Monday, September 24, 2012

Scream for your life!: Thoughts on Edvard Munch's Scream

Hey Nerds,
Today I want to talk about one of my favorite piece of art work. I don't think there's anyone who doesn't know Norwegian famous artist Edvard Munch's Scream painting. I know you guys out there who didn't know artist's name or this works' name but seen this art somewhere right?
I always adored this painting. I even copied my own version in color pencils.
I first saw this work while watching MTV Asia(I believe in 2000's). This was one of the show ad in MTV Asia channel. I tried to find that small ad but can't seem to find it. I always fascinated by that ad whenever it airs.
And later I saw this on my 8th grade art textbook. That's the first time I knew who the artist was and what work of art is. Since then I forever obsessed with this work. I even collected framed copy of the painting, book, magnet and bag. I really relate to this art for many reasons. I tell you that later. But before that let's dig more about this art work first.

Too obsessed with Scream

So I did little research on my favorite piece of painting. Edvard Munch was considered Expressionist artist. The works originally titled Der Schrei der Natur which translates from German "The Scream of Nature". Edvard Munch did four versions of this art work but with lithograph work you may say he did five different versions of this painting. All versions were created during 1893 to 1910. There are two version of Scream created in 1893. Experts debated on which one is first version. I'm not expert but personally I think tempera version is first one.

Scream (1893) Crayon on cardboard; Scream (1893) Oil, tempera on cardboard

Scream (1893) Oil, tempera on cardboard

This is the well known and most famous version of Scream (1983).
Oil, tempera and pastel on cardboard.
Size: 91x73.5cm
Location: National Gallery, Oslo, Norway
Facts:  The most famous version of Scream. Considered complete version. Edvard Munch created lithograph version of this painting in 1895.

His diary written in 1892 contains explanation of this work. "I was out walking with two friends - the sun began to set-suddenly the sky turned blood red - I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on a fence - there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city - my friends walked on and I still stood, trembling with fear - and I sensed an end-less scream passing through Nature."

Scream (1893) Crayon on cardboard

Scream (1893) Crayon on cardboard

 This is the second(or maybe first?) version created in year 1893.
Crayon on cardboard,
Size: Unknown
Location: The National Gallery, Oslo, Norway

Facts: This version is consider work less finished than the others. The colors looked more washed out.
This version was stolen from National Gallery in 1994. Thefts left note saying "Thanks for the poor security". Hmm lucky basterd haha. And it recovered two months later.

Scream (1895) Pastel on board

Scream (1895) Pastel on board

This is the third version of Scream created in 1895.  
Size: 79x59cm
Location: Leon Black's private collection, USA
Facts: In May, 2012 American businessman Leon Black purchased pastel version for $119.9 million from Sotherby's auction. Set the new world record for single work of art at auction. Previously owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father Thomas was a friend, neighbor and patron of Munch.
I heard this version of painting will go on public view for six months starting from October 2012 at The Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, New York City. Another excuse to go to New York :P

Scream (1895) Lithograph

Scream (1895) Lithograph

The lithograph version of 1983 version of Scream. 
Lithograph in black on cream card.
Size: 51x38.5cm
Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, USA

Scream (1910) Tempera on board

Scream (1910) tempera on board

The fourth version was created in 1910.
Size: 83.5x66cm
Location: Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway
Facts: Some Munch historians believe that Edvard Munch created this version as a replica after selling 1893 version of Scream.
This piece was stolen from Munch Museum in 2004 and recovered slightly damaged in 2006.  

As I mentioned earlier for many reasons I really relate to this art. I understand how he suddenly very felt very anxious, exhausted and saw nature turned blood red. And he wanted to scream. I read Edvard Munch struggled bipolar disorder which has excessive mood swings and his close family members had manic depression(bipolar disorder). His mood swings clearly seen in his other works. I know I don't have bipolar disorder or depression. I always had full happy life and great family. I don't know why but I'm just naturally shy, quiet and anxious person. Sometimes I just want to go away far far away. But then I realized wherever you go, your anxiety will still there. I always told myself "You have get over it no matter what". That was always biggest challenge for me. I still working on that. Maybe at that time Edvard Munch felt same thing too. If Edvard Munch gone through his weakness and created such masterpiece why can't I get over it right? After all we're all humans.  Do you guys have fear of something?

I don't want to end my post with my sad anxious story. So here is little painting? umm drawing I did back in 2010. Here it is to cheer you all nerds up. My replica version of Scream. It's colored pencil on paper. Hope you all like it :)
Edvard Munch Scream replica (2010) Colored pencil on paper. by Bindi Enkh-Amgalan

Let's get over our fears and live happily ever after.

Updated on Aug 02, 2014: So I just edited this post from 2012 because thanks to Picasa Web for deleting some of my blog pictures! Thanks for nothing Google. Anyways I came across interesting article about Scream painting location. Here is the blog post Pop Spots by Bob Egan
So the actual location is road called "Valhallveien" in Ekeberg Hill, Ekeberg south neighbourhood of Oslo, Norway.

Can we go to Oslo, Norway and pose like this guy and Scream? Added to bucket list ;)


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