If you asked me to pick a favorite painter, this month it's unquestionably Edvard Munch. Well, he's always been one of my all-time favorites, sitting high on a long list of artistic legends. But right now, I'm completely obsessed by him, thanks to the incredible exhibition of his masterpieces at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
Standing before his paintings, previously admired only through the pages of heavy art books, is an experience beyond words. I devoured every meticulous detail, each brushstroke and burst of color - those unexpected pops of purple scattered throughout - all while pondering his life, his loves, and his wild, decadent mood swings.
And later, in "my" Montmarte cafés I was reading his poetic journals, trying to get to know him even better, in even more intimate way.
Here is one beautiful excerpt, that made me immediately think about Two Human Beings (The Lonely Ones) - one of the most intense paintings at the exhibition.
Bisou bisou, Jo
I am giving her the light summer evening
soft beauty—over her I pour
the splendor of the vanishing sun
—over her hair—over her
face over her white dress—
I am placing her against the booming
blue of the sea—with the shore’s
bending snake-like lines—
In this manner she is leaving him
—who still comprehends nothing
but as in dreams feels
her drawing away
—He is standing amidst
blood red flowers—in the
deep blue clouds of evening—
He does not understand exactly
what is going on—
But even when she has disappeared
over the sea
he feels how a few
fine threads of her hair
are still fast in his
heart—it bleeds—and burns
like an everlasting open sore
(The Private Journals of Edvard Munch. We are flames which pour out of the earth.
Edited and translated by J. Gill Holland)
Photos: Joanna Gniady