Using round canvases with a range of diameters, Alonsa Guevara deftly paints the plump, juicy insides of oranges, watermelon, and other fruits. Each circular piece depicts a seemingly perfect slice down the middle, capturing the fibrous veins and central seeds found within fresh produce.
Guevara spent her childhood in the Ecuadorian rainforests surrounded by tropical landscapes and nearby agriculture, an experience of nature that influences her artistic practice. The Chilean artist, who lives in New York City, began fruit portraits in 2014 as she reflected on her adolescence and thought of creating a body of work that felt universal.
“Immediately I thought of fruits; they are everywhere and have been present as an essential part of evolution and as symbols throughout human history,” Guevara shares with Colossal. “I decided to paint the fruits cut open, revealing their insides, recreating and depicting all the incredible patterns, seeds, and infinite information they carry, which many people take for granted.”
Now an extensive series with dozens of paintings—the artist creates both miniatures that are as little as 1.5 inches and larger works spanning 30 inches—Guevara considers the collection a representation of desire and fertility, in addition to death and decay. “These fruits of the earth can be delicious/poisoning, juicy/rotten, real/imaginary,” she says. No matter the type, though, every work is painted to elicit a sensory response.
A limited print series of Guevara’s orange, kiwi, and pomegranate will go on sale on October 21 on Her Clique, a new platform dedicated to promoting women’s art, with a portion of the proceeds donated to a program for low-income international students at The New York Academy of Art. Explore the full series of fleshy fruits on Guevara’s site, and stay up to date with her work on Instagram and Artsy.
Left: “#27 (kiwi)” (2015), oil on canvas, 12 inches. Right: “#55 (pomegranate)” (2016), oil on canvas, 20 inches
“#47 (apricot)” (2015), oil on canvas, 10 inches
“#48 (cactus pair)” (2015), oil on canvas, 5 inches
Left: “#51 (imagined fruit)” (2015), oil on canvas, 8 inches. Right: “#52 (watermelon)” (2015), oil on canvas, 20 inches
Upper left: Mini Fruit Portrait Lemon. Upper right: Mini Fruit Portrait Avocado. Lower left: Mini Fruit Portrait Watermelon. Lower right: Mini Fruit Portrait Orange