Now open at Onceagain Art Gallery, curated by onceagain (Manoji Yachvili) is a new exhibition of work by Maddy (Magda Schmidtzau). Entitled Reflections, it is a further selection of art combining elements of art drawn from Second Life and the Midjourney AI art programme.
I’ve been fascinated by Midjourney since first encountering it in later 2022, and have tracked how it has been leveraged by a number of artists and artist-photographers in Second Life. However, I have to admit that my enthusiasm for the application itself has cooled somewhat since Midjourney founder and CEO David Holz openly admittedly in an interview with Forbes magazine that the company has trained its AI tool by essentially plundering digital image datasets – including Flickr, which is popular with SL photographers – without regard for copyright or consent, which has understandably upset a lot of professional and amateur artists and photographers alike.
Which is not to say work by Maddy or others in SL utilise copyrighted material; it’s just that appreciation of work produced purely through Midjourney should be balanced against this knowledge, and we should be forewarned in how we use it.
With Reflections, Maddy has used Midjourney to enhance her own Second Life avatar compositions, creating a series of original pieces intended to evoke a sense of mood and melancholy intended to convey the the essence of the subjects presented within each piece.
The result is a selection of atmospheric portraits offered within an equally atmospheric setting which sets the mood perfectly for viewing and appreciating each piece in turn.
The pictures themselves are presented in monochrome and / or soft, minimalist tones which gives each or an extraordinary depth and emotive power. Within each there is a lightness of post-processing touch on Maddy’s part that further breathes life into each image, further encouraging us to view them as reflections of the essence of people, rather than digital doppelgängers, so to speak.
A superb selection, well worth visiting and appreciating.
- Onceagain Art Gallery (Peaceful Mountains, rated Adult)