"I want to comfort the suffering world with my paintings" Deacon Ahn Mal-geum, 
a Western painter who is a life member of the Taylor Foundation in France
 (2020, Kookmin Ilbo)
Western painter Ahn Mal-geum (68, Full Gospel Church, Yeouido) was recently named a life member of the Taylor Foundation in France. Life members of the Foundation are eligible to enter the Taylor Foundation Competition, which has been held annually since its founding in 1844, and are inducted into its Hall of Fame. Documents submitted for consideration will be preserved in perpetuity at the Foundation's Academic Center. The foundation serves as a gateway for international artists to enter the French art market, and five Korean artists have been elected as life members, including Ahn. Ahn was also awarded the 2020 Best Artist Award by the International André Malraux Association last month.
"I want to convey God's love with the talents God has given me, and Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso are my role models," Ahn said recently at a cafe in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, adding, "I want to comfort the world by exerting a good influence through my paintings in this painful world."
Ahn's artistic career began in earnest in the late 1990s. She had always enjoyed Van Gogh's paintings and nagged his daughter, who was studying at an art school, to paint Van Gogh's Sunflowers.
"I was excited about the painting, so I asked her to do it, but she put it off, saying she'd do it another day. I was so angry and emotional that I burst into tears. Surprised by my behavior, she immediately got a sketchbook and taught me how to draw, including how to make lines. From then on, I've been drawing except when I'm sleeping."
Ahn realized his calling after this incident, and after graduating from Sangmyung University's Social Education Center with a degree in Western painting, she worked nonstop. She has held seven solo exhibitions, including one at the Louvre in France in 2018. She has also participated in many group exhibitions.
"Especially when I look at Van Gogh's paintings, my heart pounds and every cell seems to come alive," Ahn said. "I like the humanity of Van Gogh, who lived fiercely as an artist. Her work, with its intense touch, has had a great influence on my work." Like Van Gogh, Ahn's work is mostly painted in primary colors, creating an intense atmosphere.
"I usually find my inspiration for my paintings by studying colors in nature," says Ahn. "When I paint, I think of vitality first, then beauty, and then a little bit of sadness and anguish. I will continue to work hard to create works that make viewers feel the vitality of life."

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