Painted this at an old CIA spy station in Berlin (Teufelsberg / Devil’s Mountain):
‘Soulmates’ shows Donald Trump (President of the United States) on the left and Bakr al-Baghdadi (leader of the Islamic State) on the right. Both have turned their back to one another but are united on a giant dark red heart. The idea was to show the similarities of these seemingly opposing identities and ideologies. They have far more in common than one might think:
- extreme simplification of reality, which divides the world in ‘black-and-white’, ‘we’ against ‘them’ etc.
- convinced that they are right/ speaking for the people.
- authoritarian rebellion against the ruling system (‘the West’ and ‘the establishment’) which in their view does not represent the majority of the people.
- abolishing democracy and its liberties.
- reactionary ideas: authoritarian view, anti-liberalism, anti-feminism, patriarchy, traditional gender roles.
- conspiracy theories which draws them as victims: The own culture is threatened by an invasion of ‘The West’ / ‘Immigrants’.
- fighting against refugees (displacement of people / ‘Muslim ban’)
and I think most frightening of all: They both believe, they are good people.