Jes Mode at Artful Expressions in Second Life

Artful Expressions: Jes Mode

Now open at Artful Expressions, curated by Sorcha Tyles, is United States of Mind, the second solo exhibition of photography by Jes Mode (J3sus Mode). It features a total of eight studies, each focused on a specific state of mind / feeling / emotion.

Presented in muted tones, and a step away from Jes’ more usual use of black-and-white, these are considered, artful and provocative takes on their subject matter, using both Jes and his in-world partner and fellow artist, Cecilia Mode (Cecilia Nansen) as models.

Artful Expressions: Jes Mode

Each piece takes its title from the state of mind  / feeling being presented: apathy, breakdown, fear, hedonism, insomnia, nihilism, schizophrenia,  and vanity, and is accompanied by notes from the artist to give further expression to the piece.

For some of the art, the subject matter is presented in what may appear to be a relatively  straightforward manner: there is little doubting Schizophrenia, for example, with its figure bound within a straitjacket shaking his had so rapidly we literally see he is in two minds, while Breakdown offers a physical manifestation of collapse. Others are more nuanced in presentation, such as Hedonism, with not only its menage-a-tois, but also its more subtle hints at pleasure. Others appear to run slightly contrary to their title, or at least bind it with other outlooks / philosophical standpoints; Nihilism, for example, when taken with its accompanying text perhaps also suggests vanity and solipsism through the emphasis of self.

Artful Expressions: Jes Mode

Be this as it may, all deserve careful study, because they are perhaps more layered than may first appear to be the case – again, note the bottle of wine in Hedonism, the overall setting of Schizophrenia – the image itself perfectly positioned alongside of Fear, offering a visual as well as metaphysical link between the two subjects. Similarly, Apathy offers an evocative presentation in which not only are the two bodies positioned so as to suggest a lack of (sexual) interest in one another – or at least mutual passivity – the blurring of facial features speaks volumes suggestive of a total lack of interest / concern, each towards the other, adding further depth to the sense of apathy within their pose.

In short, these are all marvellous studies, skilfully executed representations of their subject matter, mirror reflections of their accompanying descriptions (consider Vanity and the quote Jes gives from Lou Reed, or the way Insomnia focuses the eye not on the figure, but on the shadow, echoing the idea of a copy of a copy, as quoted in Jes’ notes. All told, a captivating exhibition, and one which should not be missed.

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CioTTolina’s Dum Spiro Spero in Second Life

DaphneArts: Dum Spiro Spero

Now open at DaphneArts, the gallery spaces curated by Angelika Corral and Sheldon B, is an exhibition by Second Life sculptor and personal favourite, CioTTolina Xue, in which she presents a range of her work, some of which has appeared in previous exhibitions or in her store, and all of which share a theme of hope.

Dum Spiro Spero, “While I breathe, I hope”, is widely used as a motto by families, organisations, states, military organisations, and so on.  It is regarded as a paraphrase of ideas that survive in two ancient writers, Theocritus and Cicero through such works as Letters to Atticus. For  CioTTolina, it encapsulates her outlook on life.

DaphneArts: Dum Spiro Spero

“I try to create emotions,” CioTTolina says of her work, “And send a message: hope.
I’m still not good at what I do, but I put my heart into it. I hope that the love I put into things shows as what I might accomplish. This is the message that matters.”

Personally, I have always felt – and continue to feel – CioTTolina undersells herself. Her work has – and remains – full of beauty and meaning; as I said in reference to her exhibition at Solo Arte, Hope, “CioTToLiNa has clearly grown in confidence as an artist, producing ever more complex pieces which are not only beautiful and highly collectible, but also reflect her own interests / concerns for the world, and how we relate as a species one to another and the world around us.”

DaphneArts: Dum Spiro Spero

Indeed, Dum Spiro Spero is in many respects and expansion of Hope, richly demonstrating the breadth and depth of CioTTolina’s work and an ideal reflection of her ideals and outlook, with each of the seven display areas in the gallery space offering at least one of her pieces for viewing. Some may appear to be thematically linked one to another, expressing hope, love, joy, others may stand in contrast to one another. Taken together, the use of the spaces to display CioTTolina’s work is considered, allowing us to better study and appreciate the pieces offered in each.

If you haven’t seen CioTTolina’s sculptures before, I can recommend Dum Spiro Spero as an ideal means by which to gain familiarity with it.

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Gem’s Chaos in Second Life

Chaos – Gem Preiz

Chaos is the title of a new exhibition of Gem Preiz’s fractal art, now open at  The Eye art gallery, curated by Mona (MonaByte). It is an exhibition those familiar with Gems work might find surprising in terms of the visual style of the images presented.

“Confronted with the mysteries of the origins, Gem says in describing the exhibition, “And with the question of the determinism of the Nature, Man has, from Hesiod’s Theogony to the most recent mathematical theories, attempted to tame Chaos, first by naming and personifying it, then much later by putting it in equations which remain unsolved.”

Chaos – Gem Preiz

And so it is that we are presented with twelve images which are raw in nature,  very different to the sweeping vistas of fractally generated architecture, landscapes and deep space scenes we are perhaps more familiar with seeing.  Instead, these images present a far more primal force, one both alien and yet familiar.

Examining these pieces is like looking back at the formation of Earth itself. In some, the reds and golds suggest a time when volcanism was rife across the planet, giving rise to swirling, sluggish rivers of lava and molten rock which crept outwards from craters and fissures, flowing over a prehistoric landscape, shaping it and, as they cooled, becoming part of it before other flows replaced or added to them. In others, the blues and whites suggest the points where land and water met and engaged in a battle for dominance.

Chaos – Gem Preiz

All are representative of primordial settings, places utterly uninhabitable – but which, in their formation and evolution, helped bring forth the very stuff of life itself: liquid, chemicals and minerals, which in turn gave rise to the first living organisms, setting off a chain of events which led down through the aeons to – us.

There is also something else here. We often speak of order arisen out of chaos; as Gem points out, there is something of a poetic balance in these images. Each of which presents a chaotic scene, yet each one is fundamentally built out of the order of code and mathematics. Thus each of them offers a fresh interpretation of the complex intertwining of order and chaos.

Chaos – Gem Preiz

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Art at La Maison d’Aneli in Second Life

La Maison d’Aneli – Theda Tammas

The latest ensemble exhibition at the gallery at La Maison d’Aneli, curated by Aneli Abeyante opened on October 25th. It offers an eclectic mix of five artists and their work: Xirana Oximoxi, Vangogh Rembranch, Kaijah Chrome, Morlita Quan and Theda Tammas.

The exhibition is split between the two levels of the gallery. The upper level, featuring the foyer area and a tribute to Holala Alter, is a 3D is an untitled piece by Theda Tammas. Across the hall is a larger display mixing 2D and 3D works by  Xirana Oximoxi examining the situation between Catalonia and the central Spanish government.

La Maison d’Aneli – Xirana Oximoxi

Social media in particular helped bring the realities of referendum day in particular to the rest of the world, at a time when much of Spain’s own media appeared to be turning a blind eye on the sheer brutality of the official response to the those attempting to vote, and this forms a focus of the exhibit. True, the referendum had been declared “illegal” by the central government, and both sides were guilty of heavy-handed posturing in the run-up to the vote. However, none of this justified the levels of violence unleashed by well-armed, well-protected police.

This is powerful central exhibit. Not only does it remind us how art can offer commentary on politics and events, but which also serves as a reminder that in a time when much of the main stream media is under attack for being purveyors of so-called “fake news”, just how important it is for our news services not to become the vassals of political desire.

La Maison d’Aneli – Morlita Quan

The lower level of the gallery presents a primary exhibit are featuring Morlita Quan’s organic geometric art, with 2D pieces focused around a central tree. Alongside of this is a hall featuring painting by the intriguingly named Vangogh Rembranch, and more “traditional” Second Life focused art by Kaijah Chrome.

All three make for intriguing exhibits, Vangogh’s in particular forming – for me – a first time introduction to his work. Kaijah’s, meanwhile, offers a Halloween setting for this work – which should not be taken to mean  the art itself is Halloween themed.


La Maison d’Aneli – Vangogh Rembranch

I tend to enjoy ensemble exhibitions, and the five artists on display at La Maison d’Aneli all present unique approaches to art and expression, making this a particularly interesting visit.

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