John and Tempest at Raging Graphix

Raging Graphix Gallery: Yin and Yang

Currently on show at Raging Bellls’ Raging Graphix Gallery is a joint exhibition by Second Life partners, John (Johannes Huntsman) and Tempest Rosca-Huntsman (Tempest Rosca) entitled Yin and Yang.

It’s a title that reflects both the art on display and the artists themselves on a number of levels. At its most literal, the title reflects the fact that whilst opposites on several levels (e.g. male and female, the fact that they originate on opposite sides of the Atlantic, etc.), Tempest and John naturally combine to form a whole. There’s also the fact that all healthy relationships contain within them the ability to grow and change, for both sides to contribute to the whole – and through their art and other endeavours in Second Life this is very true of John and Tempest.

Raging Graphix Gallery: Yin and Yang – Tempest Rosca

The title might also apply to their respective art: Tempest’s work is primarily Second Life focused, with a strong – if far from exclusive – lean towards avatar photography; John’s palette tends now to be a strong mix of art produced in the physical world that is then brought into SL. Thus, like yin and yang, there is a strong mix of what may appear to be different or even contrary forces (physical vs. virtual), which ultimately comes to form a whole.

This is certainly the case within this exhibition. With images presented exclusively in monochrome – again, something that might be a reflection of the black / white symbol of yin / yang – the pieces displayed here form a contrast that comes together towards the centre, allowing both halves of the exhibition to be seen as individual displays by individual artists, and also as a unified whole presented by a couple.

Raging Graphix Gallery: Yin and Yang – Tempest Rosca

For her part and along the outer walls of the gallery, Tempest presents a series of images that have been taken in-world. Whilst they can be considered portraits, in difference to my statement above concerning her work, they are not of avatars but of objects – cars,  a lifebuoy, a tram and a Hawker Hurricane.

Inanimate they might be, but thanks to their black-and-white nature, lines stand out clearly, giving each of her subjects a depth of life much as the lines and creases found on a face speak to the life within it and experienced by it.

Raging Graphix Gallery: Yin and Yang – Johannes Huntsman

Across the hall, John offers a collection of quite marvellous abstract and abstracted pieces, some of which appear drawn / painted and others produced with digital tools. All  are striking in their form, with a sense of the dynamic presented through line and shape, and that sharply contrast with the more familiar subjects found within Tempest’s images.

Also to be found within several of these pieces is an organic element:, form the flow of a liquid substance complete with spheroid droplet, through the creation of a human face within the sweep of line and the patchwork of light and dark, to suggestions of crops and a desert seen from above, the former being brushed by the wind, the latter left as ripples formed by the winds of the past. Thus, these pieces also give a sense of life within them, and in doing so, they create a natural flow before the two halves of the exhibition, unifying them.

Raging Graphix Gallery: Yin and Yang – Johannes Huntsman

Having opened on February 6th, I believe Yin and Yang has a further week or so to run, and recommend a visit.

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ZackHerrMann at Raging Graphix

Raging Graphix Sky Gallery: Zack Herr Mann

LIV (Raging Bellls) recently expanding her Raging Graphix Gallery with a new skybox exhibition area featuring a special exhibition by the master of psychedelic art, ZackHerrMann.

Hailing from France, Zack has a passion for art that dates back to his early years, and which has been influenced in a wide variety of ways – including by the likes of Marvel comics, the performance artistry oft found within LGBTQ communities and within the rock music scene. He studies art of a number of years, and had hoped to specialism, but freely admits higher  education in art (as with all subjects) can be prohibitively expensive.

Raging Graphix Sky Gallery: Zack Herr Mann

As a result, he became very much self-taught in terms of developing his own style and approach to art, as he also notes with disarming candour, touching on some of the influences on his work as noted above:

So, I started to discover night life, especially in the LGBT Community, touching on the worlds of drag queens and other creatures of the universe. Then I discovered the power of creation using a computer and graphics tablet, using PhotoShop. with these tools I felt reborn, free to recreate a persona based on a childhood character I made called Linda Cluster. This persona is a celebration of all that I love about the rock music culture, and is a nod to the musical artists I admire: Nina Hagen, Kate Bush, Cyndi Lauper, Bjork, and so on.
It is Linda Cluster’s work that I focus on presenting in SL, because its probably the more advanced works that I’ve done in RL.

ZackHerrMan discussing his work

The result of all of this are pieces that are rich and vibrant, frequently animated and carry a wonderful depth and life. wtached over by a figure whom I assume is a representation of Linda Cluster.

Raging Graphix Sky Gallery: Zack Herr Mann

Within the skybox at Raging Graphix, all of this is marvellously brought into focus. The two-roomed are is not large  but it perfect for housing the selection of art Zack displays.

These are pieces which – while “psychedelic” might be the term he uses to describe himself and which are vital in their colour and depth – also carry within then themes that might also be considered spiritual and / or cosmic. Within them are pieces that suggest living mandalas, whilst other perhaps suggest the tree of life, whilst other contain heavenly (as in cosmic rather than religious) themes.

An important not to keep in mind when visiting is that Zack makes extensive use of projectors to give some of his pieces their depth. As such, if you are to fully appreciate attending this exhibition, it is essential you have Preferences → Graphics → Advanced Lighting Model enabled (you do not need to enabled shadow rendering as well, so the performance hit shouldn’t be too great).

Raging Graphix Sky Gallery: Zack Herr Mann

A visually impressive and and engaging exhibition.

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Tresore’s Impressions in Second Life

Raging Graphix Gallery: Tresore

Now open as the end-of-year exhibit at Raging Graphix Gallery, curated by Raging Bellls, is Impressions, a selection of pieces by Tresore Prada Hawkins (Tresore).

I first became familiar with Tresore’s images through her involvement in the Phoenix Artists Collaboration, and admit to being attracted to her work, which mixes both landscape pieces and avatar studies – the latter in particular always framing a narrative or message.

Presenting some seventeen images, Impressions follows through on its title in a number of ways,all of which combine to capture and hold the observer’s attention. First, they are obviously statements of the impression Second Life has on Tresore as both an observer of the virtual world and as an artist; they allow us to see the things that have attracted her eye and caused her to create a memory of them. Secondly, they allow her to offer a story for any of the given scenes she has captured, either directly through the image itself or through the suggestive nudge of the title to a piece; so they might be said  to offer us an impression of both setting and the artist as a storyteller

Raging Graphix Gallery: Tresore

On a third level, they offer us an impression of how Tresore views the changing seasons of the year, with the selection of pieces, whether through their depth of colour or through other hints, offering us glimpses of summer, autumn (and harvest) and – most notably – winter (and the holiday season). Finally, and most importantly, there is within each an every piece, an impression of mood / emotion / feeling that reaches out to make each of us not just a witness to Tresore’s art, but also a part of the story waiting to be found within each image.

I say “most importantly”, because while many photographers are taken by a scene, finding its evocative nature as a door to them framing a narrative or to presenting a mood or feeling within a stated pose  / presentation, Tresore is one who starts with the idea of what she’d like to say, and work from there, as she explains:

I have found in SL photography a perfect outlet, as it allows to create from scratch what I want to say. I can take up to one week to create one of my pictures. I carefully research the clothing, colours I want to use, objects, scenario, pose.  I Search for the region that suits it best and the light that will create the feeling I am looking for. There is quite a great deal of love, work and time behind each of my images.

Tresore Prada on her art

Raging Graphix Gallery: Tresore

This again gives her images an added depth, further attracting our eye and mind to each piece, and adding an additional attraction to any visit to Impressions.

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Ladmilla and Eli’s Enigma in Second Life

Raging Graphix Gallery: Ladmilla and Eli

Currently open at Raging  Graphix Gallery, curated by Raging Bellls is Enigma, another fascinating selection of art and words by Ladmilla and Eli Medier.

Working as a couple, Eli and Ladmilla have gained a reputation for their joint pieces – an image (generally by Ladmilla, although Eli does produce his own as well) accompanied by words by Eli. More that just poems and pictures, these are illustrated pieces that encompass thoughts, desires, and reflections on life, love and more, that capture the eye and imagination.

Raging Graphix Gallery: Ladmilla and Eli

As I’ve noted when reviewing Ladmilla’s and Eli’s work, it is a perfect mix of styles: wonderfully layered images created by Ladmilla that have both a tactile richness and also a sense of great depth; and carefully constructed blank verse by Eli that compliment Ladmilla’s images as well as having to stand as poems in their own right.

An interesting contrast that I’ve noted with Ladmilla and Eli in their images is that Ladmilla often tends to lean towards the use of brighter, lighter colours in her work (although not exclusively so), while Eli tends towards cooler, heavier colours. This adds to the richness of the mix of images they can offer, and while Ladmilla does here present a couple of pieces that are of a deeper tone, they still retain a softer brightness within them, this contrast is visible within the pieces offered here, with Eli’s four image intentionally angled to the use of grey and colours that sit perfectly with his words.

Raging Graphix Gallery: Ladmilla and Eli

Enigma will be open through until at least the end of November.

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Jamee and Matt at Raging Graphix in Second Life

Raging Graphix Gallery: Jamee and Matt

The October exhibition at Raging Graphix Gallery, curated by Raging Bellls, brings us a joint exhibition by Jamee and Matt Thompson, perhaps between known to many in Second life as Jamee Sandalwood and MTH63, who recently officially partnered in SL.

Both are well known for their photography depicting the sights and art of Second Life, their individual styles an engaging mix of the contrasting and the complimentary, depending on subject and  – I assume – mood. Indeed, so complimentary are their styles that but for the tell-tales evident in some of the piece in this exhibition, and the occasional presence of a name in a canvas corner, all of the photographs offered here might be mistaken as being captured by the same photographer.

Raging Graphix Gallery: Jamee Thompson (Jamee Sandalwood)

Jamee’s work encompasses several genres, including landscapes, avatar studies, fashion photography and abstract pieces, although her landscapes predominant here. These generally tend towards softer tones and lighting, carefully processed to give a genuine feel for the time of day that frames them. However, more recently she has moved towards what she refers to as”shadow photography”, using both the play of light and shadows to create elements within her images, while at times also leaning towards darker tones in over composition.

Matt has also built a reputation as a landscape photographer, again as evidence in the pieces included in this exhibition. However, were Jamee sways towards softer tones and post-processed finishes, Matt often tends towards sharper, cleaner lines and finishes that – even when portraying reflections on the water – give his work a more crystalline finish, one so sharp in places that it feels as if a brush of the fingers over some of the lines of his images might well cut the finger.

Raging Graphix Gallery: Matt Thompson (MTH63)

This sharpness gives his pieces a sense of life and realism comparable to Jamee’s work, one that like hers reaches beyond the digital realm in which they were taken to offer something very tangible, whilst that same sharpness mentioned above offers that subtle contrast to Jamee’s work, gently pointing to the fact these these are pieces produced by two individual artists, even as they are unified by subject matter and tonal quality that can unify them into a single exhibit.

This complimentary flow is perhaps seen in the four pictures along the longest wall of the exhibition space, in which two of Matt’s landscapes bracket two of Jamee’s pieces that lie within her more “shadow photography” approach. The contrast of hard and soft lines, be it through finish or the use of the shadows inherent within the location where an image was taken and the tonal qualities of all four pieces, even with the differing approaches to post-processing offer all four as a continuous whole, the eye running easily across them as if they had sprung from the one artist’s eye and hand.

Raging Graphix Gallery, Matt and Jamee

Engaging, bold, and with a personal touch through the inclusion of The Rings, a piece marking their recent union in Second Life, this is another excellent exhibition at Raging Graphix, and it will run through until the latter later of October.

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Seiko Blessing and Raging Graphix in Second Life

Raging Graphix Gallery: Seiko Blessing

Raging Bellls opened the August exhibition at her Raging Graphix Gallery on August 13th, with a selection of art by Seiko Blessing (softandred), that will run through until Sunday, September 20th, 2020.

Seiko is a physical world artist and photographer, starting in the latter at the age of 14 and graduating to the role of her high School public relations photographer whilst still a student. In adult life, she has self-published two books of photography and has seen her work exhibited in museums, galleries and coffee houses.

Raging Graphix Gallery: Seiko Blessing

For this exhibition she offers a selection of her Second Life landscape photographs, many of which are linked by heavy, evocative skies, laden with cloud through which sunlight filters. This evens may of the pieces presented what at first glance might appear to be a dour look, but which actually emphasises the settings present within each piece, delineating houses,  trees, animals, boats and so on with a clarity that is captivating.

Others within the selection make rich use of depth of field to offer richly evocative images, each offering a story that easily captures the eye – so much so that I found it a little sad they were relegated to the stairwell area of the exhibit space, and they might easily be overlooked.

Raging Graphix Gallery: Seiko Blessing

Considered in their composition, tone and finish, sometimes framed with in-world props for a little extra depth, Seiko’s exhibit at Raging Graphix serves as an excellent portfolio of, and introduction to (for those unfamiliar with her photography) her work.

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