Ilse Wielage (NL, 1964) initially made her name as a scientific/medical illustrator before she decided to establish herself as a free artist in 2005. In her free work she has since then combined the best of both worlds. She thanks her technically perfect brush technique to her thorough academic training. The imaging impact and layerdness of her portraits are the result of Wielages unrelenting quest for the ultimate and at the same time always treacherous power of expression of the image. Her icons of the contemporary world appear perfectly unapproachable on the canvas, but the symbolism with which Ilse Wielage stages them, wrings uneasily. Beside their obvious theatricality and irony, more than anything else her portraits offer hidden clues to questions she asks herself – and the viewer. Typical for this ambiguity in her work is Wielages series of portraits of young 'flower children' with a (mutated) favorite pet and the series of apparently sweet voiced and serenely introverted (pairs of) women, where the viewer cannot escape the necessity to penetrate the uneasy reality beneath the layers of paint. Her current series of paintings, in which among others world leaders such as Sylvio Berlusconi and Angela Merkel make their appearance, adds a new dimension to the profoundly exciting and unescapably alienating experience the universe of Ilse Wielage has to offer.