Ladies and gentlemen,

What a privilege it is to be in the Danubiana – Meulensteen Art Gallery at such a beautiful day in spring. We are gathered here to pay tribute to three young artists whose work is just as fresh as a spring morning! But first let me recognize Ms Hanja May-Weggen, Chairperson of the Jury of Foederer Talenten Fonds. I feel honoured to be able to welcome you to this beautiful Museum. And of course I should thank Gerard Meulensteen and Vincent Polakovič for their never tiring search to present new art here at the crossroads of Slovakia, Hungary and Austria. A more truly Dutch scenery is hard to find: The river seeking its way, the high skies. And Art!

One of the most important aspects of the idea behind this wonderful Museum is the wish to find new talent. Modern art is, as we all know, a quest for the unsaid in the daily language, for the unseen in established pictures, for the unthinkable in received ideas. The three winners of the Foederer Talent Awards in 2013 and 2014 respectively have that strike in common. They look at things we have seen before, and – by presenting them differently – they open our eyes for fields not yet trespassed.

Far be it from me, to go into depth on their respective works. The designs and works of art they present to us do that much better than my spoken word can and could do. But let me just try and define in a few simple words, what each of them brings to us.

Allow me – because of the Dutch undiscriminating ways – to make my remarks on the artists in alphabetical order.

Firstly, 2013 co-winner Simone Munsters: Despite her young age, Simone has already quite some experience abroad. Her internship at Preen’s in London gave the opportunity develop her technical skills yet more fully. Many different techniques – even before starting with a new collection – result from it. Her recent travels in South-America widened her scope even wider. We tend to think about design and fashion design in particular as an industrial process. Simone proves you wrong. Design is something else. On the basis of meticulous techniques, visions become reality while tradition is fed by the newest ideas. Thank you Simone!

Thank you, Foederer Talent Awards for recognizing these wonderful young artists, who each in her own way, changes reality, shows us new sides of reality, and, yes, CREATES new realities. Creative processes change our lives. That brings two quotes to mind. One of Pablo Picasso: “Everything you can imagine is real”. The other one by Matisse: “Creativity takes courage”. Thank you ladies, for your courage!

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