Monday, August 16, 2010

A Norway Diversion...

The blue of Norway was the subject of  the last post.  I want to continue there for another post.  Actually, I would like to BE there right now, but such is life!!
The city of Oslo - quaint, ancient, bohemian, many adjectives, so little space!  Let's focus on the bohemian.  Every view is Oslo is dominated by art. 

Whether it's Edvard Munch's "The Scream", housed at the National Gallery...

or the "living sculptures" seen all around the city.  Yes, this is a real live person!  Gold, silver, bronze...they pose on their pedestals and not a muscle twitches, not an eyelid flutters until they change position.  One quick sweeping motion and then total stillness again.  Part of the fun is watching people who don't realize that these statues aren't made of metal!  

 One of the artistic highlights in Oslo is Vigeland Sculpture Park.  Eighty acres of lush, green park that features 212 full sized sculptures by Gustav Vigeland.  Vigeland sculpted every piece himself out of clay and then they were fabricated into bronze or granite.  All the sculptures are of the human form - at play, at rest or twisted into a giant 46 foot high monolith that took 14 years to sculpt from a single block of stone.  His sculptures were without clothing because he wanted them to be "timeless".   I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

Circle of Life 

The Monolith

After enjoying an afternoon strolling around the statuary, we took a walk along the main street in Oslo.  We came upon a man, with a cloth spread on the sidewalk that was filled with spray paint cans, match book covers, ripped newspaper, sheets of blank paper and various other "stuff".  Hmmm....very intriguing!  We decided to stop and watch.  Taking a sheet of paper, he started spray painting in different colors.  While the paint was wet, he dabbed, scratched, rubbed and smeared it with his "stuff" until the picture started taking shape.

Work in progress

Still not sure what he was painting, we continued watching until the masterpiece was done!

Although this picture is not the best to showcase the piece, it was a forest scene at night looking directly at a waterfall and stream, with the moon casting a brilliant white glow!

Detail of tree
 In person, the piece is extremely detailed.  It took him about 15 minutes and he never used a brush! 

Of course, this original piece of art was the perfect shade for our "Norway Blue" theme and I had to fight off several people to buy it. I think it cost a whopping $45.00!   It now has a proud place in our home and, again, is another reminder of a fantastic vacation!  I either have to stop traveling or get a larger  home!

"I was a sculptor before I was born.  I was driven and lashed onward by powerful forces outside myself.  There was no other path, and no matter how hard I might have tried to find one, I would have been forced back again." - Gustav Vigeland

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