Shades of Eo in Second Life

Art Korner, October 2021: Eoleon Elcano

Currently open at Frank Atisso’s Art Korner through until October 25th, 2021, is Shades of Eo, a selection of art by Eoleon Elcano. Spread across the two levels of the exhibition space, it is a themed display of art focused on the the seasons of autumn and winter and the days, rich in golden hues or cossetted by white blankets of snow or cast in the greys that we so often associated with either season.

Within the space, the lower display area is given over to autumn. The floor of the hall is textured in grass topped by a patina-like spread of fallen leaves, whilst corner trees carry browned leaves and share their space with pumpkins to further help slip the mind and eye into an autumnal frame. The images themselves are rich in that aforementioned golden brown hue reflective of the time of month, although one or two could perhaps topple into the days of a late summer, depending on one’s personal take.

Art Korner, October 2021: Eoleon Elcano

Reached via individual stairways but adjoining one another are the upper halls of the exhibition space, each offering individual collections of Eo’s art.  One is devoted to the winter months, five of the images rendered in soft tones and colours we tend to associate with the winter months: white, grey, blue; they sit within a hall in which snow falls to blanket the floor. Primarily landscapes, these five images are dominated by a sixth that spans one entire length of wall in a panoramic format I have not seen since Ziki Questi ceased exhibiting in Second Life. It is a genuinely magnificent piece entitled Winter Melodies, which carries with it a greater warmth of colour courtesy of a lowering Sun that forms something of a visual bridge between this hall and the autumnal display below.

All of the pieces across these two halls evocatively denote the time of year they represent. Each is individually styled through technique (such as the considered use of vignettes in some) and finish to evoke an emotional response in keeping with that time of year. Each carries within in a single-frame story as they catch a moment in time, a story to which we can also relate. But there is also something more within them as well; whilst the theme of this collection may well be that of the seasons and their shades, so too might they be said to carry hints of Eo herself, something hinted through the exhibition’s title.

Eo describes herself as “socially incompatible”, a term that suggests she is perhaps more comfortable with her own company or that of very close friends she has come to trust over the passage of time rather than with broader acquaintances; yet at the same time, there is perhaps that desire that comes upon us all at times to be freer in the company of others – or at least with someone we can regard as particular special. This sense of separation of self from others and the associated longing might be found within several of the images within both the “autumn” and “winter” halls of the exhibition.

Art Korner, October 2021: Eoleon Elcano
Holding You, for example appears to be celebrating the autumnal (and often solo) pursuit  of kite-flying, it also suggests that yearning to have someone close, but being unable to bridge that last (self-imposed?) gap that forces separation. On the neighbouring wall, A Symphony of Solitude, we have a story of someone both at home within her solitude as she walks a sandy shore as the evening draws in, and also an image – courtesy of the long shadow stretched over the sand at an angle suggestive that it is leading her – that hints at a desire to share the moment with another.  Within the “winter” hall, similar subtexts might be found with both Winter Melodies and I Hold You.

However, this reflection of self really comes to the fore in the second of the upper floor halls, where eight monochrome images are to be found while are almost physically striking, they are so emotionally charged.

Given this, and if possible, I would recommend this selection of Eo’s work is viewed after the “autumn” and “winter” displays, simply because it is so rich in personal narrative (to achieve this, take the stairs closer to the eastern side of the gallery hall when moving to the upper levels). With the exception of Neverending Sakura Tales, the depth of personal feeling presented within each of these works is so beautifully mixed with their monochrome nature and composition that it is hard not to be completely captivated by each one, marking this selection very much as a exhibit in its own right.

Art Korner, October 2021: Eoleon Elcano

Perfect in composition and presentation, rich in narrative and layered in interpretation / meaning, Shades of Eo is a magnificent exhibition of art and self.

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The Art of Portraiture in Second Life

Art Korner: Tiya Aura – The Art of Portraiture

Currently available at Frank Atisso’s Art Korner is an exhibition of avatar studies by a artist whose work is new to me: Tiya Aura, who presents a series of images under the title The Art of Portraiture, and it is a fascinating collection to view.

Avatar studies are one of – if not the – most popular forms of art and photography produced through Second Life. images take many forms, from straightforward portraiture intended for use within Profiles to complex posed pieces, often with an backdrop of some form and intended to reflect a theme (generally the title of the piece) and / or tell a single-frame story. Sill others focus on the avatar itself, tightly-focused and intended (again) to convey a narrative and / or emotional content, and so on.

Within The Art of Portraiture, Tiya very much focuses on that category of studies intended to convey emotion, offering 21 images of her own avatar and those of her friends (some subjects featured in more than one image), split between the two display spaces within the skybox gallery. Some of the images are captured in the “traditional” style of a portrait image, with the subject looking directly at the camera or in profile. Others are offset in both cropping and angle, suggesting a sudden moment caught by chance. Throughout all of them there is a deep of character.

Art Korner: Tiya Aura – The Art of Portraiture

These are images that not only capture an emotional element, many offer insight into the nature of the subject within the image, and by extension, the persona behind it. This is perhaps more evident within Tiya’s self-portraits, but is also very notable in several of the other pieces as well. Thus, this is a collection where the life – the humanness – of the avatar subjects is prevalent, and with a depth that suggests it was as much captured within the raw image as brought to the fore by considered and practiced post-processing that more than demonstrates Tiya’s artistry with digital tools.

In terms of post-processing, lighting and contrast are perhaps the most powerful tools Tiya uses to complete her work. Several of the pieces utilise lighting overlays and effects to help bright forth the emotional content, either by framing the subject so as to cast illumination around but perhaps not directly on the face, or by providing a seen, a projection of light and softer colours we must look through. Both approaches are utterly effective, as they causes one to focus in on the subject, to study eye, expression, direction of gaze, tilt of head, and thus become drawn into the sentiment Tiya saw when creating each piece.

In this the pictures within The Art of Portraiture not only offer a richness of emotion within the study of an avatar or present a glimpse of the persona projected by an avatar’s looks, they provide a subtle insight into the artist herself and how she responded to these images as she post-processed them.

Art Korner: Tiya Aura – The Art of Portraiture

Rich in form, colour, content and presentation, The Art of Portraiture is a genuinely bewitching collection of images; one that is offered – as is becoming increasingly popular within SL art circles – for sale on the basis of “pay as you feel” – the buyer set the amount they wish to pay for a given piece, rather than the artist setting the price.

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Five and one at Art Korner in Second Life

Art Korner Gallery: Alexandro Hurricane (See below for more)

Recently opened at the Main Gallery spaces within Frank Atisso’s Art Korner, is a quintet of exhibitions that together make for an engaging visit, offering as they do a cross-section of styles and subject matter, and which form the focus of the first part of this review. They feature the work of Carisa Franizzi, Alexandro Hurricane, Apollo Scribe, Syn Huntress and Blayze Benoir.

Carisa Franizzi is not new to Second Life, having been involved in the platform for more than a decade. However, she is relatively new to the world of SL art, having taken the plunge just a couple of years ago. Nevertheless, she is proving herself an adept landscape photographer. Her presence at Art Korner marks my second exposure to her work, the first being in late 2020, when I had the pleasure of seeing a selection of her black-and-white images at IMAGOLand.

Art Korner Gallery: Carisa Franizzi

Here she presents 9 colour and a single monochrome image, each with its own little tale to tell. All are going to capture and hold the eye, but I admit it was the lone monochrome Falling on Hard Times that really moved me.

Across the hall from Carisa’s exhibit is that of Alexandro Hurricane, who is the only artist in this group to present his physical world art through Second Life.

So far as I am aware, this is the first time I’ve witnessed Alexandro’s work, and I have found myself completely smitten;  His eye for detail is just incredible, the focus of his painting completely unique, and his willingness to share his sense of humour with his audience so readily apparent through the likes of Photographer, with its nod-and-wink towards the idea of self-portrait, Teddy Airman, and This is Love. Alongside of these, his pieces focused on flowers and household items and nothing short of exquisite.

Art Korner Gallery: Apollo Scribe

Apollo Scribe really need no introduction; his avatar studies are some of the most enticing examples of single-frame narrative to be found within Second Life. What is particular engaging about his work is that he is one of a small handful of SL photography exponents who largely eschew PhotoShop and GIMP, preferring to produce their masterpieces purely through the viewer (possibly with some pre-processing thanks to the likes of Reshade).

At Art Korner, Apollo presents a collection of four studies of the female avatar face, each offering a pose and view that demonstrates just how powerfully emotions can be transmitted through the avatar’s face.

Art Korner: Syn Huntress

Located out in the two buildings that flank the main gallery building are exhibitions by two artists who are again relatively new to the SL art scene, although they are not necessarily new to SL as whole. Their exhibitions offer a sense of balance as they face each other across the lawns, one being entirely avatar-centric and in colour, and the other being largely landscape focused and presented in black-and-white.

The artists are Syn Huntress (avatar studies) and Blayze Benoir(landscape with some avatar pieces). Both offer works that capture the attention with their style and presentation. Syn’s work mostly clearly offers tales in which her avatar is the protagonist or central character, while Blayze presents pieces that perfectly encapsulate the term landscape as art.

Art Korner has been my first exposure to the work of both of these artists, and I look forward to witnessing more in the future.

Art Korner Gallery: Blayze Benoir

There is a further exhibition currently underway at Art Korner that I want to draw attention to here. Immersion sits within a skybox overhead the main gallery spaces, and is a tour de force in monochrome photography, with the majority of the images presented in black and white or sepia, while those offered in colour do so in a beautifully light touch.

Produced and presented by BethBridget – an artist whose work I do not recall seeing in Second Life prior to this exhibition (which is not to say she hasn’t exhibited elsewhere) – Immersion is presented as a walk-through in which visitors can literally immerse themselves in Beth’s work thanks to the perfectly minimalist environment comprising a number of rooms arranged around the landing point such that one started and end with it. When visiting, please ensure you utilise the Shared Environment.

Art Korner Gallery: BethBridget
Still images these may be, but captured through the medium of Second Life, each and every picture found within the rooms of the exhibition space has a story to tell. What’s more, the use of certain motifs – birds, clouds, skyline, silhouette – serve to offer interconnecting threads that pass through the individual images, offering opportunities to see them as a large tapestry and  tale, a factor further assisted by the presence of props within the various rooms.

In this way, Immersion presents not only some of the most captivating images of Second Life’s many landscapes and settings I’ve had the pleasure to see, it also presents us with a story, a graphic novel, if you will, where the characters are moods and emotions, and the story is the interplay of light and dark, and the relationship bird, sky and setting that is beautiful in its subliminal power.

Art Korner Gallery: BethBridget

Six very different artists brought together through two exhibitions both of which will remain open though until late August 2021 and which should not be missed.

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Legends in Art in Second Life

Art Korner Gallery II: Seduce – Legends

Currently on display at Art Korner,, owned and operated by Frank Atisso, is a truly stunning selection of art by an artist known as Seduce. And whilst I can use superlatives when writing about the art I appreciate, the use of “stunning” here is accurate: these are pieces that are truly exceptional in their composition, narrative and sheer beauty.

Hailing from France, and with a background in advertising, Seduce has been active in Second Life for over a decade, but has only – within the last twelve months or so – entered the world of Second Life photography. The latter is something that is hard to grasp given his work is easily among the most evocative of avatar-centric art to be created through the platform. Each piece, so beautiful composited and post-processed, carries a strong cinematic subtext that is glorious whilst being offered as a work that echoes some of the great masters of art in the physical world.

This is very much in evidence within the selection of pieces gathered for display at Art Korner under the title of Legends. Comprising 8 large-format pieces, the exhibition takes as its theme the tales of Ancient Greece and Rome – fact and fiction.

Art Korner Gallery II: Seduce – Legends

Around the walls of the gallery space – itself dressed to evoke a Greco-Roman flavour, and quite effectively so – several of the pieces allow us to witness Caesar’s fateful crossing of the Rubicon in 49 BC (the piece suitably entitled Alea Iacta Est – the words attributed to Caesar as he did so by the historian Suetonius), or to visit Pompeii at the moment Vesuvius erupts or become embroiled in one of Alexander the Great’s conquests. Others take us into the realms of mythology as effectively as a any blockbuster, so we might see Theseus confronted by the Minotaur and Poseidon rising up from the depths (possibly against Odysseus and his crew as they attempt to return home to Ithaca), whilst still others evoke Ridley Scott’s 2000 epic Gladiator.

But what makes these pieces so extraordinary is their depth, particularly those where multiple characters are featured – such as with Alea Iacta Est, Last Kiss in Pompeii and Alexander and Bucephalus.

A close examination of these three will reveal a certain likeness between several of the characters within them whose faces are visible. This is because Seduce has apparently use his avatar(s) numerous times to produce individual images (presumably against a white / green / blue backdrop) which he has then carefully composited into the main image layer by layer, so creating a marvellous story-within-a-frame that on first encounter is breathtakingly unique.

Art Korner Gallery II: Seduce – Legends

Painstaking the work might be, but the end results really are magnificent to look at – so much so that I feel somewhat guilty about only writing about Legends now, when the exhibit is perhaps nearer the end of its run that the start. Hence why I do thoroughly recommend that anyone with a love of SL photography and art as whole make sure they stop by Art Korner Gallery II sooner rather than later, so as not to miss the most extraordinary of exhibitions.

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