Saturday, February 9, 2013

A dream made real: my Art Deco Exhibition!

After one week from its opening, I want to keep memory of the exciting experience I'm living with my exhibit on Art Deco at Art India Gallery.

 When Quan Lavender, on behalf of the Gallery owned by Veekay Navarathna, invited me to show my Art Deco pics there, proposing me to add also my furniture in that style and to take care of a matching decor of the exhibition room, I've thought that my best dream was going to become real.
I work on Art Deco in SL since years: I've taken hundreds of pics of Art Deco places and buildings around the grid and I collected them in a Flickr set (most of them are only snapshots, don't think to find art photography there, it's only a documentary archive!), I started creating Art Deco furniture, founding the brand Melu Deco (a special thank for that, even after many years, to my beloved friends Laura18 Streeter and to Bety Dudek, who enthusiastically liked that name, and encouraged me to start up), I opened shops in almost all the best retro sims of SL, with the aim to enjoy their atmosphere.
Past and present: my first Melu deco shop at Bayou noir (New Years' Eve 2010) and the latest renewing of my Paris 1900 shop.

By the time, I studied that style more deeply in RL, reading books and websites, discovering great protagonists and wonderful creations (buildings, paintings, furniture, objects, jewels, movies, decorations, dresses...) and exciting - although slightly sad - stories about Art Deco masterpieces, like the Battersea Power Station in London, now abandoned and decayed...
My SL home's desk shows this work, through the mess of those book's virtual copies. My photostudio walls do the same, displaying my exhibit's signs.

The outcomes of all that have been some inworld talks at the late Virtual Museum of Architecture, articles on the great magazine Retropolitan, some exhibit called Second Deco (at Diotima Gallery), Past Future (at the Schloss Museum in 1920 Berlin) and Vintage Image (again at Diotima Gallery and at Seraph City First Bank), the display of Battersea Plant's prim model at the VMA, and the satifaction to see my furniture in many houses and apartments of retro style lovers, or in great public places (earlier at the former Modavia venue; lately, at the Sonatta Morales' main store library room at Vintage Retro, where that great designer made me the honor to set my Lulu table and chairs, inspired to a René Lalique design).

Library Room at Sonatta's Main Store at Vintage Retro

The Art India exhibition is now the landing point of this long travel.
I've built and decorated several spaces and buildings, in these years: apartments in Paris 1900 and 1920 Berlin, a vintage fashion show set for Donna Flora creations at Look Elite Model Agency (recreating the Coppola's Cotton Club), the lobby and the academy of the same model agency. Some of my own shops, like the Paris one, try to be not only a display of vendors, but an example of decor in that style.

Past Melu Deco buildings and decor: Cotton Club for Donna Flora Show at LookElite, Look Elite Agency lobby and academy.

For the exhibit room I've chosen a black and golden palette for decor and furniture, splitting up the large room by columns and setting luxurious furniture pieces and lamps all around the room.

The room is set according to the rules that feature the Art Deco decor of huge public buildings: large empty spaces, high ceiling, geometric and recursive patterns on walls, ceiling and floor, abundance of light points.

Although the prims' budget provided by Art India gallery for the exhibit was generous, I've used my new mesh version of furniture pieces, to show how a rich decor is possible even by a reasonable land impact.

Furniture are the "pendant" of the 40+ pics i've chosen to represent SL Art Deco details, following a minimalist mood that i've learned to keep in all my photo works.
Pics are taken in famous retro SIMs like 1920 Berlin, Swing Times, Chicago Roaring '20s, Seraph City, Reasonable Desires. But a lot of stunning Art Deco buildings are scattered around in fashion malls, BOSL, Best of Italian Style, Cartunno, or Rodeo Drive, where the impressive huge House of Beninbourough's main store gives to the place an unforgettable Art Deco taste.

Photography, like all arts, is an intuitive matter. Creating a meaningful pic is a work of eyes and soul (and of Windlight and Photoshop, of course! ;). But I love also being myself and making public aware about the rational meaning of the things that pics portray. So, according to Quan's advices, I've set an information area on a skybox (take the TP from the sign close to the exhibit's landing point).
It's a sort of "visual history" of Art Deco style: I know how boring can be reading long texts while visiting an art exhibit, so I tried to show visual examples of a few basic concepts about that style, its history, its legacy.

So you'll find there 11 big signs showing RL photos of buildings and objects or even great Art Deco stuff makers. Each one explains a concept or an historical step of that style in architecture, furnishing, arts, show business, cinema, showing also how long Art Deco taste had last and how much it is widespread around the entire world.

Exhibit's feedbacks have been a wonderful surprise! The opening party attracted a big crowd, and all people seem to have enjoyed their time there.  I've been gifted by a lot of blogposts by expert and wise art lovers and bloggers like Inara Pey, Vera Hamill, Kara Trapdoors, Apmel, Thinkerer Melville, Ziki Questi, Deoridhe Quandry, Eddie Haskell, Gemma Cleanslate (see links to posts below). Many pics of the exhibition have been posted on Flickr or on Facebook, and a very clever videomaker, Wizardoz Chrome posted  a wonderful video on You Tube, showing suggestively and exhaustively all the aspects of the exhibit. I'd had the pleasure and the honor to meet many of them, so the event has been to me also a way to increase my friendlist by the names of wonderful and passionate people.
I want to thank all of them, not only for the joy they gave me by their appreciation (sometimes I blushed, reading their good words on my own and Quan's work!) but also for letting people know an event that has been thought to be useful in sharing knowledge and culture in SL.

Art Deco exhibit on the Web:

Quan's Lavender presentation

Reviews and FB entries:

Inara Pey's blog

Vera Hamill's blog

Kara Trapdoors' blog

Duna Gant FB page

Apmel's blog

Thinkerer Melville's blog

Ziki Questi's blog


Deoridhe Quandry blog
(Gallery as a background for Art Deco styling)

Eddie Haskell blog

SL Newser (Gemma Cleanslate) 


  1. Thank you for this great post about a great exhibit Melu!

  2. I thank you, Apmel!
    Happy to have known your great blog!

  3. smiles ...congratulations on a stunning exhibit and great post, Melu. You contribute so much to sl.

  4. Thanks, Walter! You know: I love this world!


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