Barbara Borromeo at the Lin C Art Gallery

Lin C Art Gallery: Barbara Borromeo

Currently open through until the end of the month at the Lin C Art Gallery is an extensive exhibition of art by Barbara Borromeo (barbaraborromeo), an artist I have admired for her work and style for some time now.

On display are around 27 images by Barbara, some of which have appeared at previous exhibitions (see Barbara Borromeo at Serena Arts, for example), while others appear to be newer pieces – or at least pieces I’ve personally not seen previously. Together, they offer an engrossing display of Babara’s visual styles, from portraiture through fantasy to pieces that offer abstract art or which feature a blending of physical and digital images.

Lin C Art Gallery: Barbara Borromeo

There are so many aspects of Barbara’s work that makes it so captivating that singling out an individual piece from her portfolio can be counter productive; he images need to be seen as appreciated individually to fully understand the breath of her work and the canvas of her imagination.

That said, there are some elements of Barbara’s work that are beautifully exemplified in this exhibition, such as her collage pieces that blend together a number of elements into a single image: a portrait, a background (something themed), as with Enchanted Forest LN, Alter, and Cosmic Woman, which can so often weave a story in the mind.

Lin C Art Gallery: Barbara Borromeo

But even her more “normal” (in terms of capturing a scene) images such as Tuscany Byker OK, present such a rich depth and narrative, its is hard not to become completely bound up in them. I was also pleased to see  Words Never Said, a piece I first encountered in August 2018, which is magnificently powerful in its emotional content.

If you have not witnessed Barbara’s work first-hand, then I strongly urge you to go along to the Lin C Art Gallery and witness the power of her work for yourself; I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Awed, yes; but not disappointed.

Lin C Art Gallery: Barbara Borromeo

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ViktorSavior at Lin C in Second Life

Lin C Art Gallery: Viktor Savior

Now open at the Lin C Art Gallery, curated by Lin Carlucci, is an exhibition by ViktorSavior, presenting a three-part mix of his art, and which makes for an interesting visit.

On the ground floor, and directly inside the main doors, Viktor offers 21 of his physical world paintings of the natural world. I’m not sure of the medium used, although they appear to perhaps be watercolours, they offer wide open views of land, sea and the night sky, with a particular emphasis on mountains, and with a lean towards the use of blue.

Each of the paintings might have been inspired by a physical world location, either personally seen or viewed through image or photograph, or which might be entirely drawn from the imagination. Which they are hardly matters, as each piece has its own story to tell. Expressive of a love of the night, the dawn, mountains (something to which I can very much relate, as I have a love of mountains myself and they are one of the few things I can actually draw in a meaningful way!), and nature as a whole.

Lin C Art Gallery: Viktor Savior

These are paintings that, if you give them a chance, will   draw you into them, placing you on a windswept coast where the wind and unseen rocks pull the sea into rearing, frothing beasts; where a river winding down through woodland draws you to wonder what lies beyond the mountains from which it has come, or where the night sky beckons from the mountain tops, or the Sun warms a winter’s blanket, and clouds tower into the sky in reflection of the majesty of the mountains below.

Also on the ground floor of the gallery is a series of 18 avatar portraits offered in monochrome and apparently drawn by hand, rather than rendered from photographs. All but four are of female avatars, and all beautifully and simply capture their subjects in a manner not far short of perfect. There is a level of life and emotion within each study that offers a glimpse of possible thoughts and feelings behind the eyes. In a word, they are vibrant in a way perhaps more normally seen in colour images.

Lin C Art Gallery: Viktor Savior

This vibrancy continues on the gallery’s mezzanine level, where a further 18 monochrome images are presented, these all full-body images of the male body in motion, most likely dancing at the time the image from which the drawing originated was captured. There is a wonderful sense of dynamic fluidity in each, a grace that speaks of human, not avatar, movement and actions.

The three aspects of this exhibition offer a mix that is rich in its diversity, giving insight into Viktor’s art as eloquent as any biography. There is much to be admired throughout the exhibition, and the paintings are all available for sale. However, were I to be asked, I would have to admit I found myself particularly drawn to the portrait studies, as I found them to be marvellously alive.

Lin C Art Gallery: Viktor Savior

The exhibition will remain open through until the start of February 2019.

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The artful collages of Janine Portal in Second Life

Lin C Art Gallery: Janine Portal – two perspectives, one image, The Twilight Zone 2

Now open at the Lin C Art Gallery, curated by Lin Carlucci, is an exhibition of art by Janine Portal. Untitled, it is a fascinating display of art perhaps not often seen in Second Life, utilising animations and prims to present remarkable collage pieces with a surrealist edge that are quite captivating to see.

At first glance 2D art, Janine’s work is actually more complex than a flat prim canvas. By layering elements together and using animations, she creates pieces that not only incorporate motion (something often seen in 2D art in SL) but which can also offer changing perspectives and one cams over them.

Lin C Art Gallery: Janine Portal

I’m a first life artist, but I’ve also been making art in Second Life for a few years now. Visual effects that I could only dream about on paint and canvas can be realized here in prims and textures and, for that, I’m grateful. Sometimes I use my own images in my work, but I nearly always add found images, most of them in the public domain. This sort of visual collage seems to me to be very similar to the musical practice of “sampling.” I find a bit of this here, a bit of that, there, add unique elements and then weave and layer what I have into a new and pleasing whole.

– Janine Portal on her art.

The result is some of the most unusual art and effects I’ve seen in Second Life for a while, each piece offering an unexpected view of what might otherwise appear to be and ordinary scene or photo, or presenting a melding of ideas and / or narrative this is quite engaging.

To full appreciate Janinie’s work, it is essential a couple of recommendations she offers are followed. firstly, set your local environment to CalWL, if possible. Secondly, rather than standing still when looking at her images, gently cam or tilt from side to side to witness the changing collage / effects, even with the pieces that already appear to be animated. If you have a flycam capability using a Space Navigator or joystick, this is really idea to witnessing the changing face of the images.

Lin C Art Gallery: Janine Portal

I could wibble on about the pieces presented in this exhibition, but really, this is art that should be seen to be fully appreciated, simply because of the way in which it has been created and presents itself to the eye. What I will say is that as well as the mobile elements of the art, there is a marvellous blending of styles and ideas, with some images incorporating layers photographs, others offering almost cartoon elements and still others built from what might be almost classically styled paintings, all of which adds further depth to an already intriguing exhibition.

However, the best way to appreciate Janine’s art is to see it first-hand, so I’m going to suggest that you hope along to the Lin C Art Gallery between now and November 13th, 2018 and have a look for yourself.

Lin C Art Gallery: Janine Portal

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Sisi Biedermann’s Wonderful World in Second Life

Sisi Biedermann – What a Wonderful World

Now open at the Lin C Art Gallery, curated by Lin Carlucci, is What A Wonderful World, an exhibition of the extraordinary art of Sisi Biedermann.

I’ve reported on a couple of exhibitions featuring Sisi’s art of late – and with good reason; her work – all of it original pieces she has painted and composed – is quite unlike art produced within Second Life and exhibited in-world – nor is it quite like any real world art uploaded into Second Life by artists. Rather, and in a sense, thanks to Sisi’s imagination, style, and rich use of colour and ideas, to me it straddles the two. So many of her pieces could depict settings and situations waiting to be created in-world, whilst all offer doorways into fantastical worlds that come to life as virtual places within our imaginations.

Sisi Biedermann – What a Wonderful World

Sisi’s work is broad-ranging, although there is a focus perhaps on wildlife and fantasy art. It is also so skilfully executed, it is possible to become a lost in her techniques (which, I’d hazard a guess mix both traditional and digital approaches – but I have not had the opportunity  to discuss this with her), as in the stories contained within each painting.

What is particularly captivating about many of Sisi’s pieces also lies within the manner in which she presents them. Some may appear to be oil or watercolour on canvas, others as tiled mosaics, and others appear to have been embossed. Which approach is used doesn’t appear to be as result of random thought; often times the presentation and finish to a piece is as much a part of its story as the images itself. Take The Boy in The Moon, for example, with the embossing of a net-like finish over the piece as the boy dangles his rod from a crescent Moon; or the finish impressed on to My Amazing Garden that allows the imagination to feel the texture of flower petals and the soft brush of dandelion heads…

Sisi Biedermann – What a Wonderful World

With around fifty pieces on display, this is the largest exhibition of Sisi’s work I’ve seen, and my only small regret is that none of the wildlife pieces see at exhibitions she’s held earlier in the year aren’t also more in evidence here. This is obviously to avoid any feeling of repetition in displaying her work – but such is the sheer beauty and power contained within her animal images, it would have been nice to have seen a fox or a giraffe or similar here…

And if you think 50 is a lot of pieces to display – where Sisi is concerned, I assure you it isn’t. As I’ve intimated, these are more than just paintings, they are stories, and as such, they are each as individually engaging to the eye and imagination as the last.

Sisi Biedermann – What a Wonderful World

What A Wonderful World will remain open through until Thursday, September 13th, and should not be missed.

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Barbara and Cherry at La Maison d’Aneli

La Maison d’Aneli Gallery: Barbara Borromeo

Currently open at La Maison d’Aneli Gallery, curated by Aneli Abeyante are two exhibitions, both of which run through until August 16th. The first features Barbara Borromeo and the second, Cherry Manga.

Barbara Borromeo is an artist whose work – much to my shame – was unknown to me until June of 2018, when I gained an introduction to her work. The exhibition at La Maison d’Aneli follows on the heels of that event, and actually contains a number of pieces that were also featured in it as well. However, that there is some repetition doesn’t matter: Barbara’s work is simply extraordinary, and at La Maison, we are additionally treated to more of her physical world art as well.

La Maison d’Aneli Gallery: Barbara Borromeo

Several pieces are presented around the walls of the gallery, of which I found myself particularly drawn to Woodstock Hendrix (seen at the top of this article, on the left), and Words Never Said, two remarkable studies full of visual and emotional impact among a tour de force of stunning art that really captures the eye, heart and imagination.

However, it is the main slide show element of the exhibition that really captivates. Using a large screen, Barbara presents a rich cross-section of her portfolio – and it is not to be missed. Photographs and paintings from the physical world are displayed along with images captured from Second Life and – in what makes Barbara’s work fabulous to the eye – collage pieces that appear to combine both Second Life (or at least digital art she has produced) with images from the physical world. Given the number of pieces included in this slide show, use of the provided armchairs is advised – and taking the time to see all of the pieces it has to offer really is worthwhile.

La Maison d’Aneli Gallery: Barbara Borromeo

I confess to have fallen for Barbara’s work; her layered collages are among the most creative pieces of artistic expression I’ve seen either in Second Life or the physical world. The compositional work within them is sublime; the subjects evocative and, on occasion, provocative (as art should on occasion be); and the images bring to Second Life the full breadth and deep of a truly extraordinary talent.

Reached via teleport is a skybox featuring 3D art by one of Second Life’s long-standing artists, Cherry Manga, although sadly, she is nowadays rarely active here, preferring to spend her time in the Open Simulator FrancoGrid. As such, opportunities to witness her work in SL are always welcome.

La Maison d’Aneli Gallery: Cherry Manga

There are actually two teleports to the installation – the teleport disk on the gallery floor, and a poster on the wall. Both deliver you to different sides of the installation, but for convenience, I’d suggest using the disk. Doing so will land you near a selection of Cherry’s art avatars, which she is giving away free. These are located on a cube bearing the legend Freedom and Random Stuff – which I assume refer to the avatars, but might also be the title of the installation itself.

The two primary elements of the installation are side-by-side cubes in which are displayed animated wireframe scenes of marvellous complexity and which could both be taken as commentaries on modern living. The piece on the right (when looking from the side with the free avatars), seems to suggest a figure breaking free from confinement, the overall design of hexagons suggesting he is escaping the hive-like thinking that modern society can demand of us.

La Maison d’Aneli Gallery: Cherry Manga

To the left, the second cube offers a scene with strong metaphysical elements – and the chance to become a part of it by entering it and clicking on one of the spheres floating within the cube. This piece is perhaps harder to quantify, being strongly subjective. As such, while I have formed an opinion on it,  I’ll leave it to you to visit and to form your own.

A third piece, Freedom, floats and turns above the selection of free avatars. It presents a strong juxtaposition of ideas: the figure may well be floating and “free”, but she retains the chains which may once have confined her. While they are no longer locked or connected to anything, their presence seems to suggest that “freedom” can simply be an illusion – or, more positively – a state of mind to which we can all aspire, and possibly achieve.

La Maison d’Aneli Gallery: Cherry Manga

Two stunning exhibitions, both of which should be seen before they close on August 16th.

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Barbara Borromeo at Serena Arts

Serena Imagine Arts Centre: Barbara Borromeo

I admit that until I received I received an invitation to visit her exhibition at Serena Imagine Arts Centre, I was unfamiliar with the art of Barbara Borromeo. As such, visiting the exhibition – called simply Barbara – produced to be a delightful revelation: Barbara Borromeo is an exceptionally talented artist, who produces art that is stunning in its depth.

Reached via the teleport disk near to the art centre’s landing point, Barbara’s work is presented in an overhead gallery space, offering a total of twelve pieces of her work (13 if you count the furniture laden carpet, which is also of her design). These present the visitor with scenes that are by turn, beautiful, strange, haunting, nuanced, and rich in potential narrative.

Serena Imagine Arts Centre: Barbara Borromeo

Such is the diversity of styles on offer, it is clear that Barbara is not someone defined by one or two stylistic approaches; rather, she immerses herself in whatever genre best suits the story she wishes to convey. Thus is that some of the pieces here sit in what might be regarded as the genre of fantasy, others are perhaps based on and more abstracted approach to their subject matter; others are rooted in a form of avatar expressionism, while some embrace the use of a broad colour palette, while others are confined to more primary shades.

To offer interpretations on these pieces would in a sense be wasted; while each clearly stands apart from its neighbour, so too they are united in the depth of narrative each contains – although it is up to each of us to interpret the individual stories, whether it is relative “simplicity” of Vintage Car, or falling into the haunting depths of Prison or Dark and Gold or the captivating beauty of Princess.

Serena Imagine Arts Centre: Barbara Borromeo

That said, I found myself particularly drawn to Princess and Avatar (both seen above). These both contrast with one another, and yet are joined through their construction. Within Princess, there is a wonderful fusion of images from Second Life and the physical world, caught within an almost surreal fantasy montage that is simply captivating in its use of darker monochrome tones. Similarly, Avatar offers a somewhat fanciful, surreal image, but one that in a reverse of Princess, using white and grey, rather than darker tones, together with a delicacy contained in the pencil-like strokes of the background image, to form that strong but complimentary contrast to Princess, making them ideal partners in this exhibition.

It is this layering of ideas within the offered works that is perhaps most captivating: when looking at some of them, the subtle construction may not be immediately apparent, but reveals itself slowly. Take Boudoir as an example. The eye tends to be immediately dawn through the “hole” in the wall and to the woman dressing herself, and the ghostly face observing us. Through these were are perhaps drawn into the role of voyeur caught in the act. Both figures can easily dominate the focus of attention, and it is only after re-appraising the image as a whole that the true nature of the darker elements of the “wall” might become apparent, adding a shift in the narrative the image contains.

Serena Imagine Arts Centre: Barbara Borromeo

A captivating, entrancing display of art, Barbara remain open through until July 22nd, 2018.

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