Monday, August 10, 2015

Farewell, Adele

Adele Kling 

Adele Kling has left us, but her sweetness and her enthusiasm keep warming and lighting up her friends' memories.
In beloved memory of a too short friendship, I post here some fragments of the things we have made together.

In 2012, Adele owned for a short time a gallery at New Toulouse, called Vintage Vision. She saw my photo series Found in the Attic and she wanted to host them at her gallery. Here below, a pic of the opening.

Adele was a Flapperette, a member of a vintage ballet team whose shows I had the privilege to follow many times, taking photos of the wonderful work they make. I can't forget the happiness I saw in her eyes while dancing...

... and when the public celebrated her by endless applauses.

Adele has been an active member of the 1920 Berlin community - where I've spent a great time, too - for more than 5 years. In the latest times, she owned there a Photo Studio; she talked to me about it with a lot of pride. Berlin's owner, Jo Yardley, decided to keep the Studio alive, as a place where Adele's friends can keep watching her photos and remembering her activity.
A little, cute memory more: once, Adele posted on her FB page a pic of a wonderful old linoleum floor she had found at her RL home. I loved it, 'cause my passion for Art Deco, and I wanted to replicate it in SL, making a texture of the floor for her. I remember how enthusiast she has been with it!

In the days she passed away, I posted on my Flickr a photo that could be a good homage to Adele: a girl walking on a mysterious road. We don't know where she's going, but we wish she's walking to a happy place. I dedicated this photo, that I love a lot, to the memory of Adele. I'm sure she would have loved it.

(for a better view, check it out on Flickr)

R.I.P., Adele!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A great gift!

I've been always honored with Gem Preiz' friendship. He's one of the most talented artists in SL, his fractal works are among the most stunning creations SL art produced.
Yestreday, when Gem IMed me to say he had made something for me, I was both surprised and happy. But when I saw the object he sent me I got speechless: it's a picture named "Tribute to Melusina". His mysterious fractal algorithms generated a distorced image of a surreal building, painted by muted colors.

It's something that I really feel like "mine": Gem has caught my spirit (I wrote him that!), creating the same atmosphere of my photographic works, but using his own techniques. I often have shot RL-like buildings in a way that angle, light and colors make them look unusual, thanks to the absence of people, to the surreal framing, to the symmetries or asymmetries, to the trend towards a monochrome mood or to a matching colors palette. Showing the unseen sides of common life things is a way to show how we can enjoy the world - both real and virtual -  when we don't take it for granted.
Fractals enhance these features: Gem's work is an harmonious painting talking about loneliness, mystery and essential geometry's fascination.
I framed the picture and I hung it on my home office's wall, close to some other beloved gifts. It will show how much our works share similar feelings.

Thank you, Gem, thank you so much!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

CLOSER LOOKS - Photo exhibit at Yo Mexico - Sociedad de los Poetas Dementes

Opening: July 28th, 3pm slt

Watching things from close up is an amazing practice. Isolating an element or a detail in a scene, focusing on it, is like when you repeat a word in your mind until it does lose its meaning: it starts then revealing unespected associations, suggesting unusual relationships, showing unforeseen details in it.
When photographed, the most trivial object, thanks to framing, light, shadows and colors handling can acquire a completely different meaning than its own actual or usual one.
This is what I tried to do in these photos. Enhancing the evocative power of daily life objects and landscapes, showing them out of their context or catching their hidden fascination by camera framing and lighting.

SL gives us the chance to create the most unusual things. I try rather to tell how even common objects can lead us to look reality in unexpected ways. It can contribute to make our minds less lazy, to increase our creativity and to avoid being flattened by triviality and conformism.

 "Let nothing be called natural
In an age of bloody confusion,
Ordered disorder, planned caprice,
And dehumanized humanity, lest all things
Be held unalterable!"

(B.Brecht, The exception and the rule, 1937)


Ziki Questi already reviewed the exhibit!
and Inara Pey as well!
and a pretty photo by WuWai Chun, too:
and now, Quan Lavender:
and a wonderful machinima by Wizardoz Chrome: 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ride through vintage US with Greyhound

2014 is the 100th anniversary of Greyhound Lines company. Celebrative articles on the Web and on magazines mostly show the famous buses, of course. I want to remember a different feature of that company history: Greyhound bus stations have been and are outstanding landmarks of Streamline style. Together with motels, gas stations, garages, drugstores, cafes and diners, they have been icons of the "roadside architecture" that featured the popular image of US worldwide, even through countless movies' scenes. 
My madness for Art Deco and Streamline made me plan to create 3D models of them, and to show them in SL.
For now, I show here below a little collection of  pretty 1930s-1950s Greyhound stations postcards found on the Web (I added also some photos of terminals not portrayed on postcards). They show typical features of Streamline style: horizontal shapes, round corners, towers, large windows, tiles, bright colors, chrome moldings, big signs.
They are a very meaningful example of the original American development of Art Deco style, due to the imagination of architects and designers who answered to the "need of future" so widespread since the difficult times of the 1930s. Even more than great buildings, these places - that people frequented daily - deeply marked collective imaginary.

 (click on pics for a better view)
Further infos about Greyhound history:

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Seraph has flown away...

Sadly, every day we see a SL beloved place vanishing, but sometimes they are places saying to our heart much more than nostalgia. They are places where not only we had had occasional visits, admiring their beauty, but places where we have spent a meaningful time, building something, dealing with people, enjoying events or setting our rest places on some of their pretty corners.
This is Seraph City to me.

In the last year, after a moment of crisis, a new ownership seemed to ensure a better future and the city was going to be rebuilt. Months have passed and finally I had known that the city is gone, due to the choice of the newest owner to use the SIM for private purposes. I never met Bromo Ivory, but his profile should suggest a better personality than that of a person who decides to ignore the history and the importance of a place like the one he bought. I can't wish him to enjoy his new place, 'cause he will make it grow up on the ruins of a wasted masterpiece.
As I've got the sad news, I've thought of my first visit in 2010, of the seek for the owner - the well known sculptor Pumpkin Tripsa, at that time - to arrange a rent for a shop, I've thought of the emotion when I set up the little Melu Deco shop in the Champagne Room quarter. I was fascinated by the unique atmosphere of the city, a 1930-40s NYC-like one, with all the typical landmarks I could imagine of that, from water towers to firestairs.

Beneath the big Seraph that was standing on the city's sign (a Pumpkin's sculpture), I remember buildings and corners that have disappeared in the time, like the huge Carrington skyscraper, housing a cool 1940s lodge, reached by a pretty lift and decorated by stunning Jazz Age images. I remember also another skyscraper lightened by violet rays, with a stunning Art Deco club on the top; the moving Memorial to War's victims, the late Donna Flora shop at the Champagne quarter, the New Champagne Room itself, with its warm and cozy theater; and I remember the people I met at my shop, or at the city club, or the pretty times spent there with friends I invited to visit the city and to enjoy its beautiful look.

But Seraph City has been even more to me: I was invited to make there one of my first personal photo exhibits: my friend GStone wanted to rent the Seraph First Bank building to celebrate the first issue of Stil Berliner magazine by an exhibit of my photos dedicated to Art Deco; many of them were taken at Seraph itself. It has been possible thanks to the building's owner Captain Paur Creighton, who later opened her own retro SIM, Swing Times. The gallery has been then used by GStone for an unique exhibit of Precisionist paintings, one of the most outstanding ones I saw in SL showing RL famous painters. 
A few months later, I've been also hired to decorate the Primgraph offices in the city, named The Daily Prim, an exciting challenge, indeed!. 

Later, I saw the city changing, when Champagne Room left the place and the new Estate Manager, Edward Pearse, built the Champagne Arcades, where I moved my shop. Sir Edward did know very well my love for the city and asked me for making some ads to place in other retro places of SL to invite people visiting the "Dieselpunk Capital". We had planned also a photo contest to advertise the city and I still keep the draft of the relevant poster in my inventory...

These are my personal memories, but of course Seraph was much more: anybody who visited it can remember the stunning skyline, crowded by period skyscrapers, the dark streets below the railway line, the unique style of buildings like the movie theater by Pumpkin Tripsa or like the stunning City Hall, or even the huge Art Deco Sonatta Morales' shop, or even the perfect 1930s style Hawksmoor Apartments building. Everybody will happily remember their trips to the buildings' roofs, from where the whole city did offer a stunning aerial view. And nobody can ever forget some warm and attractive corners like vintage diners, cafes and shops.

With the vanishing of Seraph City retro and vintage SL loses a prominent landmark. After the closing of the old Decoretropia, of Swing Times, of the Flashmans club and of Esoterica, all of us who love these atmospheres can still walk through 1920 Berlin streets, can enjoy shopping at Vintage Retro, can wander around the fascinating corners of Chicago 1920 or can have a walk on Paris 1900's Champs Elysées, but we can't longer enjoy the special, slightly misterious atmosphere we have lived in the city of the Seraph.

Goodbye, Dieselpunk Capital!

(Images shown here are taken between 2010 and 2013: they depict different moments of the City's history)