Saturday, April 21, 2007

Daruma Picnic at the Second Life Library Art Gallery

Daruma Picnic’s first name comes from the Japanese dharma or wish dolls. His first work of art in Second Life was his own skin, a full body tattoo of his own drawing of a Daruma doll. Since I met him soon after he arrived, I’ve seen all the phases of his SL career so far: “Avatar”, “Architecture”, “Darumas”, “Imported Painting” (his shortest phase), “Floating Overlays”, “Click Color” and now “Interactive Music Sculpture”. It has been interesting and exciting to watch an accomplished artist take on a new medium. It has also been great fun to see the inspiration meter go off when Daruma sees something that gives him an idea, and to see him working through it. He will be displaying many of these works at the Second Life Library Gallery (Library Gallery, Info Island (32, 117, 33).

For years he has been making layered studies for his gouache paintings in real life. His initial studies are drawings in felt-tip pen, which he layers in Photoshop. He has imported these studies into SL to create “floating overlay” paintings with many layers, “inspired by the ubiquitous SL waterfalls with their transparent layered prims and animated textures”.

His “click color” paintings are created entirely within Second Life through layering of transparent prims (primitive shapes, the building blocks of Second Life). The viewer can play with the interaction of colors and layers within the piece.

Daruma found particular inspiration in the interactive sound sculpture of Adam Ramona (Ramonia, Marni, (219, 198, 23) . Daruma says "Adam's interactive sound sculptures are simple in appearance, fun, intelligent, and immersive. ...Adam's work is mesmerizing and sparked my interest in interactive sound." Adam guided Daruma through the process of writing a script where collision of avatar with prim plays sound. He recorded the voices of 3 singers singing a variety of notes. The result is “a sort of free jazz work”. Multiple avatars can play notes within the sculpture at once to create music in Second Life.

The show opens on Saturday, April 28 at 6 PM PST and runs through May 28.