“Chrome Underwood is, to me, visual punk rock. ….his work – and his very persona, which is so much a part of his work – evoke a thoughtful yet irreverent attitude (whether in the controlled chaos of his canvases, or the philosophical pop of his comics) that smacks of intellectual anarchy.” – Rowan Derryth, Art Historian and Author, Prim Perfect Magazine
Chrome is an avatar in the virtual world of Second Life. He came into being in the autumn of 2007 – the culmination of a lifelong journey for Mick Brady, an award-winning artist and author in real life who had long struggled to create an authentically human form of expression using advanced forms of technology.
In creating Chrome, though, he may have accomplished a bit more than he anticipated, for over the past several years his avatar has gained increasing fame and acclaim for an ever-growing body of cutting-edge work; from pop-infused, abstract digital collage to avatar-centered paintings to virtual comic books and experimental 3D imagery. His work has been exhibited not only in some of the best galleries in the metaverse but also in America and in Europe. In short, Chrome has become the center of an ongoing narrative that is a work of art in itself.
His human counterpart can only sit back and smile at all of this. From his early days in New York when he was up to his elbows in paint, fiddling with cameras and projectors and reams of canvas, to the magical present where he now travels with Chrome through time and space in the blink of an eye, creating works which exist almost entirely in digital (read: imaginary) form, then conjuring them up in galleries that also seem to magically appear somewhere in the landscape of the mind. The mind that matters, that is.. the creative imagination.
You can follow Chrome’s adventures at his blog, Chrome Never Sleeps
In the photo above, Chrome is standing in the new interactive art-meets-science installation by Douglas Story and Desdemona Enfield, part of a group show curated by Misprint Thursday, to be held in a secret location in Second Life…. secret until it is announced, that is. Stay tuned.
Chrome’s famous flame, Camille arrived on the scene in mid-2009 when she launched the pop-punk band Cherrybomb along with Botgirl Questi, playing rhythm guitar. Though the band was to split up within the year, it survived just long enough to produce a few memorable gems about love and heartbreak among the avatars. Camille quickly moved on to other things, including her role as supermodel for Chrome’s paintings and central figure in his comic strips, and her latest passion, living the good life as an Emma Peel-style ninja Avenger.
Introducing the newest member of our team, Quintessential Flux. When she’s not busy posing for Chrome’s comic strips she can usually be seen running along the skypath with her dog China White, or practicing her ninja moves in preparation for her next martial challenge. She’s one of the few avatars who actually sleep at night.
Vanilla, the sweetest milkshake in the metaverse, is perhaps also the most exotic one; thus belying her name. She is a virtual melting pot, being of Middle Eastern and Latin origin, born in a small village in North Africa, but since her parents were highly cultured, they soon moved to Paris, where she was raised and educated. She studied at the Sorbonne, receiving her degree in art history with a focus on Asian arts. She is not only an expert in Japanese woodblock prints, but a master woodblock printmaker herself, and often has a huge box of woodcutting tools in the back of her pickup truck whenever she travels, which is most of the time. She’s a gypsy at heart, and never stays in one place for more than a few months.