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Ida Applebroog
Monalisa, 2009 | Mixed media on canvas

Ida Applebroog started painting at the start of the seventies, at the age of 45. Since that time she has built up an important, substantial body of work that is characterized by her feminist disposition. In her work the artist refers to the history of art and the position of women. Almost always, it was the men who observed the women – the models – immortalizing them in graceful and often erotic fashion. Applebroog puts this traditional division of roles up for discussion, using her sharp commentary on sexuality, power, anger, guilt and emotional dysfunction. She painted the monumental ‘Modern Olympia’ at the end of the nineties. She uses this work to comment on the works by Manet and Cézanne depicting naked females and her 'Monalisa’ painting from 2009 refers to the history of art. This portrait was painted by Leonardo da Vinci in around 1505. The contrast is great. The famous enigmatic smile has given way to an intense, wild look. Clearly, it is not important for this woman to adhere to any kind of protocol. Her hair is disheveled and hanging in front of her eyes. It seems less like she is 'posing’ and more like she wants to scream something at viewers.

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