We have highlithed in the past the exhibits held at Katmee's Gallery, with great pleasure. Her photography-friendly sim is a perfect stop for you guys waiting for inspiration or simply a well equipped , adult themed spot for your pics. And she showed a real nose for talent giving room for the first exhibit of the talented Domino Dupre alongisde Graham Collinson's expertise, with the bright prospects Lil Lowey and Drakaina Lamia, and with a very special showing by Laura Demonista.
This time it's about two great photographers from our community. Both magazine owners, both....ah come on. You know them both and if I list all the stuff they do with your day, this article will never begin. It's Marika Blaisdale and Rachel Swallows. And here's what they have to say, because of course I'd interview them!
- Have you held an in-wold exhibition before, and how did you feel when Katmee asked you to have your artwork on display at her place?
Rachel: - I have only really displayed my work before in my own stores occasionally, I have never had a real *exhibition* before, so I was very excited when Katmee asked me.
Marika: - No, I have not, this is first time in my life my photographies are being featured at exhibition. I felt, and still do, happy and proud for being noticed and asked. Very flattering feeling and a great honour - so I wanna say thanks again to Katmee for that.
- Tell us a bit about the exhibition itself: what are we gonna see at the gallery? Tell me a bit about the nature of the pictures on display.
Marika: - It is simply a selection of my photographies made like one-two months ago, mix of erotic and porn stuff. It's all have been already featured in my flickr before, there's nothing unseen, however I think it's a pretty nice review of what I do every day as photographer.
Rachel: - The pictures were initially just an experiment, I was exploring the use of materials on abstract mesh builds, I found the contrast of light and shadows fascinating and decided to combine the abstract pieces I made with what I know best, erotic nudes. So I basically started grabbing my friends and taking photos of them with the pieces. The photographs in the gallery are the best, I think, of that experiment.
- This can be such a complicated question, I know, but... do you consider yourself an 'artist'? Would you name someone, completely off the top of your head, that you consider a true 'artist' in SL ?
Marika: - I don't find myself an artist, probably because of my natural lowliness. It's not that I do not value what I create, I just don't think it's so exceptional. It's also about creation process: I got initial idea and final "product" - as someone who made it from scratch I know what limitations I had to give up to and how it differs from what I wanted to achieve. There are many people who make amazing creations in SL, in many areas: photographies, movies, designing clothes, building structures. I don't wanna bring up names, as someone who doesn't consider myself an artist, I don't feel obligated to judge others.
Rachel: - I don't consider myself an *artist* more of a, how shall I say, a fiddler with stuff. I like messing about with different mediums, sometimes I come up with something great, other times I fill my trash can up. I love exploring art installations in SL, thats how I spend a lot of my time off, so I would have to say of the top of my head Storm Septimus who I interviewed and featured in this month's Busted Magazine.
- Are you a creative person in your RL too? When you close SL, do you think a lot about what you could make in SL? Any source of inspiration in particular (photos you see, tunes, dreams, own drawings....) ?
Rachel: - *Laughs* Yes sadly SL is never far from my mind even when I am not online, I'm either thinking about something I am designing for the store, or what I have to do for the next Busted or I am thinking of crazy ideas for my next shoot or build. A lot of what i do really does just come from my own mind, though I do draw a lot on books I have read or places I have visited. I do paint and do some photography in rl though not so much nowadays.
Marika: - I think I am, but it's not the same way of being creative as in SL - honestly, I've never been thinking of that. I think about such things quite lot when I am out of SL, but I am not type of person who makes detailed plans, so I'd call thouse thoughts some sparkles rather than long, deep thinking. I see things around me, hear music, watch people and some of these views bring inspiration up, I try to keep them in memory till the moment I am here again.
- What is the next artistic challenge you are going to embark on?
Marika: - The "artistic" challenges... Finish a porn movie I have in mind and started recording, but never have time/inspiration to work on it - that's definitely zero art plan. In fact, I got many ideas in my mind, but it's always most difficult to make first step, so all I can advice is to keep eye on what I bring up time to time, I definitely have not said last word yet in so called "art" world.
Rachel: - At the moment I am working on increasing my skills in photoshop, I am entirely self taught on it, though boy do I wish I had had lessons, its taken my 4 yrs so far to get as far as I have and its been a long road, laughs. Ive been working on some photos that I have been calling Erotic Muses, where I have taken green screen shots of friends then used lots of layers and effects in photoshop to create the finished pictures.
An example from Rachel's 'Erotic Muses' series, featuring also Marika
- If you could choose to be the absolute top at something you do but give up on everything else because your time spreads too thin, what would you choose? Try to avoid a cop-out answer and pick it...We know you are a reinassance genius who can do practically everything you set your mind to....But I am asking you to make a choice!
Rachel: - Haha well thanks for the compliment but as I always say, I am more a jack of all trades and a master of none, I would like to say if I had to give up everything I would just like to drop my businesses and just explore second life without lagging, but since I would be bored after a week of that, I would have to say I couldn't give up my photography, I might not be a master at it like Tati or Skip and others, but I enjoy it very much and first and foremost I do it because I get pleasure out of it, not to have fans so to speak.
Marika: - I could drop making pics for being model others want to have in many productions.
Marika's latest contribution to a mainstream fashion publication, in Versus Magazine
Thank you so much to both Rachel and Marika for answering!
The exhibit is a fantastic display. I admit I have an obvious weakness for the artwork of my partner Marika. She has a wonderful erotic imagination and her style would land her, rightfully so, a place in any RL gallery that accepts erotic submissions....not sure of course if you could find in RL a transgenderl model more beautiful and intriguing than she is, of course. She worked magic with me , anyway.
But I also was pleasantly surprised to see Rachel's exhibit here. As she said in her answer, she had already something like this planned ,and her display is truly a fascinating one, as it combines her scintillating photography with something way more exotic and abstract like sculptures. Unique, challenging, definitely deserving attention and perhaps a full installment in-world complete with the 'props': again, her own original creation, which is remarkable.
Visit the exhibit, which has a (late:p) opening party tonight Novemeber 3rd at 12 PM SLT. The pics are going to be up till the 15th of the month, but don't wait too long !