A:gent was recently invited to the launch party of Mapplethorpe+ Munch, without knowing much about either, except that they were bad boys. Turns out they were much more than that, and that they had more than a little in common. Both non-conformist originals who believed in forging his own path in life, who believed rules are made to be broken and that the word 'impossible' is significantly more offensive than any other. This exhibit is a celebration of two forward-thinking challengers to the establishment, which is why you should check it out.
We figured this rather fine depiction of mammaries might pique your interest...
So, what is it, and why? Oslo's Munch Museum has established itself as one of Europe's most forward-thinking museums with its strategy of a strong focus on international Munch exhibits, as well as gutsy, experimental marriages of national treasure Edvard Munch's work with other artists whose expressions challenge and compliment Munchs melancholy, mindful masterpieces.
By pairing Munch's work with that of Robert Mapplethorpe, bad boy extraordinaire and visionary genius of black and white photography, the Munch Museum ups the ante of comparative exploration, finding interesting and thought-provoking parallels between two influential, confrontational artists. Both Mapplethorpe and Munch were hell raisers who questioned and challenged the art scene of their respective times, moving boundaries and defining new means of expression, often through nudes, portraits and self-imagery.
They were both interested in people, and in the many ways of being a human.
A fascination with the physical experience of being human permeate both Munch and Mapplethorpe's work, as well as extensive exploration of sexuality, masculinity and identity.
A:Gent would highly recommend it to any BAD NORWEGIAN out there who takes an interest in the important and influential works of two artists whose work dared challenge their times and ultimately changed the contemporary discourse. This isn't for the faint hearted, with some images depicting anal fisting among other things, but it does seriously push boundaries and invite thought. So, maybe leave dear Mother at home on this occasion. We suggest taking a date, someone with an appreciation for an undertone of danger and darkness. Bring a hip-flask filled with something naughty, may we suggest NORWEGIAN AMBASSADOR Vodka, and after, head over to nearby Postkontoret for a shot of something strong, in honor of Munch and Mapplethorpe and all the other non-conformist rule-breakers out there who keep the world moving forward.
On a serious note, what makes this exhibit, and the other Munch+ exhibits, such an interesting idea is that it proves the continued relevance of Edvard Munch when seen paired with other great artists who reflect upon the same themes. This was also seen in 2015 when the museum launched the controversial Melgaard+ Munch exhibit, very likely the most talked about art event in Norway of the year. The Munch Museum will continue its modern approach to ensuring Munch's works retain relevance in contemporary times by, amongst other things, exhibiting at Neue Galerie in New York later this year, as well as pairing up with Jasper Johns for Johns+ Munch from June.
Also, check out our joint Instagram BAD NORWEGIAN + Munch giveaway on @badnorwegian.