Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Silent Scream that Echoes Still

The Greensboro Cultural Center (GCC) houses several art galleries and studio spaces available for artists, and is the hub of events to connect art and the community. GCC just kicked off a month long kid’s art exhibition as part of its Summer Camp Fair.

The works featured are a collection of collages, paintings, pottery, masks and other creations by children of varying ages. Much of what is displayed is what you would expect from the very young as they take up brushes and glue. The joy of creating is evident in every piece, and most are original, coming straight from an imagination bigger than convention. However, among the cute and fun works one piece stood out as it was a fair representation of a famously familiar work.

All artists know the value of emulating works of other artists especially in the pursuit of study, and it is not unusual for an artist to create several different versions of a particular subject matter altering perspective and media. It was with a smile that I noticed this small replica painting done in acrylics on the pre-K through grade 5 exhibit board of Edvard Munch’s Skrik or more commonly known as Scream.

The first time I saw any version of the Scream, I believe I was in middle school taking an art class. It was one of many slides we viewed as we learned of various artists, techniques, and styles. From then on it showed up many times in odd and unexpected places until it became something akin to finding Waldo. Since the time of Munch’s first rendering of the Scream it has become a part of pop-culture, and been a part of intrigue as two different versions of this work by Munch have been the victims of theft—both were recovered with only one sustained any permanent damage, and both returned to display within their perspective museums.

The Scream has been reproduced by cartoonists for TV, Film and even merchandise. Even Andy Warhol made silk prints of Munch’s work. Yet for all the places it has appeared, I still find it a pleasant surprise when I recognize it, like running into an old acquaintance, albeit a seemingly terrified acquaintance in the midst of an anxiety attack.

-Veronica Monique Ibarra


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