Went to British Museum and saw the exhibition of the Norwegian Edvard Munch’s prints and paintings. Strange experience. Not much happiness or harmony but rather the dark side of love with jealousy, pain and fear. Unsettling and highly fascinating – and a (true) picture of love which is different from most of what we see in popular culture, let alone sermons in the churches.
And the ‘The Scream’ is here in black and white. I’ve seen it in so many versions. And still, when standing in front of it, it’s deeply intense and powerful. This is anxiety and angst from the bottom of the very existence of a human being.
Edvard Munch (1863-1944) did never commit himself to a long term relationship or marriage but stayed single throughout his whole life time. However, he had a great deal of affairs with women in the bohemian way. He was attracted to the female body and soul but also frightened, he saw something unattainable. ‘The Kiss’ reflects his intense lust but in other pictures lovers are separated and leaving one another in loneliness and grief.
What I lack is more confidence with women, more confidence in life. And I lack a larger room, a bigger story which we can tap into and be part of. The world is bigger than woman and man.
Munch lived most of his life time in Kristiania (Oslo) but travelled many times to Berlin and Paris and was influenced by other painters and artists. He took in the air of the world. He rejected the Norwegian Lutheran church and morality. He wanted freedom. He was a European man and his pictures resonate across borders because of their basic understanding of human life, love and difficult relationships.
I take my hat off to Munch. There is truth in his art. Nevertheless, after 50 minutes with his pictures I thought to myself, this is enough, I want just a bit more of fun – and went out into London’s bustling street life.