When did you see ageism firsthand?

Ageism and Feminism: "Art can put its finger in a social wound"

The illustrations by Laura Breiling from Berlin are often described as “provocative”. She actually only captures moments from real life.

Google, Washington Post, New York Times, Bloomberg or the Berliner Zeitung. The list of illustrious clients is large when it comes to the works of the Berlin illustrator Laura Breiling and her creative potential.

And she uses this to put current and socially relevant events on paper, placing the focus on feminist and gender-related topics, often also on politics and environmental protection. It is particularly important to her to represent a great deal of diversity. In the artistic illustration, this is far too short. “In reality, this diversity takes place, it is not shown due to power structures. I would like to depict a wide variety of people who act self-confidently as subjects, even if they are part of a marginalized group or are treated too often like objects in reality, ”she explains in an interview with the“ shop window ”.

In fact, these representations often cause irritation among viewers, according to the artist. The following illustration shows two elderly women celebrating their anniversary in the bathtub. Without ageism, but with a chocolate fountain and red wine. Unfortunately, love between older people is still far too short in the public eye, explains Breiling.

The personal moral compass

The illustrations cause irritation, but also fascination. It is not for nothing that the Berliner is currently one of the most sought-after German illustrators. She succeeds in captivating observers. And it either conveys messages very clearly or in a more subtle way. Because art is, at least according to Breiling's personal concept of art, always political. Through one's own cultural background and personal positioning, through the political situation at the time of its creation and through current events, artistic work usually has a political aftertaste - even if that was not initially intended.

And so it is also part of her job to cancel one or the other job. With her own moral compass in her luggage, she walks the fine line between conscience and economic efficiency. Her art is therefore not only political, but also activist: "Art can put its finger in social wounds, exactly where it hurts particularly."

To do this, she observes current political events and here again and again picks up a pen. Donald Trump repeatedly cheats in her illustrations, and Angela Merkel and Kim Jong-un have also captured them. Incidentally, in May 2016 also Alexander van der Bellen, after his election as Federal President, before it was contested.

Hold up a mirror to society

Capturing realistic moments in a world that is largely depicted in a very utopian way: this is the goal Laura Breiling has dedicated herself to in addition to the fight against beauty norms and gender stereotypes. Her illustrations are critical, resist conventions and always pack a dose of humor and irony. And so you see a working mother between breast pumps and deadlines, a group of half-naked senior women having a cozy barbecue evening at the lake with beer and grilled sausages, two young men kissing or a new mother - with scars and stretch marks, very tired, and from lots of full diapers surround.

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