Edvard Munch had a life of delirious wonder and strange absurdity. A geniue master of the form of painting and the capturing of the deep complexity of emotion, Munch also had the problems of excess. He loved women and the thrill of sexual congress, he loved alcohol and the horrors that drink could embribe. A contempoary of the playwright August Strindberg, their friendship underpinned his greates achievements and his lowest points. From his works as famous as ”The Scream” to the powerful ”Vampire”, through to his profound ”The Frieze of Life”, the portrait of an artisit as a being of anger, desire and wonder.
It is never easy to read a work that is a love affair for the author. It is also never easy to come to read a project like this with the amazing Watkins film in the background. Citied often as one of the greatest films on the artistic process and a film I highly suggest watching. The fear is with these two very difficult obsticles in its path, could a graphic novel like this succeed and would I be able to find anything new? I need not have feared.
Steffen Kverneland work was so good, so intellegent, so intimate and so complexly creative that I found myself in awe.The book balanced art, drama and visual poetry in story telling with a vigour I admired and adored. I found myself lost in its hues of rich orange and blues, its lifes of pain and pleasure. Every page threw up new ideas and events, kept me exhilarated by its sheer narrative conjuring. It was also a progressive experience. By this I mean that I felt I had progressed my knowledge of a man I felt I knew. His life was truer and real, his suffering was carved out in colour and hue. Kverneland has taken everything directly from Munch and cohorts discourses and this has brought the verisimilitude. Kverneland then becomes post modern but not in a self indulgent way, no far from it. He grounds the work and we understand his delight and vast exellent of energy to make this piece. I hail Kverneland work and shout out…YOU MUST READ IT!