Three at Club LA and Gallery in Second Life

Club LA and Gallery: Kapaan

October currently sees three expeditions in progress at Club LA and Gallery, curated by Fuyuko Amano (Wintergeist), although I believe two will be closing at the end of the month. Between them, they offer three very different displays of art and perspectives, making all three an engaging visit.

The ground-level exhibitions both opened on October 3rd, and so many have a limited time left in their runs. They feature the work of Kapaan and Blues Rocker (BluesrockerResident) respectively.

Kapaan presents art that often carries a narrative theme, usually with a fantasy / dark fantasy element to it – and such is the case with several on the pieces here as they cast what might called Scenes from the Seed, presented in primal tones and featuring the character of Orobas (the Orobas, in human form?) and a glowing, seed-like orb.

Accompanying these is a set of more colourful avatar studies and a trio of landscape images. these again have treads of connection running through them, the colour red and umbrellas in the case of a couple of the landscapes, and the manner in which the avatar studies are mounted.

Club LA and Gallery: Blues Rocker

Across the hall, Blues Rocker presents an evocative set of images rich in colour, each standing on its own and strikingly unique when compared to the rest. Again, each has a story within it, hinted at by its title and ready to jump into the mind on viewing each piece in relation to that title. These are richly imaginative works, that reflect Blues’ philosophy when dealing with Second Life and his art.

I much prefer shooting out on location in the multitude of amazing sims which populate SL than in a studio, as I feel I get much better results that way. Since starting seriously taking photographs in SL, I have broadened my horizons in what wonders this virtual world has to offer. Really, the only limits are those of the imagination.

Blues Rocker

Club LA and Gallery: David Silence

The most recent of the three, having opened on Sunday, October 18th, is Spectrum by David Silence (JemapelSilence). Reached via a teleport station outside of the ground-level gallery space, this is also the most intriguing of the three, offering what might be said to be a display of personal introspection woven into other apparent contradictions – such as the title of the exhibition being a word that tends to first suggest colours, whilst the images themselves are entirely monochrome.

Of course, “spectrum” can be used in other contexts as well, such as “running the full spectrum of emotions” – and it is in this context that David uses the word, as he explains in Spectrum’s introductory notes. He combines it with that unique sense of self-awareness when we can perceive ourselves simultaneously in two ways: both from within, as we listen to that inner voice that can question our actions, motivations, emotional state, etc., and from without, as if we are projecting ourselves into the body of another and witnessing our actions / state of mind through their eyes.

The result is a series of images that might be subtitled Conversations and Observations with Myself. They comprise two figures  – one dressed, one naked – in various locations, clearly conversing and as if seen by someone else. This external view manifests the idea of projection beyond ourselves, but it would b a mistake to consider the figures as individuals.  Rather, they are one in the same: the dressed figure representing the externalisation of how we would like to be seen by others, and the naked representing out inner self, freed from the need to clothe thoughts and emotions. Thus we have a series of images depicting our relationship with ourselves, and the full spectrum of thought and feelings that can come with it.

Club LA and Gallery: David Silence

Three excellent excellent expeditions from three engaging artists.

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Renoir and PxL at Club LA and Gallery

Club LA and Gallery: Renoir Adder

Now open at Club LA and Gallery, curated by Fuyuko Amano (Wintergeist) are two boutique exhibitions offer small selections of art by Renoir and Adder PxL (Z3NooBhasR3turn3D), two very distinctive and very different artists who together present two very different displays of art.

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

Club LA and Gallery: Renoir Adder

Here he presents a dozen paintings, some ten of which carry a strong hint of Van Gogh. Rich in colour, they present a range of landscapes and studies that might have been lifted from a gallery in the physical world and dropped into Second Life. The last two, meanwhile, lean more towards the surreal, with one in particular offering a nod and wink to the Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte.

Prior to this exhibition, I had not come across the work of PxL. Occupying the gallery’s north side, he offers 15 Second Life photographs that offer an enticing mix, in terms of their focus and style.

Club LA and Gallery: PxL

Mixing landscape image and avatar studies, they range of the delicately post-processed to those that have been heavily treated to offer the impression of painting as what I might describe as charcoal-like drawings.

These latter images are especially evocative, with a pair of images both called c3dots particularly capturing the eye – which is not to dismiss any of the others, I also found myself drawn to the darkly atmospheric Final Breath, together with Like a stone equally attractive.

Club LA and Gallery: PxL

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Black and White and Travelling Heels in Second Life

Club LA and Gallery: WuWai Chun – Travelling Heels

Opening on May 9th are two new exhibitions at Club LA and Gallery, curated by Wintergeist, which between them offer unique studies and unusual views of Second Life.

With Black and White, located in the main gallery, The Friendly Otter offers an intriguing portfolio of some 15 black and white images that stand as a mix of avatar studies and landscapes. What is particularly captivating about them is not that they are monochrome – but the manner in which they are presented.

Club LA and Gallery: The Friendly Otter – Black and White

Each piece takes a specific subject  – avatar, landscape element, birds, etc., – and presents it in an almost ink wash style sans intruding surroundings or wider surroundings, on a pure white backdrop. The result is a series of pieces that are wonderfully minimalistic but with an incredible depth and richness of story.

These are genuinely graceful pieces that have every look of having been painted by hand, rather than originating with in-world photographs. Sadly, none are offered for sale, as all of them are highly collectable.

Club LA and Gallery: The Friendly Otter – Black and White

In introducing Travelling Heels in Second Life, WuWai Chun uses a variation of a famous quote about Ginger Rogers, the original version of which (from a 1982 Frank and Ernest cartoon) read:

Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels.

It’s a more than apt quote for this exhibition – reached via teleport from the main gallery – which offers highly unique views of Second Life around, under and over high-heeled shoes.

On reading this, it might be tempting to simply say, “Oh, you mean this is an exhibition of photographs of shoes!” But that really is not the case; while a pair of shoes is featured in each, they are not in an of themselves “just” focused on the heels. A number present scenes captured from around Second Life in which the background demands the eye’s attention – a villa and pool, a dusty hill from (I would guess) Serene Footman’s Kolmannskuppe, the tide breaking over rocks – as much as the heels.

Club LA and Gallery: WuWai Chun – Travelling Heels

Mixed with there are artful pieces that capture the spirit of popular art from (roughly) the 1960s and 1970s, adding to the depth of this exhibition whilst offering some highly individual pieces that would be welcome in any home.

I mention this latter point because all of WuWai’s pieces in this exhibition are for sale – and she is giving 100% of all sales to Feed A Smile – so in making a purchase, you’re not only gaining a great piece of art, but also helping a very worthy cause.

Two extraordinary exhibitions that should not be missed.

Club LA and Gallery: WuWai Chun – Travelling Heels

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Reesla and Moki Yuitza at Club LA and Gallery

Club LA and Gallery: Reesla Chau and Moki Yuitza

Now open at Club LA and Gallery, curated by Wintergeist are two very contrasting exhibitions of art; the first in 2D and the other in 3D. Both will remain open through into the new year, and make for an interesting demonstration of art and creativity in Second Life.

The 2D art is presented by Reesla Chau, a Second Life photographer from Japan, who offers a portfolio of 16 avatar portraits focused on her own avatar in various locations around the grid. It’s a fascinating series of images richly showcasing Reesla’s eye for creating a scene and her use of angle and soft focus / depth of field.

Club LA and Gallery: Reesla Chau

In terms of the latter, I’d particularly draw attention to Summer Visit, on the wall immediately to the left on entering her exhibition space. But for one or two giveaways around the trees and leaves. it could so easily have been taken in a park in the physical world. Way Back is similarly engrossing due the the sheer realism folded within it.

Others in the series offer a digital take on classical portraiture-as-paintings – notably Windmill, The Moonlit Night and Country Road During Summer Vacation, the latter two of which again demonstrate Reesla’s marvellous use of depth of field. However, what is most engaging about Reesla’s work is her ability to tell a story with her photographs; every one of the 16 here whispers and entire story to those who stand before them.

Club LA and Gallery: Reesla Chau

The 3D art is presented by Moki Yuitza is entitled Rainbow Flakes. It’s a piece best seen with the viewer set to midday, rather than the region’s default time, and with local sounds enabled in order to hear the specially composed music by Daddio Dow.

Describing this piece isn’t easy; perhaps the best means of doing so is to refer to it as a coloured mobile of geometric forms set within a rainbow grid and turning slowly, it’s motion seemingly driven by the the gentle tones and vibrations of the music.

Club LA and Gallery: Moki Yuitza

It’s a fascinating piece, potentially hypnotic in form, colour and tone, and should be seen equally from both inside and outside of the surrounding grid in order to be full appreciated. However, fully quantifying it is something that’s very much an individual task. If not a mobile, I’d personally view Rainbow Flakes as a living kaleidoscope, free to change form and colour at will.

Two excellent exhibitions, both not to be missed.

Club LA and Gallery: Moki Yuitza

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Art and nature in Second Life

Club L.A. and Gallery – Sue Kass

Somewhat unusually for this blog, I’m covering three exhibitions of art split across two galleries – Club L.A. and Kiku Gallery  – that between them presents three very individual displays of art by Second Life artists, and which are each small enough to make a joint interesting and contrasting visit for those who enjoy art in Second Life.

Opening at L.A. Club and Gallery, curated by Wintergeist, on September 28th, 2019 and running for approximately two months are exhibitions by Maloe Vansant Sue Kass, two very different artists.

Club L.A. and Gallery – Maloe Vansant

Maloe is always a provocative in her work, and with A Glitch in Time, she again shows this to be the case, with a very mixed set of predominantly physical word photographs – and I have to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what to make of them. This is something I say without any intention to be dismissive towards the exhibition, but simply because the mix of images offered is so diverse, it really needs individual viewing and contemplation, rather than any attempt to understand them through the eyes of another.

Sue Kass, meanwhile, is an artist I’ve not previously encountered. She presents a selection of 16 avatar studies offered as a mix of photographs, paintings and drawings. I have to admit, they make an engaging collection; each one captivates the eye, offering a perfectly framed image complete with the strong suggestion of a surrounding story; so much so that again, they deserve an direct visit to view, rather than a second-hand interpretation here. However, I will say I found myself drawn to those pieces that suggest a drawing or watercolour – notably Fall, Hug and Flowers, seen below, and Ink.

Club L.A. and Gallery – Sue Kass

Running through until November 8th, 2019 at the Kiku Gallery curated by Suzanne Logan is an exhibition of photography by Ktahdn Vesuvino entitled A Closer Look, a series of marvellous close-up images from the physical world captured using a digital single-lens reflex camera with (for the most part) a 100mm macro lens. These are combined with a small series of photographs of the most astonishing series of sand sculptures.

When I go for walks, I see most people with heads down, looking at their telephones. The world presents beauty in great detail, everywhere one chooses to look. I know there is also ugliness. It’s part of our reality. I choose to focus on things I see as being beautiful, and attempt to make a photograph that will show some of the beauty to others… and be worth looking at again.

Ktahdn Vesuvino, describing A Closer Look

Kiku Gallery – Ktahdn Vesuvino

This is another captivating collection of images, Ktahdn’s macro pictures offering a fabulous series of portraits, while those taken on the beach marvellously underline his comment about people being so focused on their smartphones they can literally miss life passing them by.

Taken together, and as I said at the top of this review, all three exhibitions make for individually absorbing visits.

Kiku Gallery – Ktahdn Vesuvino

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Myf McMahon at Club LA and Gallery

Club LA and Gallery: Myf McMahon

Currently on display on the ground floor of Club LA and Gallery, curated by Fuyuko ‘冬子’ Amano (Wintergeist) is a modest exhibition of landscape photography by Myf McMahon, a Second Life photographer whose work had previously escaped me.

With 12 images on offer, this is a small but comfortable exhibition featuring pictures of some of Second Life’s more popular public regions such as Ukivok, Author’s Point, :nostos deer:, Wild Edge and (I believe) Cold Ash. Each image is intended to evoke a feeling or sentiment – as indicated by their titles – And the end of all our exploringThat missing part that we are always searching for, etc., and each of them succeed in achieving this.

Club LA and Gallery: Myf McMahon

These are elegant images, showing the minimum of required post-processing to bring them to life. And while none of them feature avatars and few feature animals or birds, they are nevertheless rich in life: the toss of waves, the pressure of wind and breeze as signified by the bent backs of trees or the billowing of a windsock – even the casual leaning of a bicycle against a railing.

I understand from the notice outside the gallery that Club LA and Gallery may be under some renovation, and given I’ve not dropped in for a while, I’m not sure how long this little exhibition will remain, so a visit in the short term might be advised.

Club LA and Gallery: Myf McMahon

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