Aesthete & Amateur 10 part 4: Janine Portal

The debate continues between Eleanor Medier, art critic, and her fictious blue-collar husband, Heavy Writer, from Parts 2 and 3. They each continue to push the boundaries of communication, understanding, good natures, and the validity of art.


Eleanor: “These are unusual for photo collages; they are painterly, mysterious, and dimensional.”

Heavy: “I like the layers. You can see different things from different angles. At first, I didn’t notice that they change—this reminds me of those old animated postcards.”

Eleanor: “Oh I remember those!!! You turn them and they change. The artist could do more with this effect. It is pretty subtle here.”

Heavy: “This applies well the environment SL offers too. Probably you can recreate this in real life with a holographic technique, but not at this scale.”

Eleanor: “It can be done on layers in real life, even on glass plates. But the scale here gives them drama. They are done with sensitivity—everything matters, is considered, and not left to chance.”

Heavy: “Which is your favorite?”

Eleanor: “The Geisha, but it is personal.”

Heavy: “Is that because it is a subject you picked for one of your paintings?”

Eleanor: “Yes exactly. So, setting that aside, I think the one on the left is the strongest. What do you think?”

Heavy: “It is the most complex, elaborate, but not my favorite one. I like the one that is called ‘Work Ethic’—people in boxes.”

Eleanor: “It has an intricate industrial feeling—like rushing to get to work, riding on escalators.”


Heavy: “Makes you think of big offices where people work in cubicles, and someone watches them. Working places can become a prison for some—a cell block kind of setup. It reminds me of Matrix the movie.”

Eleanor: “Even Blade Runner.”

Heavy: “Each is just a small piece of a big machine. They are so busy spending their lives in small cubicles, they don’t even know that the world is bigger.”

Eleanor: “That is scary. It makes me glad to not be one of them. The tones are dismal. Then that layer of light magenta looks like the color comes from what they do, not who they are.”

Heavy: “So from where comes your attraction for geishas? Is it because you like to please everyone?”

Eleanor: “They are independent women in Japan—artists, hostesses— very skilled.”

Heavy: “Geishas are trained to give pleasure. Some will say they are just sophisticated escorts, to avoid saying ‘whores.’”

Eleanor: “That is not the real origin. As they evolved, they took on a sexual aspect— it took years to add that. First, they were specialized. Some were just dancers, some just musicians— entertainers, others were poets and artists—respected.”

Heavy: “But their ultimate purpose is to give pleasure to men, isn’t it?”

Eleanor: “No—they are party hostesses to guests, many of which can be women too. This piece seems to say geishas are confined by tradition with bars like from a jail.”

Heavy: “This oriental stuff is always catchy for the western world. So it is a pretty safe bet that the artist made.”

Eleanor: “Subjects she knows will be popular?”

Heavy: “Maybe she is lured by this oriental culture as you are. Japan especially was a mystery to western civilization for centuries. There still are big cultural differences.”

Eleanor: “Well, it is exotic—a contrast—as different from the West as we can get.”

Heavy: “Like meeting aliens, I guess.”


The aesthetic saga continues with:

PART 5 (in-world only)Louly Loon, The Galleries: West

PART 6 (online only): Louly Loon at Space4 Art



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