Aesthete & Amateur 7, part 2: The Art of Gem Preiz


The Aesthete and the Amateur Part 2: Aliens or Ancients—The Art of Gem Preiz

(Continues from Part 1: )

Heavy: “This is my kind of gallery—comfy chairs, drinks. Who cares what’s on the walls? But—this one here—not sure if this can be a city—not one on earth anyway.”

Eleanor: “These have surreal architectural references. They seem like buildings, but not really. Or maybe an alien world? Perhaps the inhabitants are not people.”

Heavy: “I hope they are friendly aliens.”

Eleanor: “Gem Preiz is a formalist—dynamic compositions. They have great dimension and tonal sensitivity.”

Heavy: “The colors are simple but vibrant— makes me think of the Pyramids. Might these be made by ancient Egyptians?”

Eleanor smirks: “Or The Ancient Aliens??”

Heavy: “Something is missing—there is no life. It is an underwater ghost city?”

Eleanor: “There is an odd compression of perspective towards the top, like buildings are being pushed down?”

Heavy: “They could be airports for space shuttles. See? At top are the flat landing platforms. Then below are energy generators—those three deformed objects that catch the tides. The buildings are at the bottom—like it is in the desert but underwater. It is a weird mix.”

Eleanor: “Maybe this is a flooded city. It has the visual distortion that water makes. The mix of desert and ocean? Is not the bottom of the ocean sand? It is like sandcastles—packed and moulded. Called ‘City of Dreams,’ it suggests an ordered fantasy. The two small pieces to either side seem like details of the same place.”

Heavy: “There is a lot of scifi fantasy here. Anyway, it seems peaceful.”

Eleanor: “Consider the three pieces above these. They are the opposite, as if those determined shapes fall apart, even explode. They have action, whereas the underwater buildings are still, even static.”

Heavy: “They are not defined and the colors don’t mix—brown, blue, yellow—euwww. Imagine someone dressed in a brown suit, yellow shirt, and blue shoes!”

Eleanor: “Well dear, art and fashion are not the same sensibilities. I wear colors I wouldn’t put on my walls, and I have many wall colors I would not wear. However, I think most people DO choose color in art based on what they wear!”

Eleanor moves across the room [please see photos used in the in-world magazine available in kiosks and at the Sim Street Publishing Office (Innu 40, 36, 1650)]: “Now, the ones on the opposite wall look like really big cities—repeating the theme of either ancient or futuristic. It is so intriguing how they can seem vaguely both, but in either case, the time does not seem to be in the present, but frozen or ageless.”

Heavy: “Compared with first city we saw, this looks to me like a fortress. These are closer to Aztec architecture— again deserted. And if you look close, it might be the ruins of a city. There is no pavement, no roads.”

Eleanor: “I don’t see deterioration here— this architecture all looks to be in good shape. Maybe the creatures who live here don’t have feet. They might fly into those spaces. But it does seem that we are always looking at a part of something. It could even be the piece of a space ship. In any case, he never shows us the whole— we always look close.”

Heavy: “It can be anything. Again is has a water effect at the top—more like water than sky.”

Eleanor: “No, it feels more like fog— mist— an atmosphere. Doesn’t it look hazy? They are even dream like, and peaceful.”

Heavy: “This might be that lost legend of the sunken city—Atlantis. That would be a better name than ‘Fractal Dream of a City 3.’ We may also presume these are two different civilizations. But this one looks more advanced and will kick ass. Aztecs don’t make me feel peaceful—Aztecs were very cruel people. Vlad The Impaler was just a kitten compared with Aztecs.”

Eleanor: “Just because they sacrificed people and had festivals of spilling blood down stairways??”

Heavy: “Rivers of blood. They played soccer with skulls.”

Eleanor: “They destroyed their own environments by whitewashing their buildings too.”

Heavy: “Let’s find next drinks table. Darn you need to walk for miles for a free drink.”


Eleanor feels that they are just getting started on understanding Gem’s work. She transports to his LEA installation and sends for Heavy.

Eleanor: “This sim—Gem’s Cathedral of Dreams—is in four segments. Two of them reflect his show that we reviewed at Angelwood. This room gives a powerful scale. It has more of a glittering kind of fantasy than in the gallery.”

Heavy: “These figures must be those aliens who live in those cities. They are humanoid shapes, but they are made from mercury.”

Eleanor: “They are modular looking too. This fellow sits with images of his city. This fellow is most unhappy. I think he lost his city. Maybe is mourning for it’s being gone.”

Heavy: “Everybody, but this sad guy, looks at the art on the walls. All have an attitude that tells they are not very impressed. They make comments that made the artist very unhappy. The drawings around him are the draft of the work on the walls. The artist has done his work. He has given his best, and now everybody comes and criticizes what he has done. He doesn’t understand what he has done wrong, and why people don’t appreciate his art. You know, I have a symphony for artists.”

Eleanor: “Look at these two: they are looking up— one is pointing. They are big too.”

Heavy: “Hell, of course they are big—the gravity force on their planet is weaker than the gravity on Earth. They need to have a bigger mass other way they will float around. The are art critics simple citizens etc. It is a gallery opening, reviews are not good, artist is unhappy. I don’t see other story here do you?”

Eleanor: “Maybe they are homeless wanting to move here! They might be like Columbus looking for a new world.”

Heavy: “So they like the project, but architect realized the building the shape he imagined won’t hold together in real? ”


Eleanor: “It is a mystery.”

Heavy: “It is no mystery. Artists don’t take critics too easy, we know that by now.”

Eleanor: “This next room is grittier. Here I do see decay. This has a quality of anger. These figures are in cages. What do you make of that??”

Heavy: “Plans for an extermination camp? The artist vengeance? He puts the critics in cages and makes them look at his art, until they will understand the ideas?”

Eleanor: “Or these are the inhabitants that have been imprisoned, and now their city is decaying.”

Heavy: “Well we really don’t need to interconnect everything.”

Eleanor: “What do you mean? You are the one who likes to find stories. This place is full of stories dear.”

Heavy: “If you look for a story to tie everything we have seen so far together, of course you can find one.”

Eleanor: “Now wait. YOU said you like stories. Don’t you wonder why the artist has put figures in cages?”

Heavy: “I do. I have already given you two stories for that reason: extermination camp is one, and artist vengeance is second.”

Eleanor: “Ok. Well, this does connect well with the last room.”

Heavy: “I was just saying we don’t need to look for a connection between this room and the room we have seen before—I just couldn’t help it and I’ve made one, but is not necessary valid.”

Eleanor: “Ok lets test that then.”

Heavy: “A story is a story—you can’t test it.

Eleanor: “Yes I can.”

Heavy: “You can listen or not.”


Eleanor: “Now— why walk through grass? Don’t you wonder??”

Heavy: “Because you have chosen this path. We could turn right and we wouldn’t have to walk on grass.”

Eleanor: “Well, he chose to put grass on this path only.”

Heavy: “After failed cathedral of dreams project the artist comes up with an underwater project—see this room is underwater: corals, fish ship wreck.”

Eleanor: “Yes I am convinced of it this time—these coral reefs are quite beautiful all together.”

Heavy: “We were walking on the grass because grass symbolizes earth. We walked from our natural environment into the ocean, which is not our natural environment, but they say the ocean is the crib for life—so is like going back to our roots.”

Eleanor: “And I feel the style is still reflective of a similar sensibility. I feel that the handling of these reefs— the misty atmospheres, level of detail, dimension, are all similar to the cities. I can believe the same artist did this as the cities.”

Heavy: “I think is just artist playing with different themes. But this one has vibrant colors.”


Eleanor: “Well the artist chose to connect four themes together on this sim, and I am sure he chose them for a reason. They are both vibrant and realistic. This seems like now— not the future or the past.”

Heavy: “Now I’m not sure how much is created for these images and how much is just modified techno-tricks—you never know with these fractals.”

Eleanor: “But these images are chosen and manipulated by the artist’s eye. Does it matter how they were created??”

Heavy: “Well if you buy a black car and you paint the car yellow, can you say that you created the car? I think matters a little. Let’s see last room.”


Heavy: “These light beams will make a good disco club, but I see no story here. This will make good computer wallpapers. I wouldn’t mind one of these, but that`s all they are. I don’t see any depth or any mystery in this.”

Eleanor: “I feel it is very discordant to the other rooms. This one just doesn’t fit in for me. I can understand the other three and how they relate.”

Heavy: “Sometimes I ask myself what counts more—your art college degree or my street wise degree? Hahaha. Just kidding.”

Eleanor: “They seem so simple after the complexity of the cities.”

Heavy: “There is a theme of blue and one of red—fire and ice probably. But, you see one, and it is like you have seen them all.”

Eleanor: “They are like patterns—not as expressive as his other works.”

Heavy: “The work itself is not as interesting, but the presentation is great, I must admit.”

Eleanor: “The presentation is cool. The space is so unusual, and the stair glowing really directs effectively.”

Heavy: “The first room is the best because of the humanoids—as opposed to just seeing the images on the walls only.”

Eleanor: “What about the figures in the cages??”

Heavy: “My second choice will be that one.”

Eleanor: “I thought that room was more emotional— not so idealistic. These was  more to see in the crumbling of the structures.”

Heavy: “Anyway I appreciate that this artist is well organized; he puts a theme in each pocket.”

Eleanor: “He is great at series—and bringing a common sensibility to each—except for these lights in the last room. The first three rooms make for a great show. I don’t think he needed this room with all these light beams.”

Heavy: “I bet in real life, this is the type of guy who always folds his pants after taking them off.”

Eleanor: “A perfectionist??”

Heavy: “Perfectionist, maybe not—organized, yes.”

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