Friday, April 18, 2014

My new exhibit at Rose Theatre and Art Gallery - American Signs

Months ago, I started taking photographs for a series called "Americana": I wanted to shoot typical American places, landmarks and "icons" of American popular culture I could find in Second Life.
While visiting these places, I realized how much signs contribute to define a style, a mood that we can find in any image of cities, roads, stores and streets.
Most of them are retro styled, remembering the great influence that 1930s-1950s graphics has had on designing American popular culture's styles.
Diners, pubs, bars, gas stations, motels... the so called "roadside architecture", a typical American phenomenon, gives us the image of a whole world. It isn't a coincidence that painters like Edward Hopper or Charles Sheeler depicted them to offer a view of their times' America.
Second Life reproduces this mood: we can find a great variety of typical signs on its buildings and cities, where diners, gas stations, motels and bars are the featuring elements of the

I collected dozen signs' pictures, and I tried to make a slideshow on YouTube, while waiting for posting all the pics on my Flickr (in the series "Americana").

Kylie Sabra, curator of The Rose Theatre and Art Gallery, saw the show and asked me for an exhibit at the Rose Gallery :)
I'm happy to display again my photo at The Rose, after a first exhibit last year. I selected 20 pics, from the show and among newest ones (I keep taking photos of signs, when exploring) and they will be shown at the Gallery 3 from April 21st.
The gallery isn't used to make official openings, but I'll be there to welcome visitors on Tuesday April 22nd, at 3pm SLT.

The exhibit aims  to show a side of the "urban culture" that often is neglected or ignored, having it as a trivial or obvious thing.

But their bright colors, their happy lights, their appeal, their irony, sometimes, give us an image of a perhaps vanishing world that is deeply rooted on our collective imaginery: something like "semiotic ghosts", according to William Gibson's words, that play with our nostalgia and with our desires.
I hope visitors will enjoy them as much as I did when i shot them.



- Kylie Sabra decorated the exhibit rooms (she decided to enlarge the space to gallery 2 as well) making they look like roads, motel rooms, diners, adding amazing details in the signs' style. It's like an exhibit inside (or around) the exhibit :))

- Kezzy Angel, Rose Theatre manager, gave a special vintage taste to the opening, setting a 1950s music stream to welcome visitors. 

- Ziki Questi, whose blog is a very helpful guide to art events of SL, reviewed the exhibit in the usual sharp way :))

- Wuwai Chun, when has visited the exhibit, has taken a very meaningful photo, posted on her Flickr; she also added the exhibit's intro to the pic's description :))

- Wizardoz Chrome, who has made some great videos at other my exhibits, posted a pretty reportage of the opening on her Flickr
(and following pics)

Monday, April 14, 2014

My photo won the Paris 1900 Photo Contest!

I know and love Paris 1900 since my very first SL days. 
I enjoyed long walks around that beautiful SIM, discovering new corners every time I did.
I keep there a Melu Deco store on the Champs Elysées, that's one of my most biggest and beloved ones. Moreover, I take care of two MEB Fashion shops in the city and I also worked on decorating many Paris apartments.
But Paris is for me also the place where I started exhibiting my photos: thanks to Olympes Rhode, I've taken part in an exhibit called "Paris Impressions" in 2011 and I never shall forget how exciting has been seeing my pics hanging on the walls of the Brasserie, close to Moulin Rouge.
So, it's a special pleausure to me being the winner of the Paris 1900 photo contest, today.
In the photo I proposed to the jury and to the public, called "Ville Lumiére" I'm posing on the bright background of the Arc de Triomphe, framed by the Champs Elysées streetlamps, wearing the stunning Sonatta Morales' Fera dress. Among many other pictures taken for the contest, I loved this one for the light and 'cause it shows one of the most famous view of the city.
I want to consider it as an homage to a place I love and where I met a lot of great people and good friends.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wandering around a house as a mouse (Sniper Siemens' Tribute to Greenies Home, LEA 23)

An amazing experience! Feeling like Alice in the Wonderland among giant pans, toaster, pizzas and tomato cans or walking among chair and table legs tall like trees!

This and even more can be done at the stunning installation "Invasion" built by Sniper Siemens at LEA 23 (open through next June).
Sniper is a great artist and builder, as everyone know at least from her former Leonardo's machines exhibit at Im@ginarium and elsewhere (if you missed it, enjoy the video by Mexy Lane on YouTube).
Her creations are always original and different; she explores SL opportunities in a special way, avoiding too abstract or baroque things and trying to offer better knowledge about art, tecniques and - like in this case - popular culture, pushing us seeing the world in unespected ways.

Entrance is an almost normal door from outside, but after crossing its dark space, you realize you're entering a giant house through a mouse-sized hole: actually, you ARE a mouse living in the wall's hole!
Sniper's well known irony and building skills made a world we can go through looking at it as we were 20 cm. tall. It's just an house, but you have to walk as it were a broad region. Daily objects surround and dominate you while you enter an oven where tasty pizzas are cooking or when you try to use an old fashioned phone to call for help :)

Everywhere you meet Greenies, who - despite their wicked faces - show you how to use the huge objects for fun :))
Their "parallele world", that opens its doors in many house's corners, is the only enviroment where you are right-sized: the contrast to the "normal" objects and rooms increases the disorientation effect.
However, you can also take a breath in this slightly scaring world of giant's daily life: a Greenie-sized diner built on the kitchen table offers you right-size seats, but... the good food it gives is too big for being eaten without getting severe indigestion :)

I won't reveal the many surprising details you can find in the house: exploring them is the best way to be happily confused by this change of point of view on reality. I'll just tell that I loved a lot playing Monopoly being a pawn on the game's board (it has been a luck that game's jail was hold by a Greenie, yet!).

Thank you, Sniper, for this funny and stimulating adventure!

Sniper Siemens' "Invasion" Tribute to Greenies' Home, LEA 23