How Deep is a Painting?

Last night I threw on on a suit, jumped into my magic teleporter, and zap! presto chango! there I was, standing in front of Ruttan Gallery in Cetus, ready for my “Meet the Artist” event at exactly 7pm. I’ll bet Jackson Pollock wasn’t this punctual. To be honest with you, though, I had to brace myself as I walked in because I’ve never really enjoyed this part of my art career; standing around for hours, talking about everything but art with people that you might not otherwise be talking to. But this was not real life.

For one thing, it seemed clear from the start that everyone who attended the event seemed to really want to be there. For another, many obviously appreciated the work and went out of their way to let me know, and some actually wanted to talk with me about it. This is a lot easier to do in a crowd in SL, by the way, thanks to their chat features; the “exterior” or public chat, a free-for-all textfest that flies by just as fast as each person in the room can type. This takes a great deal of discipline and attention for me, because I’m not the best typist in the virtual world, and I’m a monotasker. Hey, I’m a guy.

Then there is the Instant Messaging feature, which enables you to have a private conversation in the background with another individual, while surfing the public, or local chat. I had several of these last night, usually beginning with a compliment or question about the work, and was amazed at how enthusiastic and knowledgable these folks were. But then, most of the longtime residents of Second Life are among the most adventurous, creative, and intelligent people you will ever meet . Some of the most interesting minds in the world are walking around in avatars these days.

Music was provided by the great Winston Ackland who, rumor has it, was once a member of a very famous band in real life. A great singer, a great songwriter and an artist in his own right, he struck the perfect note again and again, providing just the right mood for the festivities.

But it was as the party was winding down that lengthier and more serious conversations began. One of them was the one I had with DB Bailey, well-known rl architect and sl builder, in which we discussed the 3D possibilities embedded in an image such as cameo. The fact that all of my images have been created in Photoshop, using a composite of image sources, means that the many layers contained within each of them lend themselves readily to transformation into a 3-dimensional object, according to DB. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about this idea, and in fact can’t wait to walk into a room called cameo in the near future. Thanks, DB.

The exhibit will be up until the end of October. Drop by and visit, and feel free to drop me a line if you want to know more about the work.

Second Life photos by Happiness Merryman, from the top: DB Bailey and Chrome Underwood standing in front of cameo; Chrome, Harper Beresford and Xander Ruttan, owner of Ruttan Gallery, discuss the setup as things are about to get underway.

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