If there’s any constructive thing that can come from struggling with the beast, or enduring any difficult personal times, it’s this; you discover who your true friends are. I’ll leave it at that.
Lately I’ve been relating a lot to the art of Edvard Munch, and I’m not so sure that’s a good thing. I have always been a Munch fan, and last year wrote a blog post about his famous muse Dagny Juel. But there’s a world of difference between simply admiring art for art’s sake and identifying with its themes to a degree that goes well beyond metaphor. With all due respect to the guy, if looking into Munch’s world feels like I’m looking in a mirror at my own, then I must be in deep trouble.
A new muse entered Munch’s life in 1910, after his mental breakdown and subsequent recovery in a clinic. Just 17 years old, Ingeborg Kaurin represented a new kind of model for the Norwegian artist. Instead of a female subject who serves merely as an archetype, a human paradigm for a particular myth, message, or symbol, Ingeborg was a real flesh and blood young woman. And Munch, in a departure from his pre-breakdown years, depicted her as such. She was not required to act as a player in the artist’s storytelling or assume a fictitious role. She had only to be herself. Real rather than theoretical.
A plump, full-figured peasant girl, with a long dark mane of hair, Ingeborg came to life on Munch’s canvas in swirling brushstrokes, in a setting no more theatrical than life itself and the emotions it brings. After all, that is drama enough for an affecting work of art, isn’t it? Munch was extremely fond of Ingeborg and gave her the nickname “Mosspiken”, which means “Moss girl”.
If I wanted to share a Munch painting that reflects my current mindset, I also could have posted The Scream. That would fit the bill just fine. But I’ve chosen this one instead, as it’s even more accurate. These days I could easily be the model for this painting. But it’s Ingeborg Kaurin of course. From 1913, this is Edvard Munch’s Weeping Nude.
I’m not doing well at all, my friends (as if you couldn’t tell). I apologize for being this way. I’m not achieving any relief from this beast episode and am finding it almost impossible to get out of bed in the morning. Again, I apologize to everyone 😥