Impression from the Edward Munch exhibit at the Met Breuer by Sergio Mejia
The transcendental spirit is one that seems to move sporadically through our very structural linear consecutive measure for time; creeping up here and there skipping some generations and areas, like a vine curling into itself to project from tree-top to tree-top when least expected covering the canopy and the trunks and the stems and the leaves: asphyxiating claustrophobic. But why we are expecting anything at all, lest an image as apparent as a metaphor from the depths of the human spirit, goes over my head. Edvard Munch can be the mirror to our murky minds, and one that we clearly need at this turning moment of self-obsession which drives the media and seemingly the world into a vortex, or a black hole. Could it be that we’re being pulled so thin by distractions and a need for instant pleasure our minds are starting to resemble a dull string of flesh-colored durum wheat?
Experiencing this show to its full potential was a bit of an exercise of the mind on par with the challenging life the author of somber and complex oils left us to decipher. Drowning midst the vast ocean of idle spectators full of comments on the technical maneuvers and dances the brush made, all at the ready with their dissecting cameras, there appeared ghastly figures of pale complexions and troubled heads that were as removed from their scenes as a keen observer was from this crowd. Despair is a good word to insert here.
The titles alone create a floating map that extends to displace us and throw us uncharted into the darkness of ourselves. “Self-portrait in Hell”, “The Sick Child”, “The Dance of Life”, “The Night Wanderer”, and on and on their songs are of vibrant fluid space tempered trippy if not bloodshot, ox-red wine bottled emotions released warbling, unfinished, wet.
I did hear a distinguished patron finish an art-school-level comparative formal analysis of a piece similar in style to the famous “The Scream” top off the whip-cream with this cherry:
–He doesn’t look in despair, he looks like he’s just going about his day.
As with most Art, what you see is just an image of yourself.
Bless his blissful soul!