Twenty Seventeen


Oil on canvas

94.7 × 62.7 × 3 cm (37 5/16 × 24 11/16 × 1 3/16 in.)

A pale, female face with half-open lips and bulging eyes emerges from a dark background. Her eyes are filled with terror and it seems that no sound can come out of her mouth.

Luc Tuymans based Twenty Seventeen on the Brazilian TV series "3%". In the series, a dystopian society is divided between the rich (3% of the population) and the poor. The poor can try their luck in an examination to gain access to the society of the rich. If a competitor fails, his or her fate is sealed and he or she will be poisoned. Only 3% of the competitors will have access to the other world. The painting depicts the face of a woman at the moment she learns that she is condemned to die from poisoning.

Twenty Seventeen is a striking image of the powerlessness of a human being confronted by absolute, faceless power, It was shown for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the exhibition "La Pelle" (“The Skin”) at the Palazzo Grassi.