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Many visitors to Art Box don't realise there are free props available for many of the scenes, and using them can greatly enhance your final photograph. Check this faq for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions


Infrequently Seen Answers

It's the only immersive gallery of it's kind in SL and it affords you an opportunity to customise a version of an iconic image in a way that is unique to you. This includes but is not limited to: your choice of avatar, choice of costume, choice of composition, framing, perspective, and should you wish, post processing in Photoshop or whichever image editing software you might use. These options allow you a unique creative opportunity to create something that is unique, distinctively 'you', and enjoy the process. Along the way it can open you up to new art, extending your appreciation and changing the way you look at and think about the visul arts. Even if it doesn't, the recreational use of Art Box alone is immense fun to engage with.

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Whatever you wish. For example, share them with friends via a photo sharing website such as Flickr or Koinup, add them to your blog, use them in your SL profile or picks, create in-world framed art, send as electronic postcards (part of the SL 'snapshot' feature) - anything you can think of.

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No, Art Box is a not for profit, completely free endeavor. We do this because we enjoy the process of creating and seeing what others do with our creation(s). We do have to pay tier fees of course, and to help support that we have a tip jar, but all gratuities are of course completely discretionary, and hugely appreciated.

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Yes. We make a new set every single week !

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No. No exceptions. If you have a busy public space and would like to loan one of our exhibits for your show, please ask. We are happy to consider any serious proposal.

As permanent as anything else in SL. We have been in SL a couple of years, opening Art Box in April 2009. We will maintain it as long as a) we can afford it and b) we continue to enjoy it.

We do provide props, and if a set requires an unusual garment then again yes, but in general we leave the costume up to our visitors. It's part of your creative process so we don't want to be prescriptive. For the same reason we don't give you a fixed viewpoint from which to take the photo. You can seek out something close to the original framing if you wish, or you can, literally come at it from a whole new angle. It's your take. The props we provide (e.g. a pitchfork for American Gothic, a model car for Attack of the 50ft Woman, and so on) are always to be found in the props box, to the right of each set as you view it from the front. The props box looks like this:
Props Box

This is something the curators discuss between themselves. It's a mix of classic and contemporary and of personal and populist choices. One consideration we always need to apply is will the image work no matter what the avatar looks like? For example, we wouldn't attempt the Mona Lisa since it wouldn't be reconisable as a homage to that work if the avatar didn't look like her. It would just become any other portrait. So there has to be something for us to build that cues the viewer and defines the work, regardless of how far the avatars appearence diverges from the standard look.

We offer a 'Fact Sheet' (currently available on Level 3 of Art Box) that offers a bite sized fragment of information about each work we feature. In each case it's just the barest thumbnail sketch, but hopefully an interesting or entertaining fragment. For those wishing to know more, the internet is of course a boundless resource!

For the most up to date edition of our Fact Sheet please check out Art Box in world. Here is version 1.0 of the Fact Sheet, listing each artist in alphabetical order:

The Stories Behind the Art.

Version 1.1 / July 2009.

A Sonnet of Love / Rob Hefferan.
Rob Hefferan is an extraordinarily talented figurative artist & portrait painter, born in 1968 in Warrington, Cheshire, England. For Hefferan, realism is about bringing an awareness of the everyday in a very beautiful and optimistic way. Specialising in the female form, he says ""I aim to capture the character and soul of the sitter and to freeze that moment forever".

Abbey Road / Iain McMillan
This photo was taken outside the studio on 8 August 1969 at 11:30 that morning. The photographer, Iain McMillan, was given just 10 minutes to set up and take the picture. The Volkswagen Beetle parked near the zebra crossing belonged to a nearby resident. When the album came out, the number plate was stolen repeatedly from the car. In 1986, the car was sold at auction for $23,000 and is now on display at the Volkswagen museum in Wolfsburg, Germany.

American Gothic / Grant Wood
In 1930, Wood drove past a house in Eldon, Iowa and decided to paint it "along with the kind of people I fancied would live in that house". The figures were modeled by the artist's dentist and sister. Each element was painted separately; the models sat separately and never stood in front of the house.

Attack of the 50ft Woman / Nathan Juran
Starring Allison Heyes as the 50ft Woman, this raven-haired beauty was the 1949 Washington, D.C. entry into the Miss America pageant. Although a star of countless B movies, she was a versatile actress and played both dramatic and comedy roles in a number of acclaimed productions. Released on 19 May 1958, this films poster was ranked #8 of "The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever" by Premiere.

Blown Away / Steve Steigman
In the 1980's, Japanese audio tape and battery company Maxell produced a number of trade ads known as 'Blown Away Guy' depicting a man clinging onto his seat while staring ahead defiantly at the source of the sound. The ads were so popular Maxell brought them back in 2005. The model for the UK (not US) ad campaign was musician Peter Murphy of the group Bauhaus. The model for the US campaign, however, was the makeup artist hired for the shoot that day.

Blue Moon / Blue Moon Silk Stockings Co.
Also known at the time as the Blue Moon Silk Hosiery Co and based in Philidelphia PA but with offices at 289 Fifth Avenue New York, this image originally appeared as a magazine advertisement in 1925. Today the popularity of the image has not wained and it is often offered for sale as a decorative tin sign.

Bunny Girl / Helmut Newton
Newton, born Berlin 1920. German-Australian fashion photographer noted for his nude studies of women, often with sado-masochistic and fetishistic subtexts. He regularly worked for Vogue magazine and on a number of occasion for Playboy, including pictorials of Nastassia Kinski. He died in 2004. In 2005, Christies Photographic auction house sold the image, entitled Helmut Newton's "Elsa Peretti in Halston 'Bunny Girl' costume, New York" (1975) for £50,400 ($92,383) to a private European bidder.

Christina's World / Andrew Wyeth
Wyeth was inspired to create the painting when through a window of his summer house he saw a woman crawling across a field. The woman of the painting is Christina Olsen.. She had an undiagnosed muscular deterioration that paralyzed her lower body. The house depicted in the painting is known as the Olson House, and is located in Cushing, Maine. It is open to the public and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and has been restored to match its appearance in the painting.

Christine Keeler / Lewis Morley
A modern icon, the photograph was taken at the height of the revelations regarding the exposure of the affair between Keeler & the Secretary of State for War (John Profumo) that became known as 'The Scandal' or 'The Profumo Affair'. The photo was taken on the first floor of The Establishment , a satirical night club, part-owned by Peter Cook of Beyond The Fringe fame. The Dudley Moore Trio played jazz in the basement. The chair is an Arne Jacobson chair but the hole was cut in the back as a ploy to avoid the legalities of copyright.

Cowboy at Sunset / Ewing Galloway
Galloway was born in 1881 in Little Dixie in Henderson County, Kentucky, where, by 1905 he held office as prosecuting attorney. He worked in his spare time for the county newspaper, The Gleaner, and over time became more interested in the world of Journalism & photography. In 1920 he opened his own photographic studio at 218 East 28th Street, NY. The studio did not originate but acquired photographs - from all over the world; some 400,000 by the time of his death. The "Ewing Galloway" credit often accompanying his images is misleading as it refers to his agency, not the man. The lack of company records from the time makes it impossible to fully identify the subject, photographer or location of this image.

Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee / Salvador Dali
Dali was was a Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres, Spain, in 1904. This work was painted in 1944 and known also by it's full title "Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening". The woman in the painting is Dali's wife, Gala. Speaking of the painting, Dali said it intends "to express for the first time in images Freud's discovery of the typical dream with a lengthy narrative, the consequence of the instantaneousness of a chance event which causes the sleeper to wake up. Thus, as a bar might fall on the neck of a sleeping person, causing them to wake up and from a long dream to end with the guillotine blade falling on them, the noise of the bee here provokes the sensation of the sting which will awaken Gala."

First Man on the Moon / Neil Armstrong
The Apollo 11 mission was the first manned mission to land on the Moon, touching down on 20th July 1969. Neil Armstrong, the first man to step out onto our moon, did so with these historic words: "This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". Accompanying him on the lunar surface was Edwin ("Buzz") Aldrin, who features in the image reproduced here; Armstrong, as the photographer, is incidentally visible in the reflection in Aldrins visor.

Jackson Pollock / Jackson Pollock
Pollock, born 1912, was a highly influential American painter and a leading figure in the abstract expressionist movement. He enjoyed fame and noteriety all his life, yet was also a noted recluse who struggled all his life with alcoholism. He developed a technique of working spontaneously with liquid paint, sometimes termed 'action art'. Pollock said "My painting does not come from the easel. I prefer to tack the unstretched canvas to the hard wall or the floor. I need the resistance of a hard surface. On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting."
(We hope therefore that the artist would have approved of what we do at Art Box !).

Lunch Atop a Skyscraper / Charles Ebbetts
Taken in 1932 by Charles C. Ebbets during construction of the RCA Building (renamed as the GE Building in 1986) at Rockefeller Center. The location is the 69th floor. The image was subsequently publishes in the New York Herald Tribune in its Sunday photo supplement.

Night Geometry / Jack Vettriano
Jack Vettriano was born in Scotland in 1951. He left school at 16 and later became an apprentice mining engineer. Vettriano only took up painting as a hobby in the 1970s, when his girlfriend bought him a set of watercolours for his 21st birthday. Today his work is highly sought after. His piece Bluebird at Bonneville, went for £468,000 at a Sotheby's auction in 2007. His themes include nostalgia, romance and erotica, usually highly charged and extremely stylised.

Nighthawks / Edward Hopper
Edward Hopper, born 1882, was a prominent American realist painter, his piece 'Nighthawks' being generally considered Hopper's most famous painting, as well as one of the most recognizable in American art. Painted immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, it reflected the sense of gloom prevailing in the country at the time. However, the portrayal of modern urban life as empty or lonely is a common theme throughout much of Hopper's work; he said, "unconsciously, probably, I was painting the loneliness of a large city."
The Art Box 'Nighthawks' set was used in the creation of a machinima film intended to capture this sense of isolation in 3D. The film is on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=MFz18zAjpGo

Pulp Fiction Graffiti / Banksy
Based in Bristol, England, and rejoicing in an anonymity that keeps his identity secret and his 'art crimes' beyond the reach of the law, Banksy has forged an international reputation as a graffiti artist with something to say and the talent to say it in an engagingly witty visual style based around the use of stencils. He's not short of a deftly turned phrase or two either: "All artists are willing to suffer for their work. But why are so few prepared to learn to draw?" Here he has a go at the macho testosterone fueled imagery of the Tarantino film 'Pulp Fiction'.

Quotes / Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol, born 1927, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. In the 1960's he began making paintings of iconic American products such as Campbell's Soup Cans and bottles of Coka Cola. His quotes often found their way into popular usage. He is perhaps most famously noted for coined the expression "15 minutes of fame" in his quote (eerily anticipating numerous 21st century developments including the rise of the reality TV phenomena) "In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes".

Red Hot Martini / Ralph Burch
Born in 1945 in Columbus, Ohio, Burch began painting in the mid 1960's when his parents bought him a painting by numbers set. In the early 1980's he opened his own advertising agency. He has become one of the best selling pin-up artist of today but prefers his work to be sexy but not offensive; "it's important to maintain the simplicity and innocence of the past styles of the 20's to the 50's".

Son of Man / Rene Magritte
Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist whose aim was to challenge the observer's preconditioned perceptions of reality and force the viewer to become hypersensitive to their surroundings. 'Son of Man' is a self portrait, of which he said: "At least it hides the face partly. Well, so you have the apparent face, the apple, hiding the visible but hidden, the face of the person. It's something that happens constantly. Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us. This interest can take the form of a quite intense feeling, a sort of conflict, one might say, between the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present."

The Last Supper / Leonardo DaVinci
DaVinci was an Italian polymath, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer. He painted 'The Last Supper' in the 1490's, depicting the exact moment when Jesus says "one of you will betray me" and the consternation that statement provokes. Unfortunately DaVinci chose to use unreliable techniques in the execution of the piece and within 100 years had become so subject to mold and flaking that it was described as 'completely ruined'. Despite this it remains one of the worlds most reproduced works of art.

The Scream / Edvard Munch
Munch, born 1863, was a Norwegian Symbolist painter, printmaker and an important forerunner of expressionistic art. His best-known composition, The Scream, is part of a series The Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of life, love, fear, death, and melancholy. Much said of The Scream: ""I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly, the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence, feeling unspeakably tired. Tongues of fire and blood stretched over the bluish black fjord. My friends went on walking, while I lagged behind, shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous, infinite scream of nature." He later described the personal anguish behind the painting, "for several years I was almost mad ... You know my picture, ''The Scream?'' I was stretched to the limit - nature was screaming in my blood... After that I gave up hope ever of being able to love again."

The Simpsons / Matt Groening
Groening is an American cartoonist, screenwriter and producer. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell and the television series The Simpsons and Futurama. Groening made his first professional cartoon sale of Life in Hell to the avant-garde Wet magazine in 1978. The cartoon is still reproduced in 250 weekly newspapers. Gracie films founder James L Brooks was shown a copy of Life in Hell and contacted Groening to invite him to do a series of shorts based on the rabbit characters in the comic strip. Concerned about loss of ownership rights, Groening invented a new set of characters, allegedly in just ten minutes, and the Simpsons were born.

The Wizard of Oz / Cedric Gibbons
Austin Cedric Gibbons, born 1983, was an Irish American art director. Nominated as Best Art Director in the Academy awards 39 times (including for 'The Wizard of Oz'), and winning 11 times - second only to Walt Disney's record of 26 wins). He is credited as the designer of the Oscar statuette in 1928, the award he went on to win himself on so many occassions.

Untitled / Keith Harring
Harring, born 1958, was an artist and social activist engaged in the New York street culture of the 1980's. He achieved his first public attention with chalk drawings in the New York subways, his bold lines, vivid colors, and active figures carry strong messages of life and unity. Haring's imagery has become a widely recognized visual language of the 20th/21st century. Diagnosed with AIDS in 1988, in 1989 he established the Keith Haring Foundation with a remit to provide funding and imagery to AIDS organizations and children's programs. He also spoke out about the disease to generate activism and awareness about AIDS.

I have drawn on numerous sources in compiling this short fact sheet, including but not limited to, Wikipedia, the Internet Movie Database, numerous academic and commercial online sources, and a sprinkling of my own general knowledge. While every effort has been made to assure accuracy, it cannot be guaranteed. All opinions expressed are those of the author; get your own!

Yes! We welcome feedback and suggestions. Please contact us in world if you have any thoughts on what might work well at Art Box.