May has brought with it not one but two exhibitions at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, curated by Dido Haas. Whilst both very different in tone and content, they are nevertheless connected in that each has a particular source of inspiration / interpretation.
Occupying the Annex section of the Gallery, and having opened on May 2nd, is a compact exhibition which should be noted as potentially Not Suitable For Work (NSFW), given the subject is nude studies. Entitled Zorian Women, it presents a total of 15 studies of the female form, as imaged by Kian (random26356). Fourteen of these (the 15th is rather more novel in approach!), have been inspired by the nude studies of “the Swedish Impressionist”, Anders Leonard Zorn (18 February 1860 – 22 August 1920).
Zorn was an incredibly gifted artist, a veritable virtuoso working in multiple formats and styles – watercolours, oils, pencil, etching, sculpture – to produce an incredible range of art during his lifetime. A graduate of the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, at the age of 29 he was made a Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur at the 1889 World Fair in Paris, and he would gain international recognition for his portraiture, with subjects including three US Presidents and King Oscar II of Sweden, whilst he and his wife Emma would go on to established The Bellman Prize for Swedish poetry, which is still awarded annually by Swedish Academy.
Zorn’s repertoire included a series of female nude studies which became particularly noted for their unique style. Initially produced in watercolours, these depicted his models fully unclothed and painted against the backdrop of the open countryside of Dalarna, the district where he and Emma lived in Sweden. Such was the form and impact of the pieces in this collection, they became known under the collective name of Zornkulla.
It is these works Kian celebrates within his exhibition. This is no easy task, because despite their apparent casualness of presentation, employing a loose brushwork, soft tones and gently blurred edges, the Zornkulla paintings are all incredibly well composed through use of colour, pose, placement of elements such as water and the horizon and features within the landscape beyond the nude subject, all of which results in a visual play: focus on the subject, and she immediately comes into sharp focus, the background dissolving so as not to be noticed. But then focus on the backdrop, and the subject herself appears to dissolve into it, becomes an almost natural part of the landscape, rather than appearing as a something standing within it.
Emulating this technique, Kian offers that same sense of loose brushwork and familiar soft tones whilst adding his own interpretation on Zorn’s Zornkulla, thus offering something fresh and new.
Within the main halls of Nitroglobus is the first solo exhibition by Nowhere B. A relative newcomer to SL photography and to the art exhibition scene here – his first time exhibition was at an ensemble event in 2021 – there could not be a better, more nurturing environment than Nitroglobus under Dido’s stewardship, by which he could spread his wings into the world of solo exhibitions.
Entitled Intimistic Journey, this is an engaging and somewhat personal selection of pieces by Nowhere B., representing as it does a record of his journeys through Second Life’s richly varied landscapes and settings, whilst also offering hints of his inner responses and experiences during those visits (hence the intimist sub-text to the title).
Given this, these are not you usual captures of places seen in Second Life. Instead they offer a highly personalised perspective (in places quite literally!) and narrative to present not just reflections on the places Nowhere visited, but his potential mood and thoughts on seeing them. This is helped in part by the artist including himself – and his John Steed-like bowler and brolly – in many of the images in a manner that draws us into his thinking without bashing u over the held with obviously posed context and narrative.
Taken individually or together, Zorian Women and Intimistic Journey present engaging, highly visual and expressive exhibitions which can be enjoyed both independently to one another, or as a joint visit to Nitroglobus, with Zorian Women set to remain in place through into the better part of June.
- Nitroglobus Roof Gallery (Sunshine Homestead, rated: Moderate)
2 thoughts on “Intimist journeys and Zorian women in Second Life”
Just came back from my looong weekend away and saw this super cool review of the 2 May exhibitions @ Nitroglobus by Nowhere Boy & Kian. Thanks soooo much Inara for taking the time to visit and to write this indepth article. Appreciate A LOT!
Always a pleasure and you’re always welcome, love! ❤
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