I met French pastel artist Silas Merlin (RL: Jean-François Le Saint) several years ago through my friend Zephyr Zabelin, who then owned the artists’ community sim called Artemisia where I was a resident. When Zep left SL I acquired the sim and sought to populate it with the work of both residents and other interesting artists. I offered Silas a small space and I was happy to have a selection of his beautiful pastels on display.
Silas has been in and out of SL over the years, but has recently come back stronger than ever. Most recently, he has been working on rendering some of his 2D pastel work into 3D digital sculptures, which he has imported into SL and has also had RL 3D printed editions made. This afternoon was the opening of an exhibition of his new work at the MBK Gallery, curated by Asmita Duranjaya (SLURL below).
I have to say I was stunned when Silas invited me to see some of this work a few weeks ago as he was preparing for this show. The work closely aligns with the research I’ve been doing in cross-world art making processes. But while my work has so far been mostly conceptual, here Silas was actually doing it.
Silas uses different approaches for his 3D work. Some of his sculptures are based on his 2D pastel paintings (which are, in turn, based on real live models). But just as a sculptor in clay creates an armature with gross shapes that are gradually refined, Silas has started with normal primitive objects in Second Life to model the basic shape. He then exported that model as an editable mesh object that can be further refined using 3D modeling software. Once the detailed model is complete, he then imported it again into SL as a 3D textured mesh object. And as a bonus that same model can then also be sent to a 3D printer to make a solid model in real life.
Silas’s show at MBK Gallery continues through April.