Edie Horngold at DiXmiX in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Edie Horngold

Calling Out For You is the title of Edie Horngold’s exhibition at DiXmiX gallery. Located on the gallery’s White hall mezzanine and running through until early February 2020, this is an intriguing series of avatar studies, each of which is intended to frame a story, rather than representing an avatar through portrait or action.

Quite what the story might be is entirely down to those who visit – hence the title for the exhibition – as each image in this selection is highly personal in interpretation. All but one of the images deliberately avoid including the full face of their subject (Edie herself), a move that helps to settle those viewing them into a wider consideration of the narrative framed within each image, rather than being focused purely on looks and expression.

A further aspect to the story elements of the pieces comes through the use of colour, with most of the pieces offered as monochrome pieces. Where colour is used, it is generally not only minimalised, it is often offered through softer tones, allowing it to form a part of the overall narrative without distracting from it by causing the eye to unduly focus on individual parts of the image.

DiXmiX Gallery: Edie Horngold

Take Hisssteria, for example. Here the broader monochrome aspect of the piece is “broken” through the reflective sheen afforded the leather suit, while the use of a flesh tone of the arm blends, rather than clashes, with the more alabaster tone to the exposed flesh elsewhere whilst also offering a suggestion of sinuosity in keeping with with the snake (also offered in softer tones), thus helping the eye and mind to focus more on the relationship between figure and reptile.

A contrast to this approach is Hand With Cigarette. Here the use of colour is richer – the green of the dress deliberately contrasting with the paler flesh and the black background. This helps draw the eye to the red nails, the tempting partial exposure of nipples and the languid hand with the cigarette between relaxed fingers. All combine to imply seduction, the dress and poised hand at the side enhancing the potential for story through the suggestion of a femme fatale.

DiXmiX Gallery: Edie Horngold

It is these hints and echoes that make many of the pieces so intriguing. They draw one into each picture, teasing the imagination, presenting both evocative and provocative lines of narrative; mysteries, if you will, in which the solution is unique to each of us.

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Kimeu’s whimsy at DiXmiX Gallery in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Kimeu Korg

A year after his last return to DiXmiX Gallery, Kimeu Korg currently has an exhibition there  – at least for a while longer, as it opened at the start of November.

Osmosis De Un Sueño (Osmosis of the dream”) is something of a “continuing” theme with Kimeu’s work exhibited at DiXimX, the “first part” of which appeared in June 2018 (see Colour, whimsy and monochrome in Second Life, June 2018), with the second part appearing in the aforementioned November 2018 exhibition (see: Kimeu Korg: a return to DiXmiX in Second Life).

I’ve always found Kimeu’s work to be be among the most visually expressive and often surreal art to be found in Second Life – and this is very much on display in this exhibition, which features a wonderful mix of Kimeu’s Second Life art and physical world paintings, all of which have a delightful twist of humour within them.

DiXmiX Gallery: Kimeu Korg

As I’ve previously noted in writing about Kimeu’s work, he often warns those visiting his work not to “burn your mind thinking about the meaning of this or that in my works,” before continuing, “but if you think there are symbols and hidden messages, feel free to imagine. Go any way the wind blows!”

In the case of this exhibition, the humour within the dozen pieces offered here very much speaks for itself. Take Mug of Coffee for example – who can honestly say that they haven’t felt like that first thing in the morning, or after a long day at work? However, at least one does speak to something deeper: The Border, has imagery that would appear to comment on the controversy of the United States’ southern border and the Trump administration’s  immigration policies.

DiXmiX Gallery: Kimeu Korg

This is another series of images worth taking the time to see. When viewing it, visitors might like to avail themselves to the two other exhibits currently on offer at the gallery at the time of writing this piece. By Mrs. S and Natsumi Xenga, these are altogether more adult / NSFW in nature, touching as they do on themes of sexuality, eroticism and BDSM. They can be found in the gallery’s Grey hall (with the main entrance) and the upper White Gallery.

Also, those going to The Womb,, directly below the gallery’s main halls can find Theda Tamas’ 3D piece utilising Animesh, Dancing In Between.

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The art of Serene Footman in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Serene Footman

Now open at DiXmiX Gallery, curated by Dixmix Source, is Retrospective, a selection of images by Serene Footman – and it is one I thoroughly recommend for a number of reasons.

The first is that Serene is perhaps most famously known for his creation of Furillen, one of Second Life’s most atmospheric region designs that opened in December 2015 (see The beauty of a bleak midwinter in Second Life) and which became the first of a number of designs Serene developed, generally in partnership with Jade Koltai, and mostly inspired by physical world locations. Creating these regions demonstrated Serene’s eye for beauty, detail and presentation, as well as he creativity – and these are precisely the talents evidenced in the images presented through this exhibition.

DiXmiX Gallery: Serene Footman

The second reason is that until now, Serene has consistently refused invitations to display his in-world photography. Why he has changed his mind is explained in a blog post he published on the Furillen web site; I’m not going to cover the subject matter in that post, as it is personal to Serene, and as such deserves to be read first-hand and without the filter of any subjective interpretation on my part. Suffice it to say it is a personal, moving piece.

Given this is Serene’s first exhibition of photography, calling it a retrospective may seem to be a little strange. However, as some of the thirteen images present views of Serene’s own creations, the title is fitting.

DiXmiX Gallery: Serene Footman

Serene’s style, in keeping with his region designs, is marvellously focused and – as seen through the majority of the pieces offered in this exhibition – containing a wonderful sense of minimalism in which to frame a narrative. Also to be found in some is a quite delightful sense of humour that is evidenced without losing their ability to stir the imagination as well as raising a smile.

For me, the delight of this exhibition is that each piece has something to say on life and living, whether it is through the wonderful humour mentioned above, or in more subtle reflections offered through pieces like A Hen Is Just An Egg’s Way Of Making Another Egg and I Will Wade Out, or the marvellous and moving depth of pieces like Let’s Live Suddenly Without Thinking. All of which, coupled with Serene’s superb use of tone and texture, make this an exhibition that genuinely should not be missed.

DiXmiX Gallery: Serene Footman

And for those captivated with Serene’s work, I’ll also note that Furillen itself is once again back in Second Life for a time. This also should not be missed, whether or not it has been visited in the past, and again I recommend reading his blog post about its return.

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Maloe, Del, Key and a third anniversary in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery, September 2019 – part of the revamped The Atom section of the gallery

DiXmiX Gallery, curated by Dixmix Source, is celebrating its third anniversary in September 2019, with a triple exhibition by Maloe Vansant, Del May and Key Monk, and with something of a revamp of the gallery’s spaces.

Since its inception, DiXmiX has been a consistent venue for art from the avant-garde to the traditional landscape, although the emphasis has perhaps leant towards avatar studies and portraiture. I’ve covered the gallery in these pages since its inception – (admittedly missing a few exhibitions over the last 36 months), and it has been a fascinating journey from then until now, witnessing the richness of art on display, both 2D and 3D, and also the gallery’s evolution with the guiding support of Megan Prumier.

DiXmiX Gallery, September 2019 – Del May

For its first exhibition in September 2016, DiXmiX offered colour and monochrome images by Grazia Horwitz, Ariel Brearly (via Dixmix Source’s personal collection of her work), Ziki Questi, and also from the portfolios of Megan and Dixmix.  This mix of monochrome and colour art is again on offer in the three exhibitions marking this third anniversary – although the content of the art is very different from that first exhibition, and the three sets offer rich contrast between one another.

Occupying the Grey Gallery, adjacent to the main entrance, Del May presents a set of thirteen avatar studies that are startling in their content, encompassing a form of surrealism that is exceptionally captivating. These are pieces that demand the attention of the heart and emotions rather than the intellect, each piece singularly unique and with its own sense of potential and narrative.

DiXmiX Gallery, September 2019 – Maloe Vansant

One the upper level’s White Gallery, Maloe Vansant presents a dozen studies in her familiar evocative and provocative style. One of the aspects of Maloe’s work I find appealing is her ability to offer pieces that might be regarded as voyeuristic or NSFW or edging on the taboo/ fetishistic, but which are ultimately introspective / reflective, or which convey an ideal, a provocation to thought, rather than seeking a more basic (hormonal?) reaction. This is very much the case here, with each piece presented intoxicating in its composition, tone and message.

For me, Key Monk’s work, displayed in the lower level Black Gallery, offers a new volume in the school of photography brought to my attention by Melusina Parkin. Rather than provide a broad canvas for his pieces, Key focuses on a single element in scene, using it, something with soft focus or considered depth of field, to present a window into what might be a much more extensive story that only requires our own imaginations to bring to life. And even when the image itself is more expansive – as with #3, there is still the feeling that we are witnessing one small part of a bigger story, and thus we are drawn into each piece to weave our own narrative around it.

DiXmiX Gallery, September 2019 – Key Monk

Congrats to Dixmix and Megan on the occasion of the gallery’s third anniversary – looking forward to the next three years!

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An artistic Masquerade in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Masquerade – Lou Shadow and Calypso Applewhyte

Masquerade is the title of an ensemble exhibition at DiXmiX Gallery that opened on June 20th, 2019. It features images by 34 Second Life photographers that have been selected by Dixmix Source, the gallery’s curator, along the theme of masks (which also encompasses the likes of helmets face masks, gas masks, make-up as a mask, as well as the more traditional masquerade mask suggested by the title.

Occupying all three halls of the gallery, the exhibition comprises a one or two pieces from each of the selected artist; they in turn comprise: Algezares Magic, Aniki Seetan, ByrneDarkly Cazalet, Calypso Applewhyte, Catherine Nikolaidis, Edie Horngold, Ember Adored, Gaus, Génesis Rodriguez, Guen Gothly, Izabela Navarathna, Jaggy, Kimmy Littleboots, Kimmy Ridley, Krizze Sparrowhawk, Laura Mrs S, Lou Shadow, Maloe Vansant, Megan Prumier, Mila Maesar, Ornella Batriani, Pam, Purple Leonis, Ryleigh Theas, Shocoon, Sinon Vale, Sonic, Tania Tebaldi, Tiya Aura, Tralala Loordes, Valenska Voljeti, Vallys, Wicca Merlin and Dixmix himself.

DiXmiX Gallery: Masquerade – ByrneDarkly Cazalet and Tiya Aura

Given the broad spread of photographers, this is unsurprisingly a richly mixed exhibition with wide-ranging styles and themes, with one or two of the images perhaps stepping into the realm of NSFW. Given the focus is headgear, the themes touch on science-fiction, fantasy (notably some darker shades, rather than perhaps the more wistful), adult games, etc.

Such is the volume of work here that this could easily be the kind of exhibition that desensitises the visitor to the subject matter (“Oh, look another avatar wearing a mask!”). However, through his selection and curation of the images, Dixmix utterly avoids this, putting on a display so richly diverse, and with the majority of the images offering a depth of narrative that extends well beyond their frames, that the exhibition is captivating throughout.

DiXmiX Gallery: Masquerade – Sonic and Guen Gothly

The diversity of work on display means that picking out individual pieces is an impossible task: each has its own attraction and most – as noted – have their own distinct story to tell. As such, this very much is an exhibition that should be witnessed first-hand.

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Finding Kusama with Cecilia Nansen in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Cecilia Nansen

Finding Kusama is the title of Cecilia Nansen’s latest exhibition, which is currently being hosted by DiXmiX Gallery, curated by Dixmix Source.

I’ve long been an admirer of Cecilia’s photography. She has an evocative, emotive style that offers a rich vein of narrative – but Finding Kusama is something of a departure from Cecilia’s usual approach to her work, as she herself notes.

Kusama came to me with her dots, dots, dots and what I admire so much in art myself; femininity, minimalism, simplicity and clean lines. Meeting her, I knew I had to ‘play with her’ and find my inspiration in her universe. Pop art is not my usual style, but Kusama pulled me in. She made my brain bubble in ideas, like a child with a hundred pastels and a brush.

– Cecilia Nansen on Finding Kusama

DiXmiX Gallery: Cecilia Nansen

The Kusama in question is Yayoi Kusama, the Japanese contemporary artist most noted for her work in sculpture, but is also active in painting, performance, film, fashion, poetry, fiction and other arts. As a conceptual artist, she blends multiple approaches and styles – particularly abstract expressionism – and is regarded as one of the most important and influential artists to emerge from modern Japan.

A particular trademark with Kusama’s work is her use of polka dots, and this is very much reflected within Finding Kusama. Seven of the 12 pieces in this collection offer bright, vibrant pieces rich in the use of polka dots, each with a degree of minimalism Kusama herself would appreciate. There is a wonderful sense of fun about these pieces  – which again, is precisely what Cecilia intends.

The remaining five images in the collection are monochrome, and while continuing the minimalist approach, they are split between those echoing the polka dot theme with its lightness, and some that plumb a deeper, more personal depth for Cecilia, and which reflect a situation she recently passed through.

DiXmiX Gallery: Cecilia Nansen

As both a celebration of Kusama’s art and an exhibition of Cecilia’s own evocative and introspective art, Finding Kusama is not to be missed.

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