The Oil Paintings of Anna Halldin-Maule

The acute attention to detail evident in Anna Halldin-Maule’s work is most certainly amplified by her process of creating a strong artistic reference from which to work, far before the first brushstroke hits the canvas. Collaborating with husband Tom Maule, a highly accomplished photographer, the couple initiates a photo shoot to acquire an appropriate image that’s consistent with the artist’s vision. Anna Halldin-Maule serves as make-up artist and together with Tom; art directs the shoot – developing various compositions via adjustments of model, wardrobe, props and lighting. The photo shoot shares center stage with Anna’s painting process within each video captured to document the artist’s work, helping the viewer to gain understanding of the artist’s commitment to detail and at times, her motive.

The artist’s words and imagery appear carefully crafted to leave ample room for the viewer to draw their own conclusions. Halldin-Maule obviously enjoys the interplay between beautiful women and fashion-driven materialism. However, in work after work, one could argue about where to attribute the power. Is the subject a victim or a joyful participant in her relationship to high fashion and material goods?


In Anna Halldin-Maule’s Her New Religion, the newest work showcased in our Boca Raton art gallery, the piece shares an attribute of all great hyperrealism, asking the viewer to first reconcile the fact it is indeed oil on canvas. Regarding the meaning and significance of the work, the title and the subject’s skyward gaze work harmoniously to convey the pairing of prayer and materialism. But once again, the viewer is asked to draw the conclusion. Is this beautiful woman at the mercy of her material desires or is she merely grateful for her possessions? How interesting that the viewer’s subjectivity may reveal more about his or her own relationships with materialism than the artist’s intention. Of course, curious collectors have the opportunity to review the work’s associated video and take a stab at resolving the issue.  In sync with the artist’s intent, on another plane, or merely left to wonder?


Similarly, in Halldin-Maule’s Obsessed, one can’t help but feel, at least initially, that the artist has made an explicit statement. Her subject weeps, mascara running from her eyes, as her naked body reveals tattoos of high fashion name brands. However, the subject’s facial expression indicates that her emotion may be something other than sorrow. In this video, the artist is frank about crafting this work to leave the door open to interpretation, indicating her desire to show the subject as, “conflicted…she is happy, but at the same time…she has all these emotions inside her and this is taking over her life.”



In creating one of Halldin-Maule’s popular “pedestal” works, Pedestal 01, the artist is forthcoming about the fact that her art mirrors her own relationship with fashion and possessions. Admitting, that she shares with other women, numerous sacrifices that include “suffering” for fashion − from high-heeled shoes and clothes that fit uncomfortably – to the desires to own beautiful designer clothes and accessories. The artist speaks of the iconic Chanel 255 bag featured within the work as the desired possession for which the subject is willing to sacrifice comfort.  Yet, while Halldin-Maule focuses on the strength of the iconic handbag, the viewer is of course likely to draw a number of psychological inferences related to the attractive womanly features that form the pedestal. Undoubtedly, sexuality and fashion/materialism relationships are drawn as well.


At Vertu Fine Art gallery, we have the privilege of hearing from collectors about their conclusions formed as a viewer of Halldin-Maule works, and as should be expected, the interpretations are diverse. Regardless of which psychological meanings the viewer draws out of the artist’s works, what is universal is an appreciation for the incredible attention to detail that makes Halldin-Maule a significant figure in hyperrealism. Of course, the ability of her works to draw a visceral response coupled with sustained question of meaning is what has art collectors buzzing about the artist’s work.




If you have questions or would like to see this artwork in person, call or visit us. We are continuously acquiring new work and look forward to showing you around our gallery.

April 12, 2013
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