Born in Cape Town in 1953, Marlene Dumas moved to the Netherlands in 1976 to study painting and psychology. Once free of the rigid, censored society of South Africa during apartheid, Dumas embraced Amsterdam's rich and diverse culture, from art museums to pornography shops. These early influences continue to enrich her work which frequently addresses racism and the role of women in society. With her risqué and often taboo subject matter, Dumas critiques social and cultural stereotypes. By frequently combining references to art history, pop culture, and pornography in her paintings, she has challenged the art historical tradition and the expectations of contemporary audiences.

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