Enough to Make You Scream

Did you see that Edvard Munch’s The Scream has sold this week for the highest price ever for a painting. It fetched almost 120 million dollars at auction. I’m sure you know the painting. It’s the guy holding his head and screaming under a streaked, blood-red sky. He’s got a bit of that Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone look about him.

How do you put a value like that on a painting? Were the artist’s skills really that good or is it more about wanting to own a famous piece of history?

The 1895 artwork – a modern symbol of human anxiety – was sold at Sotheby’s. The price ($US119,922,500) includes the buyer’s premium.

The image of a man holding his head and screaming under a streaked, blood-red sky is one of four versions by the Norwegian expressionist painter. The auctioned piece at Sotheby’s is the only one left in private hands.

The previous record for an artwork sold at auction was $106.5 million for Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust, sold by Christie’s in 2010.
The Australian

Almost 120 million. That’s a lot of money. The artist says that the inspiration came from a walk with friends at sunset when the sky changed to blood red. He reckons he sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.

Of course they say that art is open to interpretation so I’m wondering what you reckon the guy in the painting is screaming about. Maybe he’s heard that Nickelback is releasing another album. It could be that he’s just opened the bill for his teenager’s mobile phone. Or maybe he’s shocked at a painting selling for almost 120 million dollars.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading Enough to Make You Scream? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.

Art or Pornography?

artgallery.jpgOn the 22nd of May this year, the opening night of artist Bill Henson’s 2007-2008 exhibition at the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, police swooped and the exhibition was canceled. The action came after Hetty Johnston, a child protection campaigner, lodged a complaint about the exhibition with the New South Wales police.

The police action was based on concern over several photographs of a naked 13 year old girl.

Since then many people have voiced their opinions on whether the images are art or pornography.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd condemned the images saying, “I find them absolutely revolting, and whatever the artistic view of the merits of that sort of stuff – frankly I don’t think there are any – just allow kids to be kids.”

Where do we draw the line between what is appropriate and what isn’t? Art is all about pushing the boundaries but can the boundaries be pushed too far? Were they pushed too far in having an adult male photographing a naked 13 year old girl?

The girl involved and her parents had given Henson their consent and were willingly involved in the photo shoot. Does that make it right? Does that make it OK to put the resulting images on display in a public gallery? Many are saying yes, many others disagree.

There have been cries of censorship and some have accused those who agree with the police action as being wowsers who don’t understand art.

What do you think?

I need to be honest and say that no matter what the artistic merit of the finished product, I find it disturbing that producing the images involved a naked 13 year old girl being directed into poses by an adult male who was taking photos of her. I’m not suggesting that Bill Henson is a pedophile or that he took the photos for anything other than artistic reasons; I just feel that what happened is an inappropriate interaction.

My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Ross Clifford who is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales and current President of the Baptist Union of Australia. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.

Today we looked at where we draw the line in such situations and whether we have the right to intervene and say that a line has been crossed.

Click the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post to listen to our discussion.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading Art or Pornography?? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.

Leonardo da Vinci

LeonardoSelfPortrait.jpgLeonardo da Vinci was passionately dedicated to scientific studies. His manuscripts are full of ingenuous solutions to practical problems of his time.

The remarkable thing is that he wasn’t just limited to his own time period, he was able to imagine future possibilities such as flying machines and automation. Amazing considering that he lived over 550 years ago. His anatomy drawings are still used today.

He was a musician, artist, town planner and so much more. I’m told he also played polo. He reminds me of that kid in the class who would make you jealous because he could do anything he set his mind to do.

Historical documents reveal that he commissioned local artisans to create some of his inventions. Unfortunately none of the original machines have survived and many of his inventions were forgotten. However, the last fifty years has seen a revival of interest in the work of Leonardo da Vinci.

The Da Vinci Machines Exhibition is in Perth until the 21st of July with many of da Vinci’s machine recreated by a new breed of artisans. The exhibition is interactive, giving visitors the opportunity to get hands on with a lot of the machines.

During my radio programme on 98.5 Sonshine FM this morning I spoke to Tom Rizzo who is managing the exhibition. You can find out more about this great man and the exhibition by clicking play on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading Leonardo da Vinci? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.