Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I was so disappointed when I first started looking for art in sl. I found awkward sculptures of bulbous horses, high-school styled graffiti ramblings and frustrated scribblings – most of which included long-haired fairy women with big boobs. I was reminded of a stained glass artist I interviewed with years ago. Hoping to learn the craft of leading and making patterns, I found myself in a studio that made those horrible Heineken lampshades that hang over pool tables. The artist showed me photographs of his real love, his personal work – which included a 7’ tall window depicting himself, in the nude, carrying a woman (also nude) in his arms – all illustrated in panes of glass. It creeped me out. So, in other words, I got a bad feeling for art during the early days of sl.

But all this exploring has amounted to something. Last night I met the extraordinary Teofila Matova, curator of A.R.t Gallerie at New Boston Station ( I couldn’t help but feel Teo’s enthusiasm for her work in-world which includes, in part, reference work at Second Life Library and the Caledon Library. She was kind enough to speak with me about her projects, and to show me around her gallery. She handed me a sparkling glass of champagne and gave me a private tour. What a treat! What a talented woman!

Spaces in sl are often confining (or else boomingly large) but the architecture at the A.R.t Gallerie shows a true comprehension of art installation. The gallery is traditional, elegant and open, allowing the art to be comfortably approached. The quality of the art and artists represented (including GM Nikolaidis and Autopilotpatty Poppy) is the best I’ve observed in sl.

Her office, which sits high above the sim in a sky box (you need a flight feather to get there) was truly stylish and illustrates her good taste. She interspersed just a few artifacts, some free, some modified, among the photographs/birdscapes of GM Nikolaidis – a nice combination of real life things in a virtual world. She even had a laptop sitting on a desk (with moving screen saver) that could e-mail me directly from sl. This is old hat to all the experienced scripters and builders out there but I was blown away. Thank you, Teo.

I found myself scrambling around online later, trying to identify the rl curator and artists behind the sl names…