The problem with photorealistic painting is that sometimes it’s all superficial spectacle, and after being wowed by the skill the works can leave you feeling a bit empty. South African painter Gina Heyer knows this, and her Order and Division series is much more than mere trickery. The haunting photos of an empty school will be familiar to anyone who has ever been in an empty institutional building, snapping you back to the weird sounds and even weirder smells of these places once the people are removed.
There’s lots going on here – nostalgia, a slight sense of unease at being somewhere so empty and, of course, the ridiculous skill involved in rendering this eerie atmosphere so accurately. Smell that floor polish!
The work is on show at the Brundyn + Gonsalves gallery in Cape Town from tomorrow until October 3.