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Showing posts with label sculptures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sculptures. Show all posts

Thursday, September 10, 2020

The GBTH Project Review – Zack Wonder Reporting

The art scene is vibrant on Second Life (SL), as many creators are experimenting the possibilities of creation in an ephemeral, virtual world without the actual need to go through the painstaking physical process of chipping away at rock or mixing oil pastes to paint on canvas. This process is exhibited in the GBTH Project (Grab the Bull by The Horns), curated by Marine Münter (vivresavie.resident). The GBTH Project is located at a sim organized as a cityscape, and is a piece of art in itself. A central square exhibits sculptures and leads to exhibit halls. Some exhibits can be entered from adjacent streets. Everything is organized as galleries in real-life (RL) art museums, with plaques introducing the artists and the art pieces. There are teleporters in strategic locations to guide the visitor around the sim. 
The sculptures in the central square are created by residents with an interest in art, as a collective effort titled “They: Duality of Love”. Rachel Breaker has provided the tools to create the sculptures from set pieces that the participants in the project have then assembled and textured to represent a central theme of love and duality. “Non-binary” aspects of love are also represented in the sculptures. Some of these are very political, others very innocuous representations of loving couples.
Zack admiring Rachel Breaker’s sculpture

The main exhibits in the sim are organized as individual galleries. Wide staircases lead to the entrances of four main halls, with entrance foyers introducing the artists and their works. On the side streets, “off-main” galleries can be found. Some of these are in small buildings resembling converted residences, and others have been erected on empty lots.
Sabotaged Memory by Marina Münter and Smoopa Spinotti can be found on one of the empty lots. Political, current-affairs protest posters and random junk are collected in a wire fence cage.  The posters decry current affairs with slogans witnessed in real-life (RL) urban protests in the USA: “Defund cops - prisons - military - racists”. Also, infringement on native tribes’ rights are reflected: “Stop federal invasion on indigenous lands”. The wire fence cage has, on closer look, rococo furniture, wall gobelins, vases and other artifacts from “le belle epoque” with graffiti tags written on them. Other pieces of the exhibit expound the whites’ invasion on indigenous lands, and imperialistic culture appropriating the quaint and the exotic of foreign cultures. The exhibit if an in-the-face exposition of revolutions past and present. A similar aesthetic is present in Marina’s exhibit “Non Perishable” where railroad containers are laden with junk and pieces of furniture, presenting themed views of existence, ranging from ambivalence and home, to wilderness, sea, and sin. You could spend hours examining the containers, getting new ideas on each visit.
New Years Eve by Amanda (aht1981) is one of the main exhibits, with video screens. A blue entrance staircase leads to the dark presentation room. Black and white videos of avatars talking about their New Year celebrations at the turn of 2020 are shown on the screens, by clicking on them. The concern of the virus was already present at the turn of the year, and the videos progress as interviews about the rising concern and people’s attitudes with coping with the isolation. The interviews on the screens concern the virus mostly, but the Black Lives Matter riots area also mentioned. Beautifully done, with eerie ambient music to go with the presentation, the videos have post-production effects that reflect black and white film and analog video from the VHS times.

pic of a screen

Chuanghu (Windows) by FionaFei teleprots you to the middle of an exhibit of Chinese-style calligraphic ink wash landscape in 3-D as a room with different surfaces. The viewer centrally is inside, and changing the point of view, every perspective changes the scene with the intersecting surfaces. The imagery evokes old Eastern silk screen partitions as well as modern urban structures. This exhibit is one example of an effect that a normal art gallery could never produce. It would be fascinating to experience with virtual reality eyewear.

Samira Selvey in the middle of the exhibit

“Swallow” by Vincent Priestley is an immersive space where the visitor becomes eaten, entering into a visceral body cavity with framed paintings on the walls. The paintings feature protruding organs, some are malformed surfaces with canvas texture, as well as reliefs with face-like features. Body fluids ooze from the walls as the viewer passes by the exhibited art. The exhibit is like a dungeon made of organic matter. Walking further down the body cavities, enlarged micro-organism like sculptures appear. The objets d’art are for sale in the gift shop!
Zack inside “Swallow”

“Inferno” by Noke Yuitza is a fantasy dreamscape of nightmarish proportions where a central figure is a dragon gazing on the visitor. Flowers with bulging eyes gaze on the viewer walking on a surface of multicolored crystals as well as a blanket of digital art. The eye flowers turn eerily directly at you as you walk around the space. It is possible to walk around the center of the exhibit, looking in from the outside, creating views with surreptitious effects that you can’t see from the inside.
interior of Inferno

A more traditional display of art is a collection of “furry” images by Tommy Bruce titled “Real Problems”. The central figure is a deer-like creature representing Tommy himself. The paintings hung on the walls as well as the sculptures present this deer furry in various scenes depicting different degrees of violence. The deer is the victim, with external forces imposed on him. The detailed furry texture of the sculptures is evoking realism absent in real-life art such as the Wall Street Bull.

furry deer sculpture

An upcoming exhibit by Rachel Breaker is still under construction in one of the main galleries. Rachel also has a store located on the sim, with pieces of art for sale.
The GBTH Project sim is one of the most evocative and mind-expanding sims to be encountered on Second Life. With the changing exhibits, there is something new to see on every visit, and the space cannot be completely exhausted at one go. SLE gives a “both thumbs up” for the experience, with a strong recommendation for  avatars to take the time off their busy schedules to do something different and visit.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Behind the Scenes with ToySoldier Thor- Debby Sharma Reporting...

Debby Sharma: Congratulations for your recent achievement to transform 3D art to real world. Would you like to say something?

Toysoldier Thor: In my desire to bring my SL art into the real world which I have already done with my 2D canvas art. I can now do it with my 3D by actually bronze casting my 3D SL mesh art. So many have congratulated me but I see it as a personal goal or challenge achieved and an opportunity to leverage it more now. I am surprised how strongly my idea of bronze casting has been accepted by the SL art loving community because unlike the art you see which anyone can buy for $2 to $5 USD, buying one of my Bronze Casts is a much more significant investment for residents - this first one is $155 USD. I didn’t think anyone would accept that cost, still 10 people have already ordered. The first order being Ebbe Altberg blew me away. It validated my business model behind my passion.

Art Name: Shattered

Debby Sharma: What are the inspirations behind 3D sculptures and how long does it take to make them?

Toysoldier Thor: Well the inspiration to shift my art from initially 2D wall art to 3D sculptures was a trigger of the right conditions that finally came together in SL. prior to focusing on art in SL in 2010, I loved making actual 3D content for SL using sculpts - Landscape Terrains but they were not easy to mould into complex forms. Then in 2012 mesh started. I initially thought i would use mesh to make better landscape packs as I have earned lindens from them, but because mesh has high Land Impact penalized by size, I decided to make 3D content for my desire for art. I loved how i could express my emotions, feelings and political statements in 3D statues. As you will see with most of my 3D sculptures I also create a 2D representation because 2D and 3D art can express my desired expression differently. Also the quality of mesh resolution in SL is not to the level that I create in modelling tool, so I capture it as an image and transform it into wall art.  I wanted to take my art out of SL's art community and expand it to real life. To create a mesh sculpture it usually takes a week or less when i put my mind to it. The hard part is to know exactly how to properly express an emotion. I wait for it to come to me and then it hits me out of nowhere.

Art Name: His Princess

Debby Sharma: After the successful exhibition in October 2013 in real life are you planning on a few more? Are there any other forms of art that you indulge in?

Toysoldier Thor: I am sure I will have another one but not until I create a couple more 3D bronze statues to include in my next exhibit. P.S. I need to have another exhibit. I have 30 of canvas artworks in my basement that need to be shown and hopefully sold! If i showed you my real life basement man cave, you would laugh. My A.D.D. personality also makes it hard for me to exhibit rl again as its more like "been there accomplished that now what". I have found that art has been such an amazing medium to allow me to express and vent my pent up creativity and I have been so blessed that SL introduced art into my life. I am surprised that people in real life know nothing about SL, love my SL landscapes art as they think they are paintings.
I do real life photography too and manipulate it like SL photography then often blend them. It is a form of photography I love. I experimented with this method and the results are fantastic. Let me show my favourite of those. I refer to it as Flashlight Photography where the subject and my camera are in pitch darkness and I use a flashlight for 1 minute and paint the light onto the camera lens from whatever angle I want to. This creates a surreal atmosphere.

Art Name: Petrified Petals
Debby Sharma: Tell us more about your journey with photography? Do you make custom sculptures?

Toysoldier Thor: Well, strangely, when I was in high school I was President of Photography. It was back in the late 1970’s. After that I never touched photography again. In 2010, here in SL I got inspired to do SL landscape photography after I watched the amazing results my closest friend in SL was accomplishing. I entered a photo contest and came in 2nd so I got hooked to it. The 80 plus photographs you see in this 5 floor gallery are all created since April 2010. But within 8 months I got bored with landscapes as they had little emotion. So I used my SL earnings and bought a good DSLR camera and started taking RL photos to capture photos and manipulate them to express feelings, story and emotion. I experimented with mixing SL and RL images capturing the 3D mesh art. In 2011 when i first opened my gallery, I decided to attach an Artist Comments notecard with each which was a big hit with the visitors.
I have only made two custom sculptures upon request till date. I generally don’t do it because there are limitations to my freedom of expression. However, the dragonfly mesh was inspired by real life friend and the other one “His Princess” had full freedom to explore my creativeness. I focus on Low Land Impact. These dragonflies and humming birds are only 1 LI and “His Princess” which is famous among those that love art and dance for 9 LI. I was inspired with this art by a photo in a local newspaper. I used to use Blender but it was so complex that I started playing with ZBrush. I also loved a simple free program called Sculptris. It worked the way i loved to create organically. Later Zbrush bought Sculptris and many of the functions of Sculptris were introduced into Zbrush. i am not endorsing but for me it works great.

Debby Sharma: What are the other things that interest you in Second Life apart from art?

Toysoldier Thor: I love singing Karaoke in SL since 2008. I am a huge supporter of the SL Artistic Dance community. I love taking photos of them while dancing. It’s a great artistic challenge to catch them artistically as an image while they dance. Guerilla Burlesque is one of my favourites but there are so many others like Elysium, Image Club, Starlite and so many others that i have worked with my art. Dance, music, fine art, fashion, set creation is like a blending of art forms and I have loved building landscape terrain packs but sort of left that passion and good revenue source behind. Art is what i love engaging in most now. The only thing I haven’t engaged in is the formal Role Play sims and communities. Although, I have visited a few and observed but i am too restless to get into RL communities, I am Toy in SL but Toy acts mostly as RL me.

Debby Sharma: Is there any emotion unexplored and anything you are working at currently which you would like to share?

Toysoldier Thor: I have so many ideas. Thanks to my “Shattered” sculpture, I have been inspired to focus on a theme to my future sculptures. Well one was inspired as an actual request from my real life friend. She loved my Shattered and actually plans to buy one of the Bronzes, but she asked me "Can you create a sculpture showing elation or success or achievement?” Of course i could but I didn’t want it to be corny. So, I pondered how to capture achievement in a way that when people look at the sculpture they will feel the same. I want my sculptures to pour out the emotion just by observing it. That is what i love Shattered. Its accomplished emotion with the most intensity and it has also inspired my signature for my future sculptures. Do you see the exaggeration of the hands in Shattered? My “Ah!” moment to creating my signature of my future works will be to use the hands to express emotions. I have two ideas in my head already.
Actually no I haven’t started on any of the two ideas for my next sculpture but I will show you part of what one of them which I will use in the next sculpture and the rest when i finish it. See this piano. Imagine a pianist, his fingers pounding on the keys with passion and pouring out his music soul into the piano to create his artistic piece of music. How he will slump into the keys and how the fingers that hit the keys will be the "key". That’s my vision.

Debby Sharma: What would you like to say to your fans and friends through this podium?

Toysoldier Thor: I would likely say what so many have already realized known and expressed to anyone else in SL that has not yet embraced something in SL they are passionate about. TAKE THE PLUNGE and embrace it you will be amazed how it will actually transform and add a new aspect to your real life. I was not an artist when I came and look what is created in the gallery. If you love something in SL, grab it and run with it, don’t be afraid.