If your first thought of these images was that this is just another Photoshopped photo session, you’re wrong. Every image is actually an oil painting created by the gifted artist Anna Halldin Maule. Her amazing attention for the detail and stunning ability to show the shadows, shapes and realistic women features leaves you almost speechless. The Hawaii-based artist decided to show for hew latest work hiperrealistic, elegant and sharp feminine portraits as a response to the society’s view on the women: “Women of today are assaulted by a continuous stream of media bytes dictating how we should look, think, and purchase,” says the artist. “My latest paintings are part of my Persona series and through them I explore the ‘masks’ women wear in their quest to discover their true selves.”
Not Photography, But Photography Based
However, even though her work is not photography, her initial process is photography based. With the help of her husband, photographer Tom Maule, Anna uses a photo shoot as an inspiration and created ideas for her next project. Photo shoot is in the service of having all the ideas in front of her and knowing exactly what her next step is. Using a restrained approach to composition and tonality, Halldin Maule explores subject matter that is anything but restrained, and actually verges on the surreal. Her lovely, youthful models are adorned in various costumes: a headdress of cut-paper flowers, masses of cotton wool, a birdcage releasing a cloud of gilded butterflies, or just wrapped up as a consumerist product for sale, with a tie named after some of the fashion brands.
On one level, the paintings are specifically about women and their conflicted relationship with appearance; on another, they are about our helpless shared obsession with artifice, and our tendency to disregard underlying substance. Anna Halldin Maule’s latest work has been a part of her debut solo exhibition at Scott Richards Contemporary Art in San Francisco since August 7th. They’re part of the series called Persona and will be on display until August 30, 2014.