Friday, January 21, 2011

Much ado about Munch

Um, so I was goth for about 2 weeks in high school. During that time, I pretty much bought the goth starter kit: Sisters of Mercy T-shirt, oxblood docs, LOTS of black eyeliner, and a print of The Scream by Edvard Munch. I, of course, didn't know anything about Munch, - like the fact that he had paintings other than The Scream- I just knew that The Scream looked a dark, depressed, melancholy way.

Munch was a Norwegian symbolist painter and an early influence and forerunner of Expressionism. He pretty much had the typical checklist for an artist:
-unhappy childhood
-over-bearing, disapproving parent
-social/behavioral issues
-alcohol addiction
-tendancy toward bar room brawls
-broke most of the time
-jacked up relationships with women
-feelings of isolationism/being misunderstood
-mental breakdown
And, of couse he was the source of constant controversy amongst art critics and purveyors. His paintings straddled the impressionist and expressionist movement, so he had a hard time finding his place in the art world. His topics were often controversial (i.e. the Madonna, subject of the necklace), portraying melancholy, anger, fear, anxiety, and sexual frustration. Critics and the general population had no idea what to make of his work. At first, he sold very few paintings, but actually made more money off the admission he charged to get into his exhibits to view his "controversal" work. He eventually gained some noteriety and strong support, however, and DIDN'T die in relative obscurity, like most artists.
An example of one of his more contorversal pieces is the Madonna, which is supposed to depict the Virgin Mary in a moment that is, ahem, not so virginal. This was also one of the paintings that was stolen, along with The Scream, during a 2004 art heist. Well, you don't have to heist a painting, you can just buy this necklace off of my etsy:) And, if you've made it this far- enter coupon code BLOG15 to recieve 15% off of your total purchase. Yay.

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