As you know, I am promoting Fashion for Life. There is actually a lot of thought going on with what we are doing, and today I am highlighting the connection between the names of the sims, the theme and one of the generous sponsors. While it is not fashion, per se, it is a great interest of mine and I think, if nothing else, you will find this an interesting read.
The theme of Fashion for Life this year is “Beyond Black and White.” Instead of doing themes that were based on locales or one monolithic theme, we came upon the idea of making the sims in black and white—like a black and white photo. We felt that this would reinforce how cancer is no longer a black and white diagnosis because of the work of the American Cancer Society. They provide funds, programs and support that takes cancer “beyond black and white.”
We know black and white has been done in SL before but not at this scale and by this list of builders: Syngen Sohmers, Frederick Lancaster, Grace Loudon, Raven Haalan, Eshi Otawara, Nigel Riel, Dream Resistance, and Cierra Anatine. Each builder was given the theme, the requirements, and then were let loose to apply their best work to these tasks. Our sneak peeks have proven we are in great hands. We will be showing you all very soon!
We also decided to name the sims after famous black and white photographers. When Harper was compiling the list, she contacted her friend KK Jewell for confirmation on her choices. KK is the RL editor-in-chief of the architecture journal, arcspace.com, one of the best known blogs about architecture on the web. As KK has advertised, “arcspace is an architecture and design magazine that features today’s most creative projects as well as the most influential of the past.” For years she has been in SL, working with architects and builders and bringing RL art to SL and SL to the architecture world. (Her friend, David Hockney, allowed her to show several of his iPhone paintings in world, for example.)
Two of the photographers in our list were personal friends of KK. Helmut Newton photographed the real life person who drives KK as a model in a set of pieces on a tennis court. The woman in the photos below is the RL KK Jewell (and yes, this has been confirmed and they are shown with her permission) with the art collector Irving Blum (who was the first to show Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans).
Julius Shulman was a friend of KK’s until he passed away in 2009. Noted for his photography of modern architecture, which elevated architecture from buildings to art forms, his black and white photography features the iconic “Case Study House #22.” KK frequently visited Julius in his home in LA, bringing him sandwiches and a small bottle of whiskey. He was gregarious and friendly–very down to earth and happy that he had the opportunity to be a photographer. A lot of architecture in SL owes its inspiration to Shulman’s wonderful work.
The other photographers were also chosen because of their historical significance. Many recognize the name of Richard Avedon because of his amazing black and white portraiture and fashion photography (and also because he is a last name in SL). While Irving Penn has recently had retrospectives at the Getty and the National Gallery in London, most SL’ers probably didn’t get a chance to get there. He is the original “fashion photographer,” making Lisa Fonssagrives a legend. Sadly, he also passed away in 2009.
Alfred Stieglitz was Georgia O’Keeffe’s life partner and more importantly, a pioneering photographer who promoted art and enjoyed exploring photography as art. As Richard Whelan wrote: “Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) is perhaps the most important figure in the history of visual arts in America. That is certainly not to say that he was the greatest artist America has ever produced. Rather, through his many roles – as a photographer, as a discoverer and promoter of photographers and of artists in other media, and as a publisher, patron, and collector – he had a greater impact on American art than any other person has had.”’
Margaret Bourke-White’s fame comes from her photo-journalism. An independent and brave woman, her work covered most of the biggest events of the mid-Century including being the first woman correspondent during World War II and being present for the independence movement led by Mahatma Gandhi. Diane Arbus, on the other hand, chose photography as an art form after a successful fashion photography career and became famous for her photographs of interesting people.
Ansel Adams was an environmentalist famous for his magnificent photographs of American landscapes and the American West. Robert Mapplethorpe was also a famous American photographer, for his magnificent photographs of nudes and sexuality. Both men photographed in large scale to focus on the beautiful details of their subjects. Patti Smith’s Book, Just Kids, about her relationship with Mapplethorpe, was the winner of the 2010 National Book Award.
The sponsors and builders were not assigned to the sims entirely randomly. It made sense to put Eshi Otawara on Mapplethorpe with Falln Angels as it did to put Kmadd on the Newton sim and Elikatira on the Bourke White sim. The builders were not obliged to take inspiration from the sim names, but some have.
KK Jewell, on behalf of arcspace.com, has generously donated at the VIP Sponsorship level because she supports the good works done in SL, especially those done for a charity such as the American Cancer Society. Thank you, KK, for your generosity in knowledge, experience and money.
Sims will be open to the public at 10 am on March 12. The following is the name of the sims, their sponsors and builders (parentheses indicate the artist’s name is not part of the sim name but have been included for clarification):
Ansel Adams, sponsored by Designing Nicky Ree and built by Frederick Lancaster
(Julius) Shulman, sponsored by WoE and built by Nigel Riel
(Alfred) Stieglitz, sponsored by House of RFyre and built by Grace Loudon
(Helmut) Newton, sponsored by KMadd Enterprises/MADesigns and built by Raven Haalan
(Richard) Avedon, sponsored by Bliss Couture and built by Cierra Anatine
(Margaret) Bourke White, sponsored by [Elikatira] and built by Syngen Sohmers
(Diane) Arbus, sponsored by Evie’s Closet and built by Dream Resistance
Irving Penn, sponsored by LaPointe and Bastchild and built by Syngen Sohmers
(Robert) Mapplethorpe, sponsored by Falln Angels and built by Eshi Otawara
See the sim layout map here.