Siblings's Ceremony. Tryptic, oil on canvas, each piece 80 x 32 inches, 2015. All images Copyright Alonsa Guevara. Courtesy: Anna Zorina Gallery, New York City.

[NSFW] These Fruit-Filled Paintings Are Ripe (in More Ways Than One)

Alonsa Guevera’s 'Ceremonies' will make you want to book a trip to a tropical rainforest.

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Jun 25 2017, 12:00pm

Siblings's Ceremony. Tryptic, oil on canvas, each piece 80 x 32 inches, 2015. All images Copyright Alonsa Guevara. Courtesy: Anna Zorina Gallery, New York City.

Evoking the seductive and passionate tones of Baroque paintings, Chilean artist Alonsa Guevera wants us to reconnect with the beauty of nature. Following her youth spent in the Ecuadorian jungle, Guevera brought her fascination with flora and fauna to New York City where she lives as a painter, though her work still lives in her childhood.

"With my paintings I'm trying to create magical worlds that contain my experiences as a woman, while offering my personal understanding and appreciation of beauty," Guevera explains to Creators. "Being here in NYC far away from home made me appreciate in a different way the connection between mankind and their natural surroundings."

Patricia's Ceremony detail. Oil on canvas, 80 x 48 inches, 2016

Guevera's paintings, reminiscent of Giuseppe Arcimboldo's Vertumnus, use members of her own family as subjects. Seen here are portraits from her series, Ceremonies, which the artist considers to be modern interpretations of a 16th century still life.

"Paintings of fruits, cheese and any kind of food, floral arrangement, musical instruments, books and credenzas suggested abundance, prosperity and generosity of the household, becoming a signal of life and welcoming reception," she describes, though death and morbidity also bear a strong presence.

Constanza's Ceremony. Oil on canvas, 80 x 32 inches, 2016

"Vanitas," she explains, "Another kind of still life that typically depicted skulls and bones, reminded the viewers that life has an inevitable end. These are some of the qualities that I love and admire about still-lives and inspire me when I think about creating a new piece."

Many of the models used in Ceremonies are Guevera's own siblings, who she wanted to use to create a familial ceremony. In Chile, the artist drove a truck full of hundreds of pounds of both fresh and rotting fruit to surround her brother and sister as live subjects.

"The fact that I make my paintings in a realistic way helps me to deliver a more direct message. I hope that the viewer feels connected and familiar with the image and may successfully relate with the subject," she explains. "These kinds of paintings create an untouchable reality, something that can not be reached because it is just paint, that is what is so seductive: desire and lack always go together."

María José's Ceremony. Oil on canvas, 80 x 32 inches, 2017.

The resulting paintings are lush, alluring, and filled with a siren-like magic. The underlying presence of death adds a fascinating tension. For instance, in the above painting María José's Ceremony, the rich fertility is what immediately catches your eye, but the cesarean scar on her stomach points to the pain and complications that come with childbirth. The artist explains, "I hope that when the viewer sees my paintings they think about the paradoxes of life: desire & repugnance, fertility & decadence, birth & death, truth & fantasy."

Check out more images of Guevera's work below:

Porte's Offering. Oil on canvas, 36 inches diameter, 2016.

Fruit Portrait #64. Oil on canvas, 16 inches diameter, 2017

Fernanda's Offering. Oil on canvas, 36 inches diameter, 2016.

To learn more about Guevera's work, visit her website here.

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