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  curious, smart, sexual, spontaneous and strong. Her portrait of Angela Merkel, Germany’s first female chancellor, is an extraordinary ode to the both-and quasi-dualisms of the female nature: gentle and strong, prudent and brave, measured and open, polite and vocal, eternal and evanescent. The chancellor is depicted in front of clean, future-oriented energy sources wearing a sober pant suit, her face an icon of serene strength, her hands folded in her trademark gesture in front of the stomach. The portrait is surrounded by a multitude of water-colored images of female genitalia. The artist intends to shock and intrigue viewers but ‘The Most Powerful Woman in the World ‘ is not an intriguing shocker. It is a sublime visual poem about the strength both vast and deep, and hard and soft, that is the core of female nature.
We are born with the right to be valued and treated ethically simply because we are human.
SOCIAL DIGNITY: ‘Jean-Michel Basquiat’ by Marlon
The work of Marlon focuses on the inequalities in humanity that are at the root of social crises and conflicts throughout history and into present day. Marlon opts for a confrontational approach and incorporates spontaneity in his work, evidenced by his deliberate use of acrylic for his ‘Jean-Michel Basquiat’ portrait. Fast drying acrylics allow an intuitive fluidity in the making, giving the finished work a natural feel that is truer to reality than the results of careful planning required by slow-drying oil paints. His choice to portray Basquiat, the American painter and icon of Neo-Expressionism, is spot on: Basquiat drew constantly and used a primitivist style together with direct socio-political commentary to expose social dichotomies and divides like wealth-poverty, integration- segregation and race, as well as power and class struggles. Marlon’s seemingly unfinished portrait of Basquiat, who died at the age of 27 in his studio in 1988, pays homage to the spirit of the artist and the nature of raw reality: not sleek and satisfyingly finite, but a constant stream of disturbingly jagged edges and loose ends.
ENVIRONMENTAL DIGNITY: ‘Karl Lagerfeld’ by Jung Hyun
Jung Hyun’s inspiration comes from, as she puts it, ‘human impact on nature, especially urbanization.’ She concedes that there are positive aspects to
Artist Leah (self portrait) and her work, Angela Merkel (left).
 June 2018 FIS World 17

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