AN ELF AND HIS BOYS
By Koko Carlucci
For a guy whose art work is all over the grid, Frodo Siegel looks very unassuming. “I’m just happy that people like my stuff”, says this graphic artist who hails from Switzerland and insists that he can’t draw.
Yes, you virtually can’t visit a gay hangout without watching one of Frodo’s creations, the most celebrated being his holograms featuring images of disturbingly gorgeous boys that seem to watch you from every angle.
“That was something new when I came up with it”, he explains, pointing to Tranquillo, a hologram sitting in his garden, in a skybox several hundreds of meters above the ground. With his tanned skin and his blonde hair, Tranquillo offers a smoking hot contrast. The kind of guy you’d propose to if you could. “He’s also one of my favorites”, says Frodo. “I made Tranquillo even before I joined SL. I just made him one night. He is named after a Swiss soccer player. Of course, that player doesn’t look at all like my model.”
Frodo has made over 400 characters over the years, and “each and everyone have his own story and character”, he adds proudly.
“But they are not really drawings”, he adds. “I use Daz Studio, a free software. And, to tell the truth, I can’t draw at all. Working with Daz Studio, usually you not create 3D models by your own –you buy them or use freebees and then morph, pose and texture them. I never pretend my work in 3D with Daz Studio is ‘art’… is just something I do for fun. I use pre-packaged or downloadable models. I texture them, morph them, and pose them. Many art work like photography, film, collage, theatre use ‘pre-packaged’ models… The point is not what you use, the point is how you use it”.
There’s a mischievous look in his face.
“Really”, he continues. “I start my 3D work with variations of the work of famous painters, like Goya, Caravaggio, Rubens…”
One can only wonder whose work inspired Frodo’s boys.
“For the boys, I have many sources of inspiration”, he reveals, “including the work other yaoi artists have at several galleries and in Deviantart.com. I keep my eyes wide open, but mostly, I make the boys I would like to see around.”
“Yaoi”, for those unfamiliar with the Japanese term, is fictional media focused in gay male relationships, and can be considered a genre of manga.
You can’t help noticing that all these boys have a sassy look, somewhat cocky. Is that something he does by design?
“I make them as I like them to be”, he explains. “And I always try to give my characters some dignity; they are proud of what they are, they are not only objects to be admired.
“I am proud of what I am”, he adds.
“And again, I don’t consider my work as art, in the line of a painter. If you need a word for it, you can say it is artwork”, he says with a smile. “But whether this is art or not, that’s not my problem.”
Selling erotic images of boys could pose certain risks involving underage issues. “All my models are at least 18 years old. My own avatar is clearly over 18”, he explains.
Nevertheless, he admits his holograms have been removed from certain sims. “That has happened only twice. They didn’t tell me why, but I guess the boys’ cocks were too big”, he adds, laughing.
His boys have appeared also in sex rugs. “Kobi made them with my art”, he says, referring to Kobi Rieko, owner of Kobimotion. “He sells them in his shop and I get some of the lindens. I’d like to do more of this kind of co-productions.”
What about skins? Has he ever considered venturing into the skins market?
“That would be a big disappointment”, he says. “Look, with the tools available in SL, I would never be able to make a skin that looks like the models I make in my 3D software.
“Besides”, he adds, “there are four skin stores in my mall. That wouldn’t be a fair competition.”
But Yaoi art is not all Frodo does in Second Life. “I have two main stores and a few smaller stores”, he says. “And I run a mall with 18 stores.”
The boys in holograms may be his most conspicuous item, but the best seller is the sculpted feet, “feet for the rest of us”, as they are advertised.
Why would a 3D art worker be interested in making and selling sculpted feet?
“The SL feet are mood killers”, he explains bluntly. “So I decided to make good-looking feet at an affordable prize.
“I sell them for 120 lindens, so the boys can afford them. Other feet sell for 600 lindens and even more.”
And of course, there are also the clothes. And in anticipation of the European Football Championship, which will start on June 8th, Frodo made the uniforms of all the participating countries.
“This is my dream team”, he says, standing in front of all the players.
Frodo explains that he has more than a hundred items of clothes. “I need the clothes to keep my stores open. And it’s fun to make clothes, too.
“And my clothes are not only for twinks or femboys; I’ve seen many different people wearing my clothes.”
As busy as he seems to be, Frodo still has time for a private life in SL.
“Yes, I also have a private life”, he says, stressing the word “private”. He laughs.
Frodo says he is not in SL for the money, but for the fun, but he also acknowledges that the revenues from his stores support all his expenses. “I don’t have to use any ‘real’ money, which I guess it’s a good sign.
“I’m here for the fun, not for the lindens”, he insists.
What is the most fun he does in SL?
“Making things that people like”, he answers promptly. “I’m happy when people like my stuff.”
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