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From L to R: Jennifer Schipf from AXA XL, AXA Art Prize winner Anna Park, and artist Will Cotton. (Photo: AXA XL)

For decades, critics have deemed figurative art as passé if not irrelevant, citing any number of milestones as evidence: The Industrial Revolution, the advent of Cubism, the ascendance of Abstract Impressionism, the deaths of Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon …. But, per Mark Twain’s well-worn riposte, reports of figurative art’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Today, figurative art still serves as a powerful medium for creating narratives around enduring questions of identity and our place in the world; explorations not at all unlike when humans first started painting on cave walls 40,000 years ago.

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