'Fruit in your Hand' by Heimler and Proc

'Fruit in your Hand' by Heimler and Proc

diptych size 120cm x 120cm with frame

From Heimler and Proc Chrysalis Series 2023


'Fruits in Your Hand' the last and defining work in the artist paring Gabriel Heimler and Anna Proc's 'Chrysalis' series, paintings all based on the 1656 Spanish artist Diego Velazquez's 'Las Meninas'.

'Las Meninas' has become one of the most widely analysed works in Western painting for the way its complex composition raises questions about reality and illusion, and for the uncertain relationship it creates between the viewer and the figures. Derivatives of 'Las Meninas' work have been created by many artists including Picasso , Dali, Goya and John Singer Sargent. The painting is believed to depict a room in the Royal Alcazar of Madrid during the reign of King Philip IV of Spain, and presents several figures, most identifiable from the Spanish court, captured in a particular moment as if in a snapshot. The five-year-old Infanta Margaret Theresa is surrounded by her entourage of maids of honour, chaperone, bodyguard, two dwarfs and a dog. Just behind them, Velázquez portrays himself working at a large canvas. In the background there is a mirror that reflects the upper bodies of the king and queen. (Description of 'Las Meninas' provided by Wikipedia)

Heimler and Proc's interpretation borrows from 'Las Meninas' the elements of composition and the complex interplay of characters,  revolving around the young girl as the central figure. She is older than the infanta in 'Las Meninas' and with the uncertainties of maturity ahead of her. A faint tear is visible on her face, a sign of the loss of childhood ahead. The symbolism in 'Fruits in your Hand' is distinctly New Zealand. The artists have infused their European heritage with Aotearoa, their new home. The painting's message is as uncertain as that of 'Las Meninas'. The scene is enigmatic and open to the viewer's interpretation.

Gabriel Heimler and Anna Proc work together on all their paintings and all are signed by both. Gabriel is known for his mural 'The Wall Jumper' painted on the Berlin Wall in 1989. This mural exists as part of the East Side Gallery in Berlin and is now reproduced in the Berlin International Airport. Gabriel and Anna together painted 'The Mover' mural on the Museum QT Hotel in Wellington.

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