Edvard Munch: Birthday Boy!

Today is Edvard Munch’s birthday! I was hard-pressed to name another of Edvard Munch’s paintings besides The Scream, but even if that was the only painting he accomplished in his entire career (it’s not- he has many incredible pieces) I would consider him a wild success. Not just because “The Scream” has an awesome presence in pop culture, but because it is one of my favorite pieces of art.

First, a bit about Edvard. He is quite an admirable man. Despite a less than happy youth (riddled with illness, death of family members, depression, and an offensive dad), Edvard rallied. He battled mental illness (still referred to as “madness” in the early 1900s), but got help, gave up drinking, changed his diet and social circle, and buried himself in his work, which reflects his newfound happiness in life. The Scream, while genius, thought-provoking and (for me) relatable, was painted in a more morbid time of Munch’s life. Contrast that painting with his brighter, cheerier, post-rehab work like The Sun and The Yellow Log.

Who can’t relate to this every now and then?

His work is more optimistic after rehab. Is there anything cheerier than the sun?

I love the color in this. The scene reminds me of northern Michigan. <3 

You can see the difference, right? He didn’t give up an ounce of talent or skill, but rechanneled his energy and I am so happy for him!

Leave it to that jerk, Hitler, to ban his work and call it “degenerate” and then claim upon Munch’s death that he was a Nazi sympathizer. Don’t believe it! Munch had many Jewish friends and patrons, and I’m certain lost little love on the Nazis especially after they confiscated over seventy of his paintings.

Even though it’s hard for me to say Edvard, rather than Edward, I love this artist. So much I could scream. Ha. Munch said, “I do not believe in the art which is not the compulsive result of Man’s urge to open his heart.” I, for one, am so happy he followed his compulsions. Happy Birthday, Edvard!

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