Saturday, August 17, 2013

Erotic Art in Second Life (Part I)


Sex is dirty only when it’s done right.

Woody Allen

          Recently, my Second Life (SL) friend, Lisah Lorefield asked me if I’d be interested in visiting an erotic art gallery.  (Lisah and I only recently became friends, so please forgive her for not being familiar with all my interests.)  I replied in the affirmative and she suggested we visit Alanis Gallery Sensual Images at Xaara.    
          This story will be the first in a trilogy about erotic art inworld.  I’ve been meaning to write about a collection and an artist so Lisah’s suggestion gave me the idea of pulling these altogether.  During my travels across the Grid, I’ve seen much erotic art of very high quality and met artists of considerable skill.  These posts will be their story. 
Our departure was delayed a bit because of my recent technical problems.  (Significant Other asked what else is new.)  But I got past these and Lisah and I go off to visit the gallery. 
We rez into the main arrival area, a large rotunda at the bottom of a large open area.  (Don’t worry we both remembered to dress.)  Two galleries lead off to exhibits by artists.  A grand staircase hints of more exhibits upstairs.  Behind us the main entrance opens onto the streets.  Another entry way before us leads to a grand courtyard surrounded by other buildings in what I’m beginning to realize is a large complex.  Lisah shares a note card with me listing the various artists on display. 
Our purpose in coming was to view the artwork and display and see how artists are attempting to incite arousal through their representations of love-making. 
We begin with the gallery leading off to our left which contains the work of Sylvia Fitzpatrick.  She is also co-owner of the gallery and Xaara with Michael Seetan.  There are Real Life (RL) self-portraits of herself “exploring her submissive nature” as her show’s note card states.  These pieces are also for sale and anyone interested should contact either Sylvia or Michael.
Lisah and I then cross the rotunda to review the works of Graham Bishop and Richard Savage. 
Climbing the stairs brings us to the second floor where art work of Saturno Butto, Nero Grunstein, Emiel Drascoi, and Roger Woods is on display in three galleries and the rotunda outside these.  As on the first floor, many works in different mediums are on display and the size of the galleries avoids overcrowding typical of small galleries in places like Manhattan. 
Lisah and I exit onto an outside walkway where we pass pictures taken inworld.  We walk into an adjoining building where we work done by Joelle-Circe Laramee and Craig Morey.  Going upstairs we see the work of Gregory Brown which is the only sizeable collection with male subjects that we’ve seen since arriving. 
Despite the large numbers of paintings, drawings, and photographs that we’ve seen so far, Lisah assures me that there is a lot more to see.  Unfortunately, my time is limited and I’ll have to return in the future to see more. 
What we have seen so far is impressive.  Interestingly, women were mainly the subjects of the works seen with the few men present in secondary roles.  Lisah and I talk about the different responses of men and women to erotic art and how they view it respectively.  I don’t think we make any startling breakthroughs since everyone including Freud, and Masters and Johnson have tackled this question and no one seems closer to an answer.  But, it is an enjoyable way to pass the time as walk along viewing the art work. 
Another aspect of the work on display is that not much would be considered hard core by today’s standards.  Erotic and sensual but not in an in your face manner.  (Although, I do learn that Lisah and I may disagree on what erotic and sensual means.  Probably, goes back to my last comment about Freud.) 
I’m not an art critic (Significant Other is my reference here.) and I’m not trying to turn this story into a gallery catalogue so I’m staying away from commentary on individual works.  (I want my readers to laugh at my stories because they’re funny not because I failed to be serious.)  What I do want to convey is the depth and breadth of what is on display at Alanis and the high caliber of the curating work done to arrange the exhibits.  Anyone interested in erotic art in SL should see these exhibits.  I strongly recommend it. 
I’d like to thank Lisah for her recommendation and taking the time to show me the exhibits and putting up with my running commentary on art.  (Which I’ve spared my readers.)
I have included links below to pictures of Lisah and Alanis.  I haven’t included any of the pictures displayed because they’re copyrighted and I didn’t secure permission to use them in advance.  Also, I could never do these justice.  Go see them for yourselves in the right environment in the right manner.
Some of the artwork displayed can be purchased.  Please contact either Sylvia Fitzpatrick or Michael Seetan for details.    
As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 
I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here. 

Photo No. 1  Lisah Lorefield



Anonymous said...

Many thanks for writing such an interesting and informative piece about our gallery in your splendid blog. Please pass on our thanks to Lisah for providing the introduction. Great photos, too!
Sylvia Fitzpatrick and Michiel Seetan (co-owners of Alanis Gallery Sensual Images in Xaara:
ps All the pictures at Alanis are for sale, apart from a few SL images on the balcony.

webspelunker said...

Sylvia & Michiel,

Thank you for your very kind words! I've passed your thanks along to Lisah. I enjoyed very much visiting and writing about Alanis. Hope to meet both of you soon!



Anonymous said...

2d art in a 3d environment ?. Really whats the point! for me it shows little imagination in the potential of immersion within a 3 environment. Better off going to the www.
For 'sl Erotica' head to The Netherlands in 'RL' in sept to the 'Sex & technology' fetival where a sl group play live, for 8 hours at a time using live music, Bots & avatars in every erotic outfit imaginable to both rl and sl audience on huge screens. -there alot happening via this awesome medium

Sylvia Fitzpatrick said...

Most 'Art' is 2D, regardless of the environment. Whether it stays that way is up to the individual's engagement- I suggest it becomes 4D i.e. cerebral. That is perhaps the 'point' of Eroica, engaging beyond the physical.
Looking at Artwork in SL is very much about immersion. The difference between looking at found images on the internet and enjoying the Artists' work in a gallery environment, perhaps with friends or a curator, even with the Artist him/herself on occasion, is a world apart.
Many thanks, webspelunker for visiting and commenting, then affording a forum for discussion.

Anonymous said...

I very much object to the idea that virtual worlds are only for 'immersive' art, not least because those who build galleries and put together exhibitions are creating their own virtual experience, as are those who would never otherwise have the opportunity to visit and walk around curated exhibitions and talk to the curators or artists, as they can at Alanis and other galleries in SL.

Why should any type of art be restricted to any medium? Some of the 'immersive' art I have seen in SL is pretty limited in its own way, but I wouldn't say it shouldn't be there either.