|One of Munch' (left) 'getting drunk with his buddies' scenes|
But wait a minute! Who on earth is Edvard Munch anyway? And why should this dude have his own autobiographical graphic novel? And should I care about him? And what if I don't even like paintings? Museums are boring! Let me address a couple of these questions you might have and start with the fact that museums are not boring! Especially not after a few drinks like Kverneland and Fiske have demonstrated in this book 8D
Well Edvard Munch is world-famous for this painting The Scream. But the eccentric Norwegian artist has many more achievements attached to his name. At the peak of the belle époque, Munch, together with a host of other revolutionary artists awoke the sleepy bourgeois that had become the owners of the art world at the time. Munch' drive really showed in his paintings that are a mixture of autobiography, symbolism, and dangerous women. He always painted what he remembered and never what he saw. Think about that for a second.... Quite a unique concept or not?
Munch' life was full of alcohol, friendships and women, which served as a great inspiration for his paintings and makes for an interesting and exciting read for us. You could say that the alcohol sometimes distorted his memory of events and that the alcohol fueled his somewhat insane, insubordinate and self-destructive personality. His controversial work was loved by many, but loathed by even many more, leading to exhibitions being cancelled even before they started.
|"I don't paint what I see, but what I saw"|
It is beyond me why an announcement has not been made for an English translation of this book. I've probably read close to about 80 newly published books (including some reprints) this year and this is certainly top 5!! On the Norwegian publisher's (No Comprendo Press) website it is mentioned that the rights for the English speaking parts of the world have been sold, so fingers crossed for this to become a reality sooner rather than later.
Kverneland's book seems to be following a trend over here in Europe in which graphic novel creators write biographies about a painter's life. Of course this is not the case here, because Kverneland started this seven years ago but still... This year alone, besides Munch saw the release of Herr Merz (by Kverneland's buddy Lars Fiske) and Typex' Rembrandt (published in English by SelfMadeHero). Also the third volume of Angoulême winner Pablo (Picasso) was published by Dargaud in France. Munch however is by far the most unique and thorough biography that I've read and certainly deserves that English translation. Very highly recommended.
Review based on the Dutch translation by Oog & Blik - De Bezige Bij | €34.90 | ISBN13: 9789054923848