Expanding the Second Arts

Second Arts Photography - Grand OpeningToday’s an exciting one for Oyster Bay, as we formally expand our presence in the SL art world into the world of SL photography.

“Wait,” I hear. “I thought you were a sculpture garden!” We still are – but we’re growing. Not just growing our inventory but also growing our outlook.

My feeling is that Oyster Bay has a wonderful niche. It started with sculpture – unique sculpture, using tools only available in Second Life, making artistic creations that cannot be transferred out of Second Life. (Of course, there are exceptions to the rule…nice work, Rezago!) I love SL sculpture art, and it will always be a staple at Oyster Bay. The sculpture work inspires artists and and represents the creative drive in SL..often giving innovators a platform to test new scripting, texture and building combinations.

But there’s more to SL art – and the other major arena is that of photography. Linden Lab put “Snapshots” right in the viewer; if I had to guess, it was probably intended as a social marketing tool for inworld SL’ers to try to share their SL experience with non-residents – perhaps enticing them to give SL a try themselves. Presuming it started that way, SL photography has come a very, very long way in a short time.

Snapshots now are artistic pieces to themselves, using the imagery that people see on their screens to share concepts, evoke emotions and display artistic capacity. It’s such a popular field that there is an entire website, Snapzilla, devoted to nothing but cataloguing SL photographs. (There’s a massive Flickr library too.) Sure, some of the snapshots on these sites are nothing more than people taking pics to document an occasion….but many are works of art in their own right. Beyond that, some people are taking those snapshots and touching them up with third party software like Photoshop, GIMP or Paint.net and making masterpieces. But it all starts with the SL-generated snapshot.

And that’s what we’re going to promote at the new Second Arts Photography gallery – the impressive work that Second Life photographers are doing with their “lenses”. It’s not a giant gallery…certainly not intended to be the sole library of SL photography. For now (yeah, I’ve got expansion plans), it’ll focus on the works of 4 photo-artists, each with about 10 or so representative pieces on display.

For tonight’s grand opening, Second Arts Photography offers you four relatively new photographers, each with a unique eye and style:

  1. Paolo Bade – Offering a private collection of landscapes from the Wasteland sims
  2. Jazz Calhern – Stunning portrait work, using color and light in unique ways
  3. Ty Ebisu – Some of the best non-processed environmental and landscape work that I’ve seen
  4. Isolde Flamand – Shooting in an eclectic style, combining inworld candid shots and computer processing. Isolde also offers a series of “Close Up” pieces that we showcased in the old Oyster Bay Cafe – pieces that looked at the nuance of Second Life avatars.

Our grand opening is tonight at 7:00PM SLT. DJ Doubledown Tandino will be streaming his incredible deep house and funky jazz tunes onto the Oyster Bay properties. It’ll be a great time. Hope you can join us!

Hidden Starax! Week 3: When Animals Attack!

One of the joys of organizing a long-form, rotating exhibition like Hidden Starax! is the ability to mix and match pieces to fit a theme. Last week was the fantastic (and funny). This week, the Crescent Moon Museum and Oyster Bay offer two pieces that investigate Starax Statosky’s wild animal forms: “Sand in your face” and “Nature”.  “Sand in your face” will be around through Sunday night, and”Nature” will be here through next Wednesday.

Daedalus Young took this photo of “Sand in your face,” a wonderful work that takes the classic “man v. nature” theme and does it through the lens of a construct made of sand:

And here’s a shot of the free-to-copy Starax sculpture of the week, “Nature” – using a metallic shine to emphasize the wild animal nature of the lion attack on the horse:

More photos of both after the fold:

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