Nerdrum’s book displays the Kitsch painter’s work over the years.
He is the most widely acclaimed Norwegian painter since the iconic Edvard Munch, with world famous Nerdrum collectors such as Paul McCartney and David Bowie.
Art is the language of the Gods. Painted in fluid words from another dimension, art ruptures the limitations of language, opposes stagnation and indifference, pleads for change and challenges men to consider the journey through life with a new awareness.
Odd Nerdrum Crime and Refuge: Buy it here.
Several thousand years old and filled with harsh, poignant and beautiful stories of human history, the Biblical Old Testament is one of the world´s oldest texts.
In the Books of Moses, the Creator of the splendor of the heavens and earth is described as the source of the artistic spirit.
God alone determines the recipient of this gift to interpret the world and its aftermath.
Michelangelo’s “Creation” captures the epic scene when God in a cosmic inferno moves down to touch humanity in Adam.
The magic of life on earth then fills his being as he awakens to the ability to reflect.
This very moment marks the origin of Adam´s existence.
Hope becomes a possibility, that goodness will triumph over evil, life will triumph over the fallen nature of man.
Few in history retain originality and carry this breath of God, the willingness to reflect and create, which ultimately leads to their immortality. Odd Nerdrum is such a man.
He is one of our time’s greatest painters, a genius dissident individualist who deconstructed the emptiness of modernism.
Odd Nerdrum Crime and Refuge: Prophets cried out in times of change, when doom lured and the kings choices were critical. They moaned as Jeremiah of judgment and destruction. The wages of sin is death.
We speak of these prophets still, centuries after their passing: Rembrandt and dramatic earth-hued scenes imparting life into dead canvas, the lush sensuality of Rubens, Raphael’s divine studies of depth, Caravaggio’s taunting realism and burning light that shines as from another dimension.
They captured Europe’s glorious moment on canvas – the spiritual explosion of knowledge, God given wisdom of science that opened for the very creation of Western Civilization. The masters’ figurative art captured eternity in its murals, warned of the ever spinning wheel of time that slips each man into his grave.
- Cave of Apelles on Figurative Painting in China: Cheng Wu.
- Suicide and Atheist Emptiness: No inner Peace
- The rebellion against Emptiness, by Hanne Herland. Foreword in Odd Nerdrum book Crime and Refuge.
- The New Left’ desire to silence the Majority – Nabintu, WND.
- Cave of Apelles on Why Competition is so Important for the Quality of Artwork.
In these grand works of eternal art, time remains timeless. The life of others becomes mirrors of our own, as the fellowship of men warms us in the brutal state of a dying world.
We sense the possibility of illumination, for integrity as a choice. Here is life as well as trepidation and death. The consuming journey of mankind begins the day we are born and slowly guides us towards death.
With the gravitational force of reality as a lifelong challenge we are trapped in the struggle between life and ruin. Some cannot handle the consequences of their own choices. We die from the poisons of the mind.
The transcendental language of figurative art, that proved most potent under the great masters, challenges the individual.
What do we choose when life crumbles, when the oceans roar and there is no refuge to be found?
Do we as King David, opt for in our worst moments, the self-discipline, responsibility and respect for our brethren? Do we choose the fellowship of men or the lonesome ride to the grave? Do we allow the thunder of time to crush the very aim of existence?
Odd Nerdrum is one of our time’s greatest painters, a genius dissident individualist who deconstructed the emptiness of modernism.
He roared against the tide of meaninglessness and insisted upon lifting the European cultural traditions high in an age which persistently brings to silence its own civilization’s greatness.
Nerdrum’s ability to desert present trends of atheist relativism, Nietschean dissolution of meaning and the quest for meaninglessness, elevated him above cheap originality. This marks his genius and provides a profound reminder of what art really is.
Odd Nerdrum Crime and Refuge: Art is often first to mark cultural decline. Several hundred years before the Roman Empire disintegrated, its artists lost the knowledge of the methods of the Greek masters.
The power to innovate weakened as wine goblets filled and the orgies of Roman emperors’ cheered commoners with gleeful suspence. They sensed not the doom ahead. Generals no longer sent their own sons to battle, but proxies now, foreigners hired to die on the battlefields of glory.
Artists began to copy, falsify, cheap imitations became popular. However the emperor was clothed, the people rejoiced. This was the age of bread and circus, not unlike our own, on the road to self-destruction.
Our own time is characterized by dramatic changes, technological innovations yet the death of empathy and deconstruction of moral greatness.
The abandonment of the very traditional values that once made us into a great Western civilization is hailed as the new virtue. The Colosseum boasts larger parties than ever.
Friederich Nietzsche wished for existence to be meaningless, he hoped that God was dead. The conscience became the burden, a shackle to shake, man was to rule without inspiration from any other than himself.
Emile Durkheim noted that the rapid social changes led to significant confusion for the individual, especially in Protestant countries where the revolt against traditional family patterns and stabilizing cultural pillars were stronger. Suicide in the darkness is but natural when the fear of the afterlife is gone. Then there is light nowhere.
An increasingly lonely life is the result of the disruption and disintegration of knowledge based tradition. The large cities nurture speed and technology, yet alienation from nature and all things natural. Separated from the empathy of the fellowship of men, the meaning of life gets blurred.
Where truth and integrity and virtue disappear, selfishness becomes the path to an existential abyss, devoid of eternal light.
Odd Nerdrum Crime and Refuge: A glittering civilization can disappear. It can decline and fall.
History abounds with examples of cultures where willingness to work hard, demonstrate self-discipline, willingness to defend national borders and common values were the characteristics.
A golden age of growth and prosperity then followed. It was expected of each man to take care of his own house, then the fellowship of men around him. It was his duty, his honor, his glory to make certain that his family did well.
At the height of its power and before the culture lost its greatness, new leaders arose that knew not Joseph, to quote the Book of Genesis. They knew not the founders, respected not the old, exalted their spirits to new heights and abandoned the very values that caused the culture to prosper. The time had come to leave the masters behind.
Those who lived before became useless. Family cohesion and the fellowship of men withered.
Now came human rights without human obligation. Now individual liberty was redefined as the right to selfishness. Now tolerance was no more the respect for plurality, but the right to agree to hedonism. Now free speech became the right to bully, harass and kill – the mob in Rome thirsting for the blood of the innocent. Rape and plunder. Solidarity, an abandoned virtue as feudalism returns.
The fluid identities of modernism, so well described by Zygmunt Bauman in Liquid Modernity, rip up cultural roots and ridicule stability.
Odd Nerdrum Crime and Refuge: They instituted prolific reforms, but failed to remember that not all reform is for the better. World War II demonstrated that in the midst of modernism’s innovations, institutions and democracy, the face of evil materialized on yet a higher level.
Today an underlying sadness weighs heavily on the Western Culture. Stark silence accompanies any discussion of the spiritual dimension in a time where we seldom seek the divine.
Our civilization is blanketed with a fog of melancholy, neuroses, mental illness, suicide and addictions where drugs seek to alleviate the inner discomfort and pain.
The 1960s New Left fought for free sex, the abandonment of the traditional family bond, the abolishment of Church fellowship, the quenching of spiritual search for inner peace, the legalization of drugs and abortion.
The sexual liberation, billion dollar drug industry and the Nietzschean abandoning the duties of conscience seems to provide few answers. Moral anarchy. The rules that guided us towards light, is gone. Loneliness and depression are now epidemic and uncontrollable forces of darkness that eats up our young.
We may remember Caravaggio’s “Narcissus”, the Greek mythology portrayal of the beautiful son of the water god, who cannot distinguish between good and evil, sleep and awareness, self-discipline and self-destruction and ultimately drowns in his own reflection.
He stares at himself in the pond, absorbed by his own beauty, unable to love anyone but himself.
The Odd Nerdrum legacy
In times like these, the significance of Odd Nerdrums paintings become drastically more important.
His work calls for a new focus in remenice of the greatness and importance of European history, its vital historical and traditional values as sources for continuity.
But denial of greatness is the hallmark of the moral anarchists of our time. Those who do not bow to them, must flee their homes. This also happened to Odd Nerdrum.
Odd Nerdrum Crime and Refuge: Buy it here.
He comes from provincial Norway, one of the world’s smallest and coldest countries in the far north of Europe, fuled by peer pressure, socialism andan inherent fear of others, envy and gossip.
This is the land of small men in a culture of envy.
Henrik Ibsen and other significant men left the country long before Odd Nerdrum did. They could not breathe.
Today, practically no stone has been left unturned in the effort from state officials, the media (state funded) and others to punish Nerdrum as he abandoned aspects of the tyranny of modernism and rebelled against emptiness.
The paintings of Nerdrum, this great son of Norway, should have decorated the chambers of the Queen, the offices of the prime minister, the walls of ambassadors and been widely represented in the National Gallery and other official institutions.
The Norwegian state should have taken pride in buying and exhibiting his internationally renowned work.
The totalitarian state of the New Left elites who fly beneath the high banners of freedom, tolerance and justice, exert in reality a ruthless pressure to achieve a neo-Marxist and socialist conformity, sameness and consensus.
In the Brave New World, all are to feel the same, have the same opinions, talk the same way, and above all agree with the New Left. Freedom is defined as the right to agree with the neo-Marxist narrative. 1984.
It is the line of African slaves, now expanded, forced to chant “freedom, freedom” while marching towards the ships bound for America.
Odd Nerdrum Crime and Refuge: Aldous Huxley described it well. He showed just how totalitarian modern society can become when individualism, personal responsibility in the community, self-reflection, wisdom and the right to be different disappears.
A significant thrust towards institutionalization follows, de-personification, an emotionless collective tyranny of consensus in a socialist welfare state that teaches its citizens to obey the state and singularly emphasizes materialism.
In the end there remains only strict uniformity in a bureaucratic state that determines and dictates everything.
Individualists who apply critical thinking arethe undesirables. They are interned in separate camps, criminalized, removed, killed.
Odd Nerdrum has endured this petty Norwegian New Left tyranny, the envy, the slander, the spite from those who have lived a life that did not embody greatness. Yet, it will eternalize his paintings even more.
Posterity will ultimately judge us when the fog of our time has settled and we all are cold in the grave. Then there will be silence. Envy will cease. We, the voiceless shall await doom.
The moment of death ends the story, there is no returning into the physical realm again. Evil must sleep, in anticipation of the inevitable apocalyptic Judgment.
The vibrant nerve of life, this temporary gift bestowed upon us for a few years only, this ability to breathe for short years and therein choose between good and evil, is cut. It leaves us as dead corpses, warm skin turned cold as the soul and the body part ways.
Into this realm, not even the Greek muses of mythology cheer, these creatures that seek to return to freedom, to regain forgotten knowledge of wisdom, true art.
Odd Nerdrum Crime and Refuge: The Old Testament describes human life as a stalk of grass that grows in the morning and thrown into the fire at night. We are the wind.
The only thing that survives the seed of eternity within us.
This immortal seed carries further, into dimensions man barely glimpses in architecture, Gothic churches, Baroque paintings, ancient sacred writings, in myths of the past and while we slept, in the vague world of dreams.
We touch there, in the silence of solitude, a fragment of life beyond life in Michelangelo’s portrayal of God touching Adam. His finger vibrant, shaking.
Embraced by death, only the great masters remain great. All the rest disappear off the cliff and into the abyss like swarms of buzzing locusts.