Ekphrasis: An Introduction

Full disclosure: I’m an art snob.  Not only by nature, but I’ve been professionally trained to be one, so doubly dangerous. I happily embrace this trait, with the full cognition that aesthetic preferences are highly individual, and what one person might love, another sees as complete rubbish.  So before I begin my first in what shall be a series of profiles of various SL artists in a new column called ‘Ekphrasis’ (see?  art snob), I beg my readers (and my Editor!) indulge me and let me tell you what I am looking for when I search for what I deem to be ‘good’ art in SL.

First, it isn’t just rezzed, but resonates.  For me, it must speak somehow.  The message may not be coherent, it may just be one of the senses, but the work has something to say beyond just the figural, the representative.  I may not even like the work, visually (as in, “I wouldn’t hang it in my house”), but I am objective enough to recognize and respect what it tries to do.

Second, it doesn’t just resonate, but is rezzed.  While it is lovely to see what a fine photographer or painter someone is in RL, in SL, I want to see someone really use the medium at their disposal.  This isn’t to say that I would thumb my nose at RL work brought into SL, but then do something different with it… shape it, work prim light into it, or use it as a catalyst for the exploration of these two strange worlds somehow.  Examples that immediately come to mind in this regard are the Gracie Kendal Project; Scottius Polke’s recent whimsical installation mushROOM; and the stunning landscapes such as The Far Away built by AM Radio for the IDIA exhibition and installation sim for artists-in-residence, hosted by the Institute for DIgital Intermedia Arts at Ball State University (the light here is addictive for photo enthusiasts).

Self-portrait of the author at mushROOM, on the shelf (again).

And with that, a brief note on photography in SL.  Taking a picture with your SL camera is of course using the SL medium, so here I look for something beyond a snapshot, but rather artists who really have an eye for composition, light, colour.  I may be biased, but in this category, our own Prim Perfect photographers PJ Trenton, Raven Haalan, and Twisted Lemon are top examples.

With that, I hope to introduce our readers to artists that they may enjoy, as well as add to their personal collection to make their own homes Palaces of Art.


  1. I look forward to looking for and at the many different types here in SL. Thank you for the very informative and wonderful article on the art and artists that create on here.

  2. Great article. I loved the idea of ‘I wouldn’t hang it in my home but I can appreciate it anyway’, something I know I struggle with sometimes.

    Looking forward to reading more of these articles.

    And thanks for the compliment!

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