Monday, 10 November 2014

081: Two gallery exhibitions you'll need to see in person

Yesterday I got a notification about an art exhibition of portraits being held at F-Star Art Cafe in Gay Fun World; pictures by Folsom Carter, and the exhibition was called Focus. Alex Thaub and I weren't doing anything special so we decided to go have a look.
     Now, as a blogger, it's hard to talk about gallery shows. First and foremost, I'm very reluctant to just fire off a bunch
of snapshots of an artist's work and put them in my blog. There are copyright issues -- although many artists will forgive a blogger who's just trying to drive some traffic to their show, still, it can be an issue. So in general, you won't be seeing a catalogue raisonne from me; art is something you should go see yourself and form your own opinions.
     In this case, though, it would have
been useless, because Folsom Carter has created some very clever art here that takes into account that you're seeing it in Second Life. You're encouraged to use your shifting viewpoint by moving your camera, or by walking right into the artworks. It's hard to describe, but these pictures have been constructed by building up layers of transparent images in different shades, and -- as the
notecard says that you receive when you enter the exhibit, "Whether it's physical distance or the distance of memory, the way things look can often depend upon where you're standing. ... Each one is meant to be viewed from the edge of the frame, but also from inside it."
     My favourite was a very complex stand-alone piece with some odd angles to it that is -- partly -- a picture of
four men in a bathroom. Speaking personally, I think this level of complexity is where Folsom Carter should be focusing his attention in the future. The other portraits are interesting, and the basic premise is extremely clever; it seemed to work best for me when the artist pulled out all the stops and made the varying points of view a huge variable for looking at the work.
     Summing up, this is a small show with a smart idea at its core, and you should definitely go here to F-Star Art Cafe and check it out. The models, if you're interested, were Harry Kotalik, Connor James, Loch Wolfhunter, Graydirk Enoch, Ramses Mistwalker, Craig Cybertar, Kip Ashbourne, Alec Fenutzini, and Folsom Carter himself.
     Then Alex and I decided to go to have
a look at 3Bears' new skybox apartments ... which we didn't find. But we wandered around the main plaza area of 3Bears looking for a sales office.  There we found the Ursa Gallery which was showing recent works by my friend and neighbour Joseph Nussbaum, with an exhibition called Moving Pictures. So that was another group of interesting portraits and really, you know, for a blogger this is
like a sign from heaven that you're supposed to be blogging these two gallery shows, you know? It was irresistible.
     I had the same copyright problem with showing you my crummy snapshots of these pictures, but an even bigger problem means that you will HAVE to go and see this exhibit in person (Ursa Gallery is here); when it says "Moving
pictures", well, these are actually moving.  In fact they seem to my uneducated eye to be animated GIFs, although that's just a guess. They're portraits of individuals against neutral backgrounds, repeating the same action with a few moves. But this isn't just done because the technology was available; there's a lot of thought going on that went into why the pictures are
showing you this action, and the model Joe chose ... I can't say for sure what was on his mind, but this is definitely a set of pictures that made me think.  And I can't show them to you in anything but a static, still format, which defeats the purpose.
     So check out both these exhibitions of portraits; interesting and challenging work, that you'll need to see in person.


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