Eva & Franco Mattes

11 December 2006

Eva & Franco Mattes / 2006 / Italy / Cortesy of Fabio Paris Art Gallery, Brescia

Throughout 2006, Eva and Franco Mattes (who are also known as 0100101110101101.org) created portraits of “avatars,” i.e. the customizable personas that people inhabit in online virtual worlds. Addressing the new online environments as places to socialise, nurture celebrity, and perhaps leave one’s real self behind, these images capture members of the popular online virtual world “Second Life,” combining the traditions of glamour photography with the brilliant colors and hard-line aesthetics of the game-world. The Mattes’ work questions both the traditional role of portraiture and the nature of the morphing relationships between identity and public presentation in virtual worlds. Like Andy Warhol’s legendary Factory, “Second Life” is about the creation of alternate identities, of building and living a fantasy. These portraits are from a world in which you can customise your “self” to become as beautiful as you desire.