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Edvard Munch is such an awesome artist!

Today was nice I guess. Layton helped me dye my hair with the stuff I got from roz and now it's solid black again. Yay! I also gave cryshade a bath since he desperately needed one. I woke up at 3 in the morning and had to come down stairs to sleep on the sofa. I'm gonna be doing it again tonite too. And every other night up until I can get all my blankets and everything else washed. Dunno how I'm gonna accomplish that with the new teeny ass washer mom and dad got. *sigh* The stupid thing is only supposed to be able to hold at max, five pairs of pants (or was it towels?) at any given time. That adds up to... I dunno how many shirts and way too many loads of laundry to make anyone happy. Frustrating as all hell. Stupidmuffingenergystar. Anyway...

If everything goes as planned, tomorrow I'm supposed to go with holly down to the teen clinic and possibly planned parenthood for bc. I never should have waited. I never should have said fuck it that one day just because I was "too depressed." It's bullshit. I have more excuses than carter has pills. *bangs head on desk* Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Yesterday was a harvest moon. It was really pretty. God, I'm so blank right now I can't think. Everything is running through my head. Stuff like I want to make pumpkin pie. I want 20 bucks (at least) and to go back up to goodwill. I need to learn how to paint better. I want to become a better artist. On and on and on. It just won't shut up. And yet when I try and focus on one little thing, everything goes blank. I love this. (note: heavy sarcasm)


By Jill Fahy
Posted Monday, August 23, 2004

The stolen version of Munch's masterpiece

Aaaaarrrggggghhhhh! I've been stolen

On Sunday, armed robbers heisted one of four original versions of Edvard Munch's masterpiece, The Scream, from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway. The thieves simply brandished their weapons, grabbed The Scream and Madonna (another Munch painting), and fled in broad daylight.

Experts expect the thieves to try to ransom The Scream, since the painting is too well-known to be sold on the open market. Still, the currently "hot" version (pictured above) probably isn't the one you're most familiar with. The best-known Scream hangs in Norway's National Gallery. Click here to see it.

Today's Knowledge
Edvard Munch's The Scream

key art

Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944) wasn't a particularly cheerful guy. Grief, anxiety, and relentless despair plagued Munch (pronounced Moonk) for most of his life.

Munch's mother died of tuberculosis when he was 5. His older sister fell victim to the disease when he was 14. His father and brother, too, died when he was still young, and another sister went insane.

Munch wrote, "Sickness, madness, and death are the dark angels that watched over my crib when I was born." By midlife, he had suffered his own nervous breakdown. In later years, he lived as a recluse. All the while, he produced a body of paintings, etchings, prints, and woodcuts that transfixed viewers caught up in the sweeping social changes of a modernizing world.

Cold Realities, Heated Visions

A pioneering Expressionist, Munch rejected the naturalistic representations of most late 19th century French and German art. He turned instead to exaggerated, even distorted, expression of intensely subjective inner emotions.

"Just as in his drawings Leonardo explains anatomy," Munch wrote, "herewith I explain the anatomy of the soul . . . my task is the study of the soul, that is to say the study of my own self . . . in my art I have sought to explain my life and its meaning."

Critics panned his early work, dismissing his paintings as having little to do with art--"the visions of a sick brain." An 1892 exhibition of his paintings in Berlin closed within a week. His unconventional and bold representations of jarring emotions and frank sexuality were simply too shocking.

His work later gained acceptance, but Munch found little comfort in acclaim. "My fame is increasing," he wrote, "but happiness is another thing." He continued to paint, in solitude, until his death. He rarely exhibited or sold his work and kept most of his paintings in his own studio, considering them his "family."

Chilling Scream

The Scream (1893) is Munch's most famous work. Created as part of a series titled Frieze of Life, it portrays a vivid landscape of pain and fear, reflecting the anxiety of a society at the cusp of modernity.

Munch wrote of his piece: "I was tired and ill--I stopped and looked out across the fjord--the sun was setting--the clouds were dyed red like blood. I felt a scream pass through nature; it seemed to me that I could hear the scream. I painted this picture--painted the clouds as real blood.--The colors were screaming."

The Scream's first exhibition was nothing less than scandalous; today the painting is nothing less than a cultural icon, a singular representation of existential anxiety and alienation. The shriek cries out from a dizzying array of mundane objects, including ties, posters, mousepads, nightlights, calendars, and mugs. (One person's horror is another person's morning coffee.)

Hot Scream

On February 12, 1994--the opening day of the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway--thieves seized The Scream from Norway's National Gallery. They perched a ladder outside a window, broke the glass, cut the wire that held the painting to the wall, and made off with it.

A Lutheran minister connected to abortion opponents in Norway relayed the first condition for The Scream's safe return: the national broadcast of an anti-abortion film, "The Silent Scream," on Norwegian television. Later, a similarly connected lawyer called for a ransom of $1 million.

Neither of these conditions was met. In fact, neither "representative" had anything to do with the heist. Norwegian police, with help from Britain's Scotland Yard, recovered the painting in a sting operation just three months after its disappearance. They arrested three members of the Norwegian mob, who had hoped to raise money to buy drugs.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 29th, 2004 12:51 am (UTC)
mmmm pumpkin pie...

I feel you though. Too much to do and I can't start working on any of it.
Sep. 30th, 2004 11:20 pm (UTC)
Life can be too full sometimes.
Sep. 29th, 2004 09:52 pm (UTC)
That's interesting about Munch's life, I never knew about the fact that practically his whole family was lost to him when he was young. Man what a terrible experience, no wonder he was depressed... and his art was so cool. It seems that people with really complex lives and emotions make the best artwork. Interesting...
Sep. 30th, 2004 11:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Munch
People with sad lives always have the most interesting art, be it writing, drawing, or other such things.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )