Art Neveux in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Art Neveux

Open until the end of January 2019 at The Womb, the basement gallery space at DiXmiX Gallery, is Art Neveux, by Nevereux, and which I assume is a little play on her name and the term art nouveau.

A selection of constructs that offer 3D works designed to appear almost two-dimensional, this a somewhat difficult selection of art to quantify, being very subjective in nature – as Nevereux herself notes:

Design is fine. History is mine. An argument for art. Prim-cakes and some technology. Around the corner there is some extreme context. Others, so deliberately meaningless. If you want, it’s slathering jam on a toast. Sticking just for fun. And may whatever holds you up stay forever beneath you.  

DiXmiX Gallery: Art Neveux

These are all pieces that are decidedly geometric in nature, presented in black and white, with red at times putting in an appearance. The net result is a series of stark – in the sense of their boldness – pieces that nevertheless have within them a sense of balance. Whilst art nouveau may well be suggested by the exhibition title, I’d perhaps lean towards its presence in the works here being only in a very modern interpretation; I tended to look on many of the pieces as being more abstract in nature, with some also carrying art deco motifs.

What I did find particularly interesting is the manner in which much of the art has been constructed. Rather than being completely original, most of the individual pieces are in fact constructs put together using building components by the likes of VetronUK, Chaser Haks and Isabelle Stoop. There is nothing wrong with art being created in this way, it happens all the time in the physical world; however, seeing the manner in which building components have been used within these pieces did have me recalling a discussion around an installation by another artist (and in another place) from earlier in the year.

DiXmiX Gallery: Art Neveux

Within that other installation, use was made of a series of mesh items readily available via the SL Marketplace, with little or no change made to them beyond outside of some retexturing. This led to a question being raised on whether the inclusion of such elements constituted “fair use”, and whether they justified the installation as a work of art; the argument being that their use hadn’t been sufficiently “transformative” to warrant either. It was not a view to which I could agree; I felt the inclusion of such elements was both fair and transformative, simply because they were integral to one’s response to, and interpretation of, the installation as a whole.

Such is the case here. Yes, many of the components used are “off the shelf” mesh shapes and forms designed to assist builders. However, the manner in which they have been brought together within individual pieces is transformative, both in terms of their individual use and in our interpretation of each complete piece.

DiXmiX Gallery: Art Neveux

There is also, in keeping with Nevereux’s own words, a sense of playfulness and illusion about some of the pieces offered (such as Palm Leaf, Belong, Warrior and Perspective, each of which should be cammed over carefully). These perhaps stand in reflection of the artist’s own nature – or perhaps a reminder that perhaps we shouldn’t look to deeply into individual pieces in order to discern “meaning”.

SLurl Details

Five Artists from Spain in Second Life

Diotima Art Gallery: Mario2 Helstein

Five Artists From Spain is the title of an exhibition at Diotima Art Gallery curated by Redi (Red Bikcin), that opened on Thursday, December 20th, 2018. It features, well, the work of five artists from Spain.

The five in question are: Duna Gant, Mario2 Helstein, Redi herself, the inimitable Kimeu Korg, and Peta Cometa (mariajo60).

Diotima Art Gallery: Duna Gant

“My art is always a reflection of my emotions,” Duna states in introducing her art and herself. This is certainly the case with the five pieces presented here. Each is an avatar study rendered as a painting, and each represents an emotional reaction: No, Why?, Yes, When?, and Silence.

Within each, the force of the emotional response is borne in both the colour palette used to present each study, and the repetition of the titular word itself.

Diotima Art Gallery: Peta Cometa

Facing Duna’s pieces are four untitled (at least in terms of their mounting) pieces by Pepa. Primarily avatar studies (there is perhaps a hint of mixed media in one), and are a n interesting mix that again play on emotions – albeit this time the emotions of the visitor. Are they indicative of happiness and / or gaiety, as suggested by the almost Hareliquinesque dress of one and the carnival-like mask of its neighbour? Or are they perhaps expressive of something else?

Kimeu’s work is always a delight to see; there is often a whimsy to his work that cannot fail to bring a smile to one’s lips. Here, he present four pieces, all of which strong feature the colour blue as a linking theme through both water and sky.

Diotima Art Gallery: Kimeu Korg

These are also pieces with a wonderful element of narrative within them, and it is quite possible to become lost within the likes of El Observador (The Observer), the first piece in the set on the right wall of the hall, while The Otters, facing the main entrance (and seen above, right) is purely and simply delightful. The addition of an appreciative audience to both of these pieces and to A Piece of the Sky (above, left) adds a further depth to the display.

The rear portion of the gallery presents some marvellous abstract work by Mario2 and Redi. Mario’s 3D sculptures, together with his particle shows, never fail to impress, and the pieces offer here are no exception. From the mandala / fractal like forms of Efecto K and Object5, to the (almost seasonal, with its fruit suggestive of Christmas tree baubles) Arbol and the evocative Cara, these are all pieces that captivate the eye in both form and motion.

Diotima Art Gallery: Red Bikcin

Redi’s presentation also feature motion and combine 2D and 3D elements in three pieces of richly colourful abstract art, all of which can be quite mesmerising as the eye is drawn into their loops, lines, swirls and patterns.

My one small quibble with this exhibition is its lack of information on the artists themselves. While not vital to one’s appreciation of art, having a few liner notes on each of the artists involved in an ensemble exhibition like this can often serve curiosities piqued by the art, particularly in cases where a right-click Edit doesn’t reveal any links to the artist concerned (as it has perhaps been offered to the gallery as a texture for mounting and presentation by the curator).

SLurl Details

Seeing out 2018 at Nitroglobus Roof in Second Life

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Natalia and Moni

“I’m not promoting it heavily,” Dido Haas informed me, as we met at the end-of-2018 exhibition she is curating at her Nitroglobus Roof Gallery. “I had another exhibition planned, but it didn’t go ahead. So I’ll just place some pictures on Facebook, Flickr and the SL group.”

Which is not to say that the current exhibition is simply a fill-in; rather it stands in part as a retrospective of some of the memorable exhibitions Nitroglobus has hosted through 2018. It also offers the chance to appreciate Dido’s own work, and that of David, aka “Mr. Haas” or silence (jemapelSilence) that speak to their growing relationship.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Dido and David

Dido has a marvellous eye for art; as such Nitroglobus features a series of outstanding exhibitions each year – something that keeps me going back every month or so. As such, selecting artists and pieces for any kind of retrospective is going to be a challenge, but Dido nevertheless presents a considered series of pieces featuring  Monique Beebe (who I confess is one of my favourite artists when it comes to narrative avatar studies), from her exhibition Changing Moods. Alongside of it is a piece by Natalia Serenade, as featured in her evocative exhibition, The Colour of Unspoken Words (read here for more).

Cold Frog, who presented Fading in January, can also be found, as can Nevereux, with a piece from Out of Here, and Cat Boucher, who appeared at the gallery in August with Hypnopompia. Between and around these are images by Dido and David.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Nevereux

The latter are very intimate pieces, some which might be regarded as NSFW, but which are all richly evocative for the story they tell. The pictures by Dido also act as a possible lead-in to the permanent exhibition of her own work, which can be found n the gallery’s second hall, and reached via an interconnecting tunnel. I’ve always found Dido’s work wonderfully expressive and deeply personal, and thoroughly commend a walk through the tunnel to her display space if you have not previously done so during a visit to Nitroglobus.

While unplanned, the selection of art offered here also perhaps serves a further purpose: to whet our appetites for the exhibitions Dido will bring to us in 2019.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Dido

SLurl Details

The art of MC Grafite in Second Life

MC Grafite

MC Grafite is a relative newcomer to Second Life, having joined the platform just five months ago. However, at 13:00 SLT, on Tuesday 13th December, she is opening her new gallery featuring her work (and only the second time she has publicly exhibited her art!). I took the opportunity to drop in ahead of the opening, while MC was still setting up to gain something of a sneak peek.

Also known as Marisa Camelo, MC is an artist in the physical world focusing on pencil-based drawings. She notes she spends around nine or ten hours a day drawing, her work covering a range of topics, including portraiture, animals and wildlife, costumes, tattoo designs, cars, and more.  And if I were to try to define her art in a single word or phrase, it would be: striking.

MC Grafite

Within a simple, but effective gallery setting of stone pillars and plain white walls, MC presents a broad portfolio of her work, from simple-looking sketches, located outside of the main entrance in an enclosed courtyard, through to a series of exquisite set of white-on-black images of quite exceptional beauty and depth.

Her portraiture is also shown, within pictures of actors, celebrities and film and literature characters mounted on the rear walls of the gallery. I admit that her Baby Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2) and her It immediately drew my eyes to them. Both capture the vitality and mischief inherent in the first, and the sheer malevolence of the second quite perfectly. I found Eye, located directly beneath It equally mesmerizing  – although this should not be taken to mean there is anything lacking in the remaining portraits; quite the reverse in fact: each has its own unique attraction.

MC Grafite

But I must admit to being completely captivated by the etching-like black-on white pieces she presents; there is something about this approach to art that I’ve always found enamouring, and the pieces MC offers are stunning in their presentation and beauty. As a cat lover, Cat Reflex and Cat in the Moonlight simply (both seen in the image at the top of this article) entranced me.

Further pieces are available on the upper mezzanine of the gallery, one or two of which might be considered NSFW. However, as MC was still setting-up on the upper floor when I visited, I only had a quick cam up to it, in order to avoid disturbing her too much.

As well as her own art, MC also offers a commissioned art service. Details of this can be found via the information givers located next to one of the stairways leading up to the Mezzanine level.

MC Grafite

The gallery officially opens at 13:00 SLT on Tuesday, December 18th, 2018, as noted. But whether you can make the opening or not, I do recommend the MC Grafite Gallery as well worth a visit.

SLurl Details

Tales of a Winter Sun in Second Life

Paris Metro Art Gallery: CybeleMoon – Tales of a Winter Sun

CybeleMoon (Hana Hoobinoo) is without doubt one of the most expressive fantasy artists in Second Life. Her art has a unique beauty that I consider to be unsurpassed in its depth and narrative; pieces that are hauntingly fascinating, encapsulating worlds of wonder and mystery or reflecting wonderment and innocence through portrait and study.

You can witness for yourself just how evocative and engaging her art is by visiting Tales of A Winter Sun, which officially opens at 12:00 noon SLT on Saturday, December 14th, 2018  at the Paris Metro Art Gallery. I was able to visit the exhibition ahead of the opening, and it truly is a delight.

Tales of a Winter Sun is actually something of a three-part exhibition. There is Cybele’s art, 20 images and a central mural type display; then there is a poem by Cybele, reflective of the art and of the season (available by clicking the information board at the lading point), and also a blog post she provides on her website.

Paris Metro Art Gallery: CybeleMoon – Tales of a Winter Sun

There is a time in the hushed solitudes of falling winter,
while the dreaming earth stirs softly beneath her frosted blanket,
where for a moment, we remember innocence and magic, and the incredible awe of being,
where hope is renewed in the lighting of candles and a star leads the way to Bethlehem,
Where grievances are put aside as we open our wounded hearts to receive the seeds of rebirth
Where my own dreams flow to the sacred music of haunted woodlands and enchanted children.
and old tales are retold with feasting and friends
where the lost are found and the poor are blessed
and where angels walk among us

– CybeleMoon

Reflective of the theme and the season, the 20 images offer us 20 twenty stories – some quite literally so, should you touch them – each beautifully encapsulated in a single moment.

Paris Metro Art Gallery: CybeleMoon – Tales of a Winter Sun

It is this feeling of capturing a moment that is particularly attractive about Cybele’s work. Her pieces are incredibly intricate in form and construction, the balance of light, colour, focus and theme utterly sublime; where looking at her art, I cannot help but see them in terms of an orchestra, different elements and layers, skilfully woven into a whole under the guiding hands of the conductor – or in this case the artist.

Yet, at the same time, there is a marvellous sense that each piece, far from being composed, has been captured in a fleeing moment, as if the mind has taken a snapshot of a dream or the eye a single moment of time played out before us in a world where wonder, innocence and beauty define all we see, and perhaps say and do.

Some might accuse me of waxing lyrical or of using hyperbole in writing like this – but unless you’ve seen Cybele’s work first-hand, it is hard to grasp just how rich, resonant and alive her art really is. As such, I urge you to go and witness Tales of a Winter Sun for yourself – you will not be disappointed.

In the meantime, and as she references it in her own blog post, I’ll leave you with an astonishing rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah by Rhema Marvanne, and recorded when she was just eight years old, and which sits as a perfect companion to the art Cybele presents in both the exhibition and her blog post.

SLurl Details

December 2018 at La Maison d’Aneli

La Maison d’Aneli: Lam Erin

Now open at La Maison d’Aneli Gallery, curated by Aneli Abeyante, is a new ensemble art exhibition, one which offers a rich mix of virtual and physical art and photography in what is an eclectic but engaging display. On offer are pieces by  Lam Erin, Renoir Adder, Bump Squeegee, Layachi Ihnen, Chapichapo Delvalle and the inimitable Moya Patrick (Moya Janus).

For those unfamiliar with Moya (Patrick Moya in the physical world), he has been a part of the artistic movement Ecole de Nice, and throughout his career has been as the forefront of artistic expression through all forms of media and technology, including virtual spaces. He is an early pioneer of video art, and was quickly drawn to the potential of virtual spaces like Second Life, in which he has been involved since 2007 and where he continues to maintain his Moya estate of four regions. He was also one of the first artists to actively promote Second Life in the physical world, with Rinascimento Virtuale, hosted by the museum of Anthropology of Florence, in 2009.

La Maison d’Aneli: Moya Patrick

Entitled Carnaval et fêtes populaires (literally “Carnival and popular festivals”, but given the English title “Carnival and popular traditions” in English), it is a typical piece from Moya, full of vitality, reflecting elements of his physical world art. Within it is – as one would expect – his alter-ego of Moya, familiar by his Pinocchio-like nose, and little Dolly, inspired by the cloned sheep of the same name. Frivolous, engaging, with some subtle motifs, Carnaval et fêtes populaires is a colourful piece, well in keeping with the time of the year.

Below it, on the lower floor of the gallery are three exhibition spaces presenting the physical world art of three very different artists: Renoir Adder, Layachi Ihnen and Bump Squeegee.

La Maison d’Aneli: Renoir Adder

I confess to being unfamiliar with Layachi’s art, which is offered here as the largest of the three displays. A profession of mathematics, Layachi started painting in 1969, and since 1999 has focused on mixed media, combining digital painting on computer with traditional techniques. For this exhibition, he presents pieces that reflect this mixing – notes the faces in many of the paintings -, all offered in a unique and distinctive style.

As an artist, Renoir Adder straddles genres. Within his pieces can be found elements of post-impressionism, potentially influenced by the like of Van Gogh; suggestions of Picasso; and impressionist leanings.

La Maison d’Aneli: Renoir Adder

Much of this is in evidence in the 15 pieces displayed at La Maison d’Aneli, in the midst of which are, to my eyes, three absorbing painting of Geishas which exhibit a unique and eye-catching style that focuses the attention marvellously, encouraging the observer to work outwards from them and take in the rest of the paintings in turn.

Bump Squeegee’s collage art is, for those familiar with it, instantly recognisable. Rich in colour and style, the dozen pieces here are a marvellous selection of Bump’s work. By their very nature, these are pieces for which description is meaningless; they deserve to be seen first-hand in order to appreciate them fully.

La Maison d’Aneli: Layachi Ihnen

Back on the upper level of the gallery is a selection of physical world photography by Chapichapo Delvalle. Another artists with whom I was unfamiliar, Chapichao’s work focuses on nature and natural settings, varying from full landscape pieces to focusing down to things like a small branch of pine cones set on the stonework of a footpath, offered as a series of studies in colour and style.

Colour is a major element in these images, and might be said to be a physical reflection of Chapichao’s vibrant view of Second Life.

La Maison d’Aneli: Lam Erin

Lam Erin, in providing full disclosure, is one of my favourite Second Life landscape artists, although I only discovered his work less than two years ago. As a virtual artist, Lam takes images captured within Second Life and transforms them into the most fantastic digital works of art, so rich in detail, you feel as if you can see the individual brush strokes in an original piece of art.

One of the hallmarks of Lam’s work is his presentation of cloudscapes. These cast a dramatic, even foreboding, look to the skies of his art that brings an added depth of realism and narrative to his paintings that is utterly remarkable. It is this attention to his clouds and skies that also makes his art redolent of some of the great masters of landscape painting.

As always from Aneli  and La Maison d’Aneli, an engaging exhibition of works by talented artists, and not one to be missed.

SLurl Details