A New York artist is trying to provoke feelings of sensual desire – by painting fruit portraits.
Alonsa Guevara – who is originally from Chile – began creating the artworks as a way of connecting to her experience of growing up in the lush Ecuadorian tropical forest.
But The Fruit Portraits also have other layers of meaning.
She said: “The way I cut the fruits affect the way they look; many of them have a very clear vulva shape and others have a central whole. It seems that nature designed a powerful mechanism to induce desire and I am using that design to grab the viewer’s attention.
“The Fruit Portraits represent desire, fecundity and fertility. All the fruits in my paintings can be delicious/poisoning, juicy/rotten, real/fantastical, and in this way fertility and life are in a parallel with decay and death.
“I’m attempting to create an strong illusion to attract and deceive the viewer’s eyes and to induce desire.
“Many of the fruit paintings are not just from reality, but also from my imagination. Some of them are a mix of two fruits together. Others are a memory of fruit that I discovered while I was living in a tropical forest as a child, many of which I haven’t been able to find again.
“Fruits bring memories of so many things: from their smell, the place where you tried it for the first time, to the memory of the face of the person that you ate it with.”
The Fruit Portraits are displayed alongside the stunning Ceremony Series paintings, which show men and women surrounded by fruit.
Guevara said: “The Ceremony Series creates an imaginary world: rituals where people use these fruits as offerings and decoration for their bodies. This celebration is for themselves, their families, as well as for their lands and the harvest.”
Guevara is currently working on the Ceremonies Series and has a solo show this September at the Anna Zorina Gallery.
“I like to paint people I have a connection with,” said Guevara. “My friends and family are posing for me amongst the huge variety of fruits and flowers available in Chile.
“I actually make a real ceremony with the fruits and the people that pose for me. After I create this ceremony, I take pictures of the event. It is really beautiful and informs the painting that I create from the photos afterwards.”
*Guevara’s work, and news of upcoming work, can be seen at her website.