August 2023 – FOCUS Magazine

Welcome to the August issue of FOCUS Magazine!

This month, we’re excited to announce Sorcha Tyles as our featured artist. Her work inspires hope, contemplation and love of the sea. Sorcha, a FAIR gallery alumnus, will be exhibited in the main FOCUS Gallery. Please stop by and show your appreciation for this incredible artist’s work.

Next, we have Lahna Calamity-Paine, Calliope Stillwater, Fystee Core and Kitten Caboose exhibiting in the FAIR Gallery. Each artist has their own personalized display to share with our FOCUS Family. The exhibits in both galleries will be here until the end of August, so please make sure to visit before they’re gone!

Feed a Smile - Live and Learn in Kenya FOCUS Magazine

We also have exciting news to share with everyone. We will be partnering with Feed a Smile and curating their monthly art exhibits. Feed a Smile has always held a special place for me, as it does for countless other SL citizens. The things that Brique Topaz has accomplished with Feed a Smile are some of the most innovative and impactful uses of Second Life. Just 100 lindens feeds a hungry child a warm meal from the Rhonda Slums in Nakuru, Kenya. I can’t express how happy we are that Brique asked us to assist her in this way. To learn more, please visit Lavender Fields. And if you are interested in exhibiting there, please send a notecard to Jude Elowyn (JudeinTime) with your in-world contact information.

Last but not least, it’s that time again! The FOCUS Photography Fair will be opening it’s doors on September 8th! This time around we’ve had vendors planning since February to join our next round. The theme is going to be similar to the SL20B theme: FOCUS on the FUTURE! We have a lot to look forward to and the photography fair is one of those things.

As always, I hope you enjoy this issue!
Angela Thespian

Art on Tour FOCUS Magazine
FOCUS Magazine - August Noir by Catherine Nikolaidis at Kondor Art Centre
August Noir by Catherine Nikolaidis

August Noir by Catherine Nikolaidis

Perfect for the month of August (in the northern hemisphere) is Catherine Nikolaidis’ exhibit at Kondor Art Gallery entitled, “August Noir.” Walking into the classic gallery room, it feels almost like there are 12 windows that display beach scenes in black and white. Most of the photos are of Catherine, which is her usual style, but her photos are far from “selfies.”

Each photo seems like a fragment in time, or a fleeting, hidden —almost voyeuristic or paparazzi-like — glimpse into a woman’s quiet day at an empty beach. In all but one shot, her face is obscured as she goes about walking, sunbathing and swimming. However, in Catherine’s unique way, she brings sensuality to those actions. The way she crafts her infamous black and white photography brings a sense of realism — a talent that is so often sought by others and so rarely as expertly accomplished.

The opening party for this exhibit was held on July 23rd, but I’m expecting the exhibit will last through the month of August. There’s always so much happening at Kondor Art Center these days. If you haven’t been, you are truly missing out!

– Angela Thespian

Art on Tour FOCUS Magazine

As an arts magazine, we cover all kinds of artistic expression. In this Art on Tour piece, I’ll take a brief look at two of the more interesting musical events in SL, events that often occur randomly and in a variety of different sims. These groups holds high-quality music events featuring some of SL’s best deejays.

FOCUS Magazine - Takeover

Lynchland is a group made as a homage to David Lynch. They are a bunch of creative people that started by doing a pop-up event about Lynch’s critically acclaimed television series, Twin Peaks. Soon after, they rented half a sim and built a town called Lynchland. They do events every two weeks with changing themes.

Takeover is a themed event organized by FROLIC, a collective of multi-genre DJs: DJ Crème, DJ H, and Oblivia Mutant John. This group promotes incredible music, art, and creative events in SL, including THE TAKEOVER, every Thursday 8-11pm. From the group’s page, “FROLIC DJs specialize in crafting unique sonic experiences for special events and parties, including Indie, Tribal, World, Goth, Post-Punk, Post-rock, Industrial, Downtempo, Dark Wave, and more. As the name says, they “take over” a sim and match their musical theme to the theme of the sim.

So, look for these themed, non-club affiliate events in the future. The lighting and visuality of these events are extraordinary. They’re lots of fun and great entertainment, attracting the best DJs in SL.

– Fynnyus

Art on Tour FOCUS Magazine
FOCUS Magazine - Kondor Art Gallery

The Spirits of the Forest is an exhibition of new AI artistry by Portuguese SL artist, Hermer Kondor. It runs through August 31st so you still have time to see it. Now, Hermes uses the AI technology Midjourney to create his art for this exhibit and there is much controversy about the use of AI for making images. Is it art? I asked him this question and here is his reply:
Hermes: I began working with AI generated images about one year ago, when I found all the amazing possibilities that has a new tool of creation.

Fynn: How do you respond to critics of AI generated imagery who say it’s not really art?

Hermes: Very easily . . . remembering the beginnings of photography in the 19th century and how there was tremendous criticism of photography. Photographers were pursued and even menaced to death by the painters who made their living creating portraits of their clients. But we adapted to this new form of art, photography. It’s no different today. We should embrace AI. It is not a menace; it is a tool that needs to be well-used and developed. Of course, it needs to be used properly and we all need to use it with respect and common sense.
So, don’t fear artificial intelligence or the images it makes for us and go see Spirits of the Forest at the New Life Gallery before the end of the month.

– Fynnyus

Art on Tour FOCUS Magazine

KA NA RU Gallery and Crafter’s Garden, curated by Lokia Float, is as much about the beauty of the landscape as it is the beauty of photography. I landed in a large courtyard encircled by a long stone path. On the sides of the path, as if they were part of the pretty landscape, are individual photos by various artists like Ella Pavlona, Lorraine Rosentrauch and Noa Cloud.

FOCUS Magazine - KA-NA-RU Gallery

Then I crossed a bridge (and a sim crossing) and landed in another field of pink flowers with easels scattered through them. The easels almost seemed to be wildflowers themselves growing out of the landscape. There are many small, cozy places to explore here too, like tea near the stream or a seat at the grand piano engulfed in blooms with a grandfather clock surreally nestled beside it. There’s also a “Crafter’s House” with art quietly surrounding it. The exhibit will be open throughout August.

I was surprised by a simultaneous exhibit called “Cyber 3023” that is very different from the serene garden. I followed a teleporter into a dystopian-looking build with gray metal pipes and concrete walls. Along those walls were photos of Sci-Fi cyborgs and machine guns. Such a juxtaposition!

This gallery certainly has a lot to see for visitors and is worth a visit.

– Angela Thespian

Art on Tour FOCUS Magazine

The Lost Unicorn Gallery is enchanting in itself with winding corridors and bewildering multitude of beautiful rooms, each with something new to see. Until August 27th, the gallery is hosting one of the more enchanting artists – and a FOCUS alumnus – Lori Bailey with her exhibit entitled “A Touch of Magic.”

FOCUS Magazine - The Lost Unicorn Gallery

As I entered the gallery, up the long, stone staircase, the colors of Lori’s art bursts into view against the muted walls of the gallery. On the bottom floor of both the castle’s east and west wing, Lori’s dream-like photos of angel’s wings and butterflies fit seamlessly into the surroundings.

Water in all it’s forms is a continuous theme in Lori’s work. I’ve often thought that looking at her art feels often like I am looking through a foggy atmosphere with freshly awakened eyes that are still a bit unfocused from a deep sleep. For me she captures a sweet hypnagogia, or the state between sleep and wakefulness, expressing layers of sensations and memories.

If you visit The Lost Unicorn Gallery, don’t miss the other rooms that are also adorned with art from other artists such as curator herself, Natialie Starlight.

– Angela Thespian

Art on Tour FOCUS Magazine

In one of the more unique and beautiful exhibits I’ve seen is Lali Sorbet’s exhibit TOTEMS at the Third Eye Gallery. The notecard that accompanies the exhibit reads, “These plant totems speak to us of nature, its diversity, its beauty, the imagination and the inspiration it provides but above all that it protects us and that therefore we must protect it in return.”

Created with AI, specifically Midjourney, Lali has created ethereal images that are applied to a prim and gently move across the prim using a script. The movement of these images adds so much because as they move, they almost seem alive.

FOCUS Magazine - The Third Eye Gallery

The notecard also says that Lali, who lives and works between South India, on the Coromandel coast and the south of France, “likes to explore all possibilities of expression.” She goes on to explain a bit about this relatively new tool of expression, Stable Diffusion used through Midjourney – an AI assisted platform where specifically chosen words create art sometimes so realistic, they are hard to distinguish from real life images. She writes, “Its specificity: giving the AI ​​words, sentences, poems or photos, and artificial intelligence thanks to its database (this one being more oriented towards art) will create images.”

While you’re there, you can also visit the work of Jaz, the galleries curator.

– Angela Thespian

Art on Tour FOCUS Magazine

This is an exhibit entitled, “Invisible Cities – Connection is Strength” by digital artist and curator, deborakaz. As I entered, there are several large black mannequins easily 7-8 times my size surrounded by what struck me as broken circles on the ground. Around the large room there are canvases that look almost like see-through etchings on glass of casually-dressed avatars dancing in sync, taken in wireframe mode. The whole exhibit is in black and white, with long white curtains that are easily 4 times taller than the already tall mannequins.

FOCUS Magazine - The Eye Arts

There is a small sign that reads, “Invisible Cities in about revealing social and structural problems in cities. This time I come to talk about connections. The power of the collective to make essential changes.” I believe what deborakaz is portraying here is that there is a large broken structure (the broke circles) on the ground and the large mannequins, or people, are coming toward the center where the structure is damaged to put their efforts together to fix it. One by one, perhaps they aren’t able to carry the burden alone, but collectively they can share the burden and make their “essential changes.”

The room has a powerful feeling, perhaps because of the size of everything. Maybe deborakaz used the towering height of the mannequins to represent power, and the large photos of avatars dancing as an example of the collective – people together dancing the same dance in line and having the same goal. That is my take on the exhibit but definitely stop into The Eye Arts and make your own interpretation!

– Angela Thespian

Let’s build something together.