It has been a long break from the blog! We have moved away from Chicago…boohoo. I loved being near the Chicago Art Institute and many other things like great food and a big, energetic city. We moved to Des Moines Iowa. Yes, I said IOWA. We have been here for about two months now. The family is settling in and getting used to the area. Now that most of the boxes are unpacked and a routine is in place I put my studio put back together. There will be more in Iowa later.
The Scream by Edvard Munch; have you ever seen it? This is a truly unforgettable painting. I decided to focus on this painting because it fits well into the Halloween theme.
Even though the work really has nothing to do with Halloween Its ghoulish look was perfect for the blog. In my opinion this is spooky and weird. It may not actually be haunted but it represents a man haunted by anxiety and fear. The sky looks red and daunting, the water has an eerie feeling, as if it could swallow me up, and of course the ghostly looking man-thing. The man-thing is not a ghost but a real representation of what Munch felt most of his life. He was a very anxious man who dealt with anxiety, fear and depression. His angst is conveyed in his art as you can see here. He wrote a diary entry headed, Nice 22 January 1892, Munch described his inspiration for the image:
One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color shrieked. This became The Scream.
I feel sad for Munch and that he had such anxiety and fear. He painted many other styles but he is most known for Expressionism. His tortuous works display his misery and tragic life. Ironically, the work is viewed in a different way today. Today his work is seen in copies and imitations spoofing the original work in a humorous way.
The Scream done by Carol Zink
My version of the Scream is a quick representation of the painting. Obviously I didn’t spend much time on it but had fun with the colors and the shapes. When I see the scream I think Halloween and ghosts. Which takes me back to Halloween we used to have in Paris, France.
We moved there in 2005 when our girls were 2, 4 and 6. There were many things I missed from America and Halloween was at the top of the list. I wanted to make sure the kids got a fun Halloween experience. Our school had many Americans in it so we banned together and made our own Halloween. It was fantastic! Since the French don’t really trick or treat we decided to make it happen. So, we put together a route near the school and asked parents to hand out candy. Once we found enough volunteers we made a map, purchased candy and carved pumpkins. On “the night” we started at the school, walked the route, and ended at our favorite wine shop. We had over 300 kids trick-or-treat on those special trick-or-treat nights. The wine shop owner loved to partake in our Halloween event. He happily poured wine for the adults and let the children go down into the creepy wine cellar for a wonderful finally to the evening. As the kids organized, enjoyed and traded their candies the parents hung out and had a glass of wine, or two. It was one of the most memorable nights each year. One year, we didn’t have enough volunteers to so I forced my husband Ron to stand on a sidewalk by a bench and pass out candy. He of course was happy to do it. However, many others thought he was crazy; until that night when they came upon his stop along the route. Ron had decorated the bench with jack-o-lanterns and spider webs. He even had a creepy Grim Reaper. Not to mention a cooler with beer and chips. At the end of the night Ron had most of the men “helping” him pass out candy. In the end we had no idea that this would be one of our favorite French memories. The French did think we were a bit crazy but also found us a bit amusing.
The back story to the Grim Reaper. A week before one of our trick or treats nights Ron was in Spain on a business trip. One evening he found himself with some free time so he went out and looked in some shops. He found the coolest Halloween accessory; the Grim Reaper. He bought it and brought it home. He was so excited to have found such a wacky thing and proud to have brought it home. I was a bit surprised that he didn’t have a problem with carrying the grim reaper on the airplane with him. I wouldn’t like to know that the grim reaper was hanging out in the overhead compartment on the airplane!
Returning to The Scream – it is one of the most recognized pieces of art in the world. As I mentioned before It has been copied and parodied a bazillion times which is why it is such a special piece in pop-culture. Not only has it been copied onto posters, key chains and coffee mugs it has been redone by the famous pop-culture artist Andy Warhol. These images are two of The scream (after Munch) painted by Warhol.
I love some of the funny things people have done over the years. Here are a few examples; including my favorite, Waldo, of Where’s Waldo.
Other examples of pop-culture imitations of the Scream.
I will leave you with one last parody for this all-Hallows-Eve.
I hope you enjoyed the first blog of the season. And I hope you continue to follow.
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I SCREAM HAPPY HALLOWEEN!