Edvard Munch was a Norwegian painter and his best known work, "The Scream", has become one of the iconic images of the art world.
Many of Munch's works depict life and death scenes, love and terror, and the feeling of loneliness. These paintings, speak to feelings of trauma and despair that were widespread amid a pandemic that killed at least 50 million people. The artist once said, “Illness, insanity, and death… kept watch over my cradle and accompanied me all my life,”
Would you agree to this aspect that illness, death and insanity that we once face, define the rest of our lives? Does sadness touch us at a point in our self which is so deep yet concurrent with all realities of life?
In the year 1919 Edvard Munch made two Self-Portraits, one made while he battled influenza and the other after his recovery. The artist found inspiration in the disease detailing his own experience contracting and surviving the illness. These emotions were depicted by the contrasting lines, the darker colors, somber tones, and exaggerated form, which effectively portrayed the darker side of the art, or rather life.
In these paintings Edward Munch's portrayal of despair as a means to understand his own frugalities simultaneously brings us to notice what's happening around us now. The noise of the city that reverberates around us has penetrated so deep under that we never realize we have a voice within. A voice that merely seeks to be heard. A voice which can bring us eternal peace. Yet we fear it, and are lost in an abyss which only we can walk out of.
It took an entire world to shut down, so we could reach in our voices. These voices are those which made Master artists out of simple artists. These artists felt their grief and spoke about it through their visuals which often brought the viewer to tears. The artists made their inner voices heard. A connection which made them forget the despair they were engulfed in, and in their trying times created Masterpieces for the world to remember.
So why do we fear to feel our pain?
Why do we fear to express this pain?
When all it takes is to feel the desolation and craft a beautiful world around it.