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2023 - 59,4 x 42 cm – India ink and fineliner on paper

A man standing at the front door of his rented house looks with dismay at the box of groceries in his hand: cheese, a carton of milk, a banana and eggs for a hefty sum of money. Inside sits a woman who has wrapped herself up thick; she warms herself with a candle. Except for the light of the candle, it is dark inside the house. The house itself is dilapidated: there are cracks in the brick walls and loose roof tiles. Sitting on the roof of the house, a man in a suit is counting his money, which he then puts in his shirt pocket.

At a time when life gradually becomes unaffordable from all sides, more and more people are getting into trouble. Energy bills have skyrocketed, with a price cap that in many cases is unrealistic. Where people used to be able to get a full shopping bag for thirty euros, nowadays the bag is only half full for the same prize. There are always opportunities to adjust your way of life, or to invest in sustainability, but unfortunately that is not for everyone.

Unfortunately, there are people and institutions that are getting better at a time when the lives of more and more people are falling apart. The man on the roof could represent several persons. In this drawing he refers to a landlord who has not maintained his buildings for years and who is asking for high rent anyway. The reality, with the stagnated housing market, is that you have nowhere else to go. However, investments in making rental houses more sustainable are lagging behind, as is the legislation that should make this compulsory and accelerate it. So there you are, living in a house that squeaks and cracks, which cannot be warmed up, while big money is earned over your back. In times like these, life sometimes feels very unfair.

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