Edvard Munch

This is a piece or art showcased in the National Gallery of Art’s (Wash, D.C.) Color in Context series highlighting the works of Edvard Munch (if you appreciate art, please look up his story and works)…

Måneskinn I (Moonlight 1) by Edvard Munch, 1896

So is this . . .

Head By Head by Edvard Munch, 1905

So is this . . .

Man’s Head in Woman’s Hair by Edvard Munch, 1896

My daughter didn’t “get it”. Now — in her defense she’s only 8 years old . . . BUT, being from the D.C. Baltopoils (trademark coming; all rights reserved) triangle we have access to some of the most beautiful art and museums in the entire country — free of charge. Too many people take that for granted, in my opinion, and I refuse to be one of them . . . but I digress.

So we have these pieces (along with many others) that I’m in awe over and my charming 8-year-old angel just doesn’t get. “People might have contradictory takes on similarly minor practices — which lead me to believe that once you have become competent in the genres, there is still quite a bit of uncertainty about how others will interpret what you produce or how you perform” (Gershon, 81).

If you’re unaware of whom Edvard Munch is or are looking at my photos and wondering the same thing my daughter was — you’re not alone. His work has received consistent criticism, as an artist, however his collections certainly deserve their accolades . . .

A) I just referenced Clueless: I’ll understand if I fail this assignment but . . .

B) . . . it’s spot on.

The Japanese Footbridge by Claude Money, 1899

^ that’s a Monet and from that distance it looks like impressionism at it’s pinnacle. But if I were to get any closer . . .

Is that . . . a gum ghost? The entire painting is a ton of asymmetrical oil textures overlapping each other. Most Monet’s are like this . . . but without fail, when you get more than an arm’s length away, they become the most beautiful works you’ve ever seen in person.

Edvard Munch was a Print Maker — his mediums were materials that needed to be etched or carved into. He is well known for his skill with the lithograph but the photos I’ve shared are known as Woodcuts — where an artist uses a specialized paper they must carve into and dig out. The carving technique must change with the canvas — certain “papers” (which aren’t really papers — they’re more like what paper would be without the pulping process) are thinner than others, requiring different thicknesses in tools and more or less pressure and precision per cut.

Ever walk by that perfect birch tree as a kid (or yesterday, no judgment here) and peel it off?

That’s his canvas. Take that, place it in chemicals to flatten, and smooth it out as much as possible. After that, a lacquer is applied to preserve the shape and integrity of the “paper”.

Highlights and whites must be carved away from the “paper” while color must be carefully pressed into what remains. You get one shot at these, and most of Munch’s woodcuts were completed in the same sitting.

Change your opinion, yet? In an inverse Monet — the beauty of Munch is in the intricate details up close. When I told my daughter that’s what it was her entire mindset shifted. It was the personification of Gershon’s language ideology explanation (82): “differences in how people interpret or a range of associations.”

When those pieces were potentially “just drawings” they might not deserve to be showcased in its own exhibit . . . they might be too generic. But when you look closer and see what it really is, it really stands out — in the right way.

This is the mindset I will carry with me in assignments from herein. Consider our LinkedIn assignments . . . how many other classes of 50+ students around the country, per week, are required to make a LinkedIn profile? “LinkedIn profiles, because of how public they need to be, must be written as generically as possible” (71).

So how do we standout in the right way? The details! The smallest intricacies in our “paper” (read: professional documents and profiles) need careful attention with our “marketing tools” (69). You need to divulge your weaknesses while tastefully overcompensating with your strengths.

As a Media and Communications major, there are many software programs I have been exposed to. There is a certain expectation that I should know how to use programs such as InDesign, Premiere, and Photoshop. I am not great with Photoshop. I will become great at Photoshop.

My resume will read, somewhere, that I am taking an auxiliary class in Photoshop — on my own time. This will allow me to speak to potential professional suitors and let them know I’m either A) really really interested in Photoshop or B), and more likely, I’m not where I need to be with it yet and I recognize that and am doing something about it.

This minute detail affords me the opportunity to admit to a weakness and back it right up with strengths.

Why am I taking a Photoshop class?

“I’m very (VERY) good with InDesign and the Premiere Suite and would like my level of expertise in all programs to be as close to uniform, across the board, as possible.”

I think it goes back and ties in with Passions we spoke of last time:

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” — Nietzsche