “journey”, I am not just talking metaphorically; the pieces again represent the artist’s explorations of many popular places in Second Life, and have also been arranged in a manner that takes us on a journey through them, as we pass through seven rooms within the gallery space, each one offering at least 5 images.

The images in each room carry a theme, defined by the use of a selected colour. The colours used include green (nature, and our relationship with the natural world), yellow (the Sun, life, warm (of feel, touch, etc.)), blue: tranquillity and coolness (of thought and emotions) and monochrome (purity/ clarity of thought and emotion – as in seeing everything in black and white). Each room also includes a quote or passage by a writer or poet, the majority of whom hail from Mihailsk’s native Greece, although in the first room is a piece by George Gordon Byron, better known as Lord Byron, that might be taken as an exhortation of how to live life, and which can also be seen as a code by which Mihailsk approaches his art.

Art Korner Gallery II: Mihailsk – Ego

The use of the quotes within each each is particularly interesting, because while Mihailsk states that his images are not intended to carry “hidden” meaning or symbolism, the words nevertheless encourage us to a certain outlook  that cannot help but add a further layer of possible meaning or interpretation to the pieces in each room. At the same time, thy offer us insight into the artist’s thoughts and moods whilst capturing and processing each piece.

Expressive, vital, and beautiful in the manner in which they frame avatar (either Mihailsk or Dido) together with setting / background with little more than a pose (remember, these are not images that us purpose-built sets, but have been captured during Mihailsk’s travels through Second Life), Ego (the word in this instance being used in its purest sense: to mean “I”, or “me”) is a compelling exhibition, and will be available for people’s appreciation through the Christmas period. When visiting, done make sure you have your viewer set to Use Shared Environment (World → Environment) and have Advanced Lighting Model enabled (Preferences → Graphics).

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