VOMA, the Virtual Online Museum of Art, has opened its virtual doors. With an online debut that attracted enough virtual visits to have "obliterated our servers," says British artist and VOMA founder Stuart Semple, the museum has two exhibitions now open to browse.
“I believe art should be for everyone," says Semple. "The internet is the most inclusive and democratic public space we have, and it’s time we had a digital museum-style institution ready to inspire and connect online audiences with great art.”
"As We Meet," in VOMA's Gallery Zero, hosts an exhibition that "explores the nature of coming together. It looks at the meeting of minds and of people across art history, allowing different worldviews, personal and political stances to face each other and come into conversation."
Works by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Georges Seurat, Ligia Clark, Paula Rego, Nelly Guambe, George Hendrik Breitner, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Gilbert and George, Édouard Manet, Hieronymus Bosch, Li Wei, Amartey Golding, Martin Gustavsson, Luiz Zerbini, and Abe Odedina are shown together to "celebrate those invisible threads that tie us together, those glances, moments of schism and renewal."
A second exhibition, entitled "Degenerate Art," is a re-creation of the exhibition held by the Nazis in 1937 that featured artworks that the regime denounced as by "degenerate artists." Works by Otto Dix, Max Beckmann, George Grosz, Henri Matisse, and André Derain are included. One of VOMA's stated goals is to look "unblinking at some of history’s more challenging moments, where art, and its destruction, were used as a means of oppression, and the ways in which these moments were, and were not, overcome."
Coming up, VOMA’s first solo exhibition will feature the work of Kenyan-British artist Phoebe Boswell with drawing, animation, film, sound, performance and interactivity, alongside a soundscape created by Scottish-Nigerian singer-songwriter Bumi Thomas.
VOMA can be downloaded. The interactive museum experience was built using the latest virtual reality (VR) gaming technology, CGI, and network computing. Art selections are curated by museum director Lee Cavaliere.