Second Life resident and reader of this blog, Robicheaux, recently forwarded me a landmark to a gallery they came across while strolling through Bay City, together with a recommendation that I pay it a visit.
The Miller Gallery, developed and managed by Kimsy Shamen, is home to the physical world art of Ryan Miller, who has – by Kimsy? – ben encouraged into Second Life to expand his audience base for his art. While small, the gallery demonstrates the richness of Ryan’s abstract work together with insights into his creative processes and inspirations, this making a visit a highly engaging experience.
Sporting an avatar with something of a passing resemblance to him, Ryan Miller has for most of his career been a freelance musician. However, in 2018 he started following along with videos of artist Bob Ross and learning to paint. Some may know Ross as the creator of the television series The Joy of Painting (1983-1994), and which following his untimely passing, became a major You Tube hit, Ross’s very personal (to the viewer) folksy approach to teaching painting and painting techniques encouraging many to give art a try.
Starting with landscapes, Miller found he had a passion for painting, one which quickly caused him to broaden his inspirational horizons which lad him into the world of abstract, and the influence of the likes of Jackson Pollack and Yayoi Kusama, occasionally mixing in surrealist/magic surrealist elements of Friedensreich Hundertwasser. In doing so, his technique has extended to embrace acrylics as ell as oils and encompass experimentation in texture as well as style, and to even use music and musical instruments as influences, In this, his work has become much sought-after in terms of commissions from collectors, for use with album covers and pieces produced in support of charitable endeavours – fund-raisers, etc.
The galley offers 25 pieces of Ryan’s art, carefully placed to make full use of the available space. While primarily all abstract in nature, these are incredibly approachable pieces, and even without the liner note Ryan has provided with each of them, anyone with a passion for art will recognise Kusama’s influence, the touches of cubism that pay homage to Picasso together with the Salon Cubists such as Metzinger, and more.
Supported as they are by detailed liner notes from the artist – some of which include links to his website and others to other resources, these are more than mere reproductions of art imported from the physical world; they are voyages into the eye and mind of the artist (quite personal voyages in places) – which further adds to the sense of vitality to be found in each and every piece.
Richly engaging, each with its own attraction (as an amateur musician, I found myself particularly drawn to the two pieces from Ryan’s Frequency series, and longing to her the beat and tones as I have a fascination with the Theremin which gave rise to Blue Composition), making this a gallery well worth visiting.