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  • Frank Atisso

Gentle touches of color create magic in Caly Applewhyte's GRAFIK

The latest exhibition at the Kondor Art Center - GRAFIK - is a mesmerizing display of portraiture by artist Caly Applewhyte.

When it comes to portraiture, Caly Applewhyte is, without a doubt, one of the most stunning artists on the grid. Her portraits not only span a wide range of styles but are some of the most creative, evocative works of art created using Second Life as a medium.

In her latest exhibition at the Kondor Art Center titled "GRAFIK", Caly ventures into a new style once again, using touches of vibrant color to bring life to photographs done in greyscale. Apart from pure SL photography, this exhibition also brings into focus Caly's talents as a graphic designer and leaves us all stunned at her creativity and imagination..

One of the biggest challenges in pure black and white photography is to create contrast in the image. Without effective contrast, the image becomes monotonous and dull and is unable to hold the viewer's gaze for a long time. In this exhibition, instead of creating contrast by fine-tuning the shadows and highlights of the image, Caly ventures into the world of color and applies splashes of color to create magic in her images.

Vibrant shades of blue, yellow and red have been used to great effect and manage to capture the viewer's attention instantly. Caly often portrays the same subject in a different light through use of editing, camera angles and poses; so is the case with this exhibition as well.

For example, a girl with mustard hair and a turquoise circle tattooed on her cheek features in Grafik 04 in the form of a standard portrait shot, whereas Grafik 05 is a more abstracted depiction of the same subject. Similarly, Grafik 07, Grafik 08 and Grafik 09 all depict the same subject in a different light this time using poses and facial expressions as a distinguishing feature.

Caly's style in this particular exhibit also reminds me of another Second Life artist who I appreciate greatly - Zynthea. I couldn't help but wonder if Caly was indeed inspired by Zynthea to venture into this style or it was just a mere coincidence. No matter what be the case, through her latest exhibition GRAFIK, Caly has managed to develop a style of her own that will leave any visitor stunned by her creativity.

The dark ambiance, the black and white imagery with touches of color and post-processing used with great effect - all comes together brilliantly, creating one of the most engaging exhibitions you will come across in the virtual world.



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