31 August 2013

Celebrating Edvard Munch's 150th: It's Going to be a Scream

History did not record how Edvard Munch felt about being remembered by most people for just a 'single' work.  It could be argued that he brought this on himself, having produced no less than four versions of his most famous painting, The Scream.  Yet, on the 150th anniversary of his birth, The Scream has a ubiquity only equalled by a handful of other works of art.  Munch’s birth country of Norway is currently awash with Munch mania with special retrospectives of his works, plans afoot to build a new museum in his memory and a multitude of flash mob style scream-ins. So what could you do to commemorate Edvard and his most famous creation on his 150th cake day?  Here are a few ideas.

It has to be said that you may have to be in possession of some artistic talent for your homage to be successful (or even recognizable).  The decoration of various foodstuffs seems to be popular when recreating The Scream.

Although it isn't quite Halloween, these pumpkins offer one suggestion how you could share the joy.

Having said that, don't let lack of talent stop you - it's the enthusiasm for your subject that counts. Mostly.

Yet, although success is not guaranteed, a few simple ingredients and voila!

You may prefer a little haberdashery...

...or prefer to super-size your efforts. One of the great things about art is that it can be found in the most unlikely of places.  However, one usually associates the back of a pick-up truck with screams entirely different in nature.

While the best things in life (pick-up truck based or otherwise) remain free, you can't really beat lego.

You could organize a Munch themed parade.  Now there is something the children will remember for the rest of their lives and make a thousand therapists very, very happy.

If a work of art is a moment frozen in time, then why not take it literally?

Revealing the source of all that existential angst may not be such a good idea, however.

Returning to the food theme, if you are a chef you could always use Munch as inspiration for marketing your meals.  This version was spotted drowning in the beef stew as part of the display of a plastic food shop in the Kappabashi district of Tokyo.  OK, maybe not.

A collection like this would not be complete without latte artThe Scream must be one of the more difficult requests a barista gets. They will probably have a nervous breakdown in a little under twenty years, when Picasso's sesquicentennial takes place. Try doing Guernica in foam.

If you are a cartoonist you could commemorate the numerous times that versions of The Scream has been stolen by various cheeky monkeys.

As an animator you could recreate Munch’s conversation with himself which provoked the first version of The Scream in 1893. You could even funk it up with a Pink Floyd soundtrack…

Graffiti artists have long since been enamored of Munch’s The Scream so you could give this art form a go.  It is certainly one way to celebrate the birthday of a legend of the art world and annoy the neighbors at the same time.

It is rare, however, when it could be argued that a new version is as disturbing as the original.

If your art borders more on the satirical or political (or a combination) then there is plenty of space for you in the Munchiverse.  Yet sometimes, depending on your nature - more than one thought can run through your head at the same time...

Really, is that the only thing on your mind?

It seems somehow strangely inappropriate to follow that with this homage made from wood. Yet you could always chisel away at a plank or two and see what happens.

You may be more inclined to simply observe the world around you – in which case, relax. Munch is everywhere.

So, there you have it – just a few ways in which you could join in and celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edvard Munch. His evocative treatment of psychological themes hit the collective nerve of a century and provoked a steady stream of art imitating art so why not contribute yourself?  Or not.  You may have already metaphorically walked away...

Nevertheless, Happy 150th, Mr Munch!

First Image Credit Flickr User svale