Art in Second Life 2023 (27) Nothing is real: Portraits of Non-Existing Women by Madoka Kawabata

Madoka Kawabata invited me to visit her new exhibition at the Kiku Art Gallery.
Madoka Kawabata is a friend of mine, not very close but we talk every once in a while, had one short play together as far as I remember and we’re both watching each other at deviant Art. Hence I know a bit of her art. Most of her pictures are taken inworld and are a bit processed. She loves gloomy scenes and a retro or vintage look for her pictures.
Last year in March I saw her very first exhibition in Second Life at Michiel Bechir Gallery (read here).

Madoka Kawabata’s exhibition at Kiku Art Gallery is named “Nothing is real: Portraits of Non-Existing Women”

The roughly 20 pictures are exhibited in a seperate building. Each of them is titled. They are not very large. You should step or cam close into them to see the details. As the name implies the exhibition focuses of portraits of women. None of them exist in real life but they look very real.
Madoka wrote in the accompaying notecard: “As I began experimenting with AI digital art, Midjourney in particular, last year, I decided to mix the portraits approximately half and half between Second Life and those created by Midjourney. Although Midjourney can use a photograph as one of its inputs, I think that most of those in this show are purely based on word input.

Impressions of “Nothing is real: Portraits of Non-Existing Women” by Madoka Kawabata at Kiku Art Gallery (1)

The result is amazing! These pictures look so damned real – and vintage of course as it is Madoka’s style. You wouldn’t think that these pictures are fake, if you wouldn’t know better. And some of the pictures clearly also express Madoka’s wit.

Madoka Kawataba’s Second Life began already in 2005. All along she took photos, but it was only about 4 years ago that she finally began spending more time and effort on SL photography as the graphics and quality of the visuals got better: “This coincided with an increased in interest in RL photography, especially with vintage film cameras. It’s a very different experience taking pictures with a 1950’s era mechanical film camera. But the experience in SL and RL helped my photographic abilities in both places!
Madoka has an account on flickr and you can find her on deviant Art.

Impressions of “Nothing is real: Portraits of Non-Existing Women” by Madoka Kawabata at Kiku Art Gallery (2)

Many thanks to Suzanne (suzanne Logan) and Rafael (rafaelnightshade) for enabling this exhibition at Kiku Art Gallery. And many thanks to Madoka for these outstanding virtual reality pictures. I was impressed and can only recommend a visit. The exhibition shall be available until June 30th.

Landmark to Kiku Gallery and Madoka Kawabata’s exhibition
“Nothing is real: Portraits of Non-Existing Women”
Madoka Kawabata’s flickr
Madoka Kawabata on deviant Art