MR. Bjarne Melgaard - Real Man We Admire

February 8, 2013

MR. Bjarne Melgaard is this week’s Real Man We Admire.

Painting can be dirty work, which is just the way this well-known New York-based Norwegian artist likes it. In fact, it’s a big part of his inspiration. Considered one of the world’s most important living artists (the New York Times called his debut show “like nothing else around”), Melgaard’s work extends to a variety of mediums and explores all sorts of sordid topics, including Norway’s underground heavy metal scene, carnal desire, and some of the darker corners of gay culture. Not such surprising material, considering his rough and tumble persona and bearish good looks. He’s quite a masterpiece, if you ask us.

Learn more about him and his work at the Saatchi Gallery online.

I know some of you aren't going to be into the whole modern thing so what are some of your favorite artists? Let us know in the comments.

Tags: Gay Daddy Celebrities, Gay Culture, Hot, daddy bear, daddy, bjarne melgaard
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Warning: very politically incorrect, some would say harsh...

Modern music sounds like it was written and performed in the dark.

Modern art relies heavily on toilet seats, bare boobs, prostitutes, urine, excrement, genitalia, the f-bomb, blasphemy, anti-Christian bigotry, etc. It's pretentious, transitory, and disposable in my opinion.

I wouldn't trade one Thomas Kinkade (endlessly scorned by the so-called elites of modern art) painting for Melgaard's entire portfolio. Any Christian who isn't offended by one of Melgaard's hot and edgy "works" doesn't deserve the title.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

I could hardly think of a more inapplicable Bible quote than that one.

and so totally overused

Good point, as usual, GoNAVY. Perhaps Heart-Throb will explain how that passage relates to criticizing "art" which prides itself on being offensive to Christians?

Hopefully most people are aware that the passage is generally understood as a warning not to judge people by a standard other than that which we apply to ourselves.

no guts, no glory

I'm not especially enamored of these pieces. That said, I'd slit my wrists before I put a Thomas Kinkade *anything* (painting, print, sofa throw, pillow, mug, nightlight, anything confected by that talentless hack, the "painter of light"). If there is a hell, it's wallpapered in Thomas Kinkade designs.

Fireproof wallpaper?

Your list omits greeting cards. Don't look at this Hallmark e-card!

The card reads "Wishing you the light of faith, the warmth of home, the love of family-- all the deepest joys of Christmas. Christmas blessings from our home to yours."

It's enough to keep someone from slitting his wrist.

Grandma from Elk Ridge, Utah comments: "I love this e-card. I wish you had more like it, ones that are loving, sincere, good morals, religious, beautiful. I also like the ones that are more for children, funny or cute but not vulgar or profane. Ones that leave a message of love and caring, good morals. Thanks for having cards for me to send. My family enjoys them!"

Vulgar and profane? When Grandma gets to Heaven, think she'll have to look at Melgaard's art?

Midge from Manhattan, NY comments: "This card was the best Christmas card that I have ever sent. The message, the music and the picture were outstanding. I sent it
to many people--family and friends....Thank you Hallmark."

Yes, thanks for the (technically competent) beautiful, warmly lit houses and churches, amid all that spectacular scenery. Thanks Thomas Kinkade, RIP.

And for those who prefer Melgaard, there are Melgaard greeting cards, featuring the talented photography of JANE Melgaard. Go ahead, Google her. She won't mind.

Gotta ask: is "Christian" a title? If so, then all that I learned in Sunday School appears to have evaporated.

The Bible, the inspired word of God, is eternal. It does not evaporate.

Christian adults have differing interpretations of what it means to follow the example and teachings of Christ.

Some pastors led regiments into battle against the British during the Revolutionary War.

The Quakers were pacifists, arguing that Christ would never use a weapon or serve in a militia. Eventually the Quakers were largely found unfit for leadership in colonial Pennsylvania. They would not defend even against armed attacks by native Americans. This was viewed as suicidal by other dedicated Christians.

Today most Americans agree that we are in a culture war. The nation's borders, language, and culture are being sold down the river by politicians. Christians differ on the appropriate response.

Some remain silent and pray as their beliefs are attacked, ridiculed, and increasingly banned from classrooms and the public square. Others speak out and act more forcefully, such as running for office and working to restore Judeo-Christian values in America.

For the record, I do not claim to be a good Christian, however I do not remain silent about pagan Statism.

Clearly the world is descending into pagan madness.

I post out of concern that some people are placing themselves at risk by not accepting the free gift of Salvation offered by Jesus Christ. That exposes them to the Tribulation and a crisis eternity.

Those risks are far more serious than any involving incurable viruses.

An artist who can't find anything better to do than mock the free gift of Salvation, as I think Melgaard has done with a least one of his paintings, is arguably using his talents in the service of Satan. Smile and nod as he's held up as a "Man We Admire"? No thanks.

Thanks for all the pontificating but you didn't answer the question. Is "Christian" a title? I thought a title was something a person earned. I was taught that being a Christian was something you felt, deep inside your very heart, the place where, if you so choose, you let God in.

My pointy hat missed your point.

My understanding is that the title "Christian" is earned by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Yes, that normally includes inviting Him into one's heart and life, establishing a relationship with Him, repenting of sins, being baptized, and trying to follow His commandments.

And if I may pontificate: there is no better deal.

It includes "peace beyond all understanding" during this life, and an afterlife where the colors and sounds and beauty and time-less travel can knock your socks off...if you happen to be wearing socks on your Resurrection body.

Then we're back to my original statement. Christian is a title and, indeed, all I learned in Sunday school just evaporated.

"Christian" is a noun and an adjective. A Christian is a follower of Christ. "Christian" is far more than a title.

It is a status, a condition. It is the condition in which our sins and guilt vanish because of the pardon bought and paid for by Jesus Christ.

It's difficult to see how beliefs which are deeply held could "just evaporate."

One wonders if the "just" in "just evaporated" means "simply" evaporated or evaporated just now.

How does that happen? Based on what someone said or did? Based on a blog?

"All I learned in Sunday school" is a little vague.

If what you learned in Sunday school was Bible based, your faith in what you learned may have vanished but the Word of God never vanishes.

It's a mystery how or why an adult would permanently file away, as though in a time capsule, all that was learned in Sunday school, and not subjecting those ideas to nurturing by reading the Bible, or critical analysis, and never incorporating those ideas, or a subset of them, into an adult belief system.

Then suddenly, for reasons unclear, the ideas in the time capsule vanish.

The Good News is that our sins and guilt can vanish, giving us a ticket to heaven.

Did you learn that in Sunday school?

Okay. You win. I'm just not as theologically intelligent as you.

That does tend to end of the discussion, although I was still trying to understand your position. I apologize to you if you thought my comments were unfair or unkind to you.

Being saved is critical. Being theologically intelligent, not so much. Peace and grace to you.

I just threw up in my mouth reading this post. Bjarne Melgaard is a great artist. Thomas Kinkade isn't even an artist, he is the equivalent of Ke$ha to music.

Exhibit A is this painting, one of Kinkade's early works. It's a scene in New York City.

It's representational, which places it above most abstract art, in my view.

It's technically competent, and in my opinion and that of many critics, it's excellent.

Could you paint it, from scratch, without resorting to mechanical assistance? Could Mr. Melgaard?

When you dismiss Kinkade as not even being an artist, do you think that says more about him...or something about your attitude?

Scream by edmund Munch oslo Norway.
Saw it before it was stolen. loved it Claudio Bravo . Porto cuerrao Algeria.
my favorite artist i met in Bogota man he paints the fat people, Sorry will recall later.
george sheriff. Sold my claudia Bravo at Christies 1999.

thankfully, I'm not a christian :)

Are you thankful for being less happy? Every poll shows that Christians, on average, are happier.

Are you thankful for playing Russian roulette with your afterlife?

Those who blog like this almost never tout their own belief systems.

Does that system claim that Nothing created Everything? Does it deny that the Bible was inspired by God? Does your belief system pretend that Christ was just a prophet? Does it claim that we've never lied, stolen, blasphemed, fornicated, etc., or that sinfulness is acceptable to a perfectly holy God? That there is no afterlife or that everyone who rejects God, the Bible, and Christ merits living with God for eternity?

Thankful to not be a Christian is like thankful for not being forgiven, i.e., tragic.

me either. My brain functions and reality works just swell for me without the prop of a book of fairy tales about an invisible friend who states one should stone their daughter, marry their brother in law kill people who mix fibers or---gasp---fuck other men.

ummm on man's art is another man's......... Don't take it personally; I'm not a fan of "modern" art in the least. Sometimes colored squares are just colored squares.

Wow: Trotting out 'Christian' artist Thomas Kinkade? LOL! Even-though he's dead, they still make 'original' Kinkades at his factory...errr...'studio'...hmmmm....and as for a Christian role model: among other amusing things, he took a public piss on Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland...oh, and he died of "acute intoxication" from alcohol and Valium after drinking all night...according to his girlfriend...His wife was traveling in Australia with their daughters. So, praise Jesus, in an ironic way!

Actually I didn't "trot out" the artist's personal life. You did.

It should be possible to discuss modern art or even an artist's work without discussing his or her personal life.

So he allegedly peed on a Pooh. Call it "performance art." If he had peed on a crucifix in a jar, your modern art elite would have swooned, right?

I mentioned Kincade's paintings as an example of technically proficient, contemporary art which is enjoyable, as opposed to deliberately offensive.

There's a reason why Kincade's paintings can be found in millions of American homes, while the offensive crap that makes people whoozy at decadent brie and wine gatherings mostly stays where people only have to look at it in passing.

People find Kincade's art competent, uplifting, and enjoyable, in a way that dung smeared on a picture of the Virgin Mary doesn't do, no matter how many pagans toast their fine appreciation of urine, excrement, and desecration.

Another offensive comment. Since when did gay men have such shitty taste in art? Chris Ofili...another great artist; equally offensive to put in the same sentence as Thomas Kincade--the producer of the worst visual platitudes of all time.

Thanks, Bastardus... for a moment, jock_fever's comments made me think I stumbled into an alternative universe ruled by the American Taliban.

With all due respect to punks everywhere, you're equating jock_fever's comments with . . . the Taliban?

Yours is a brilliant capture of the "progressive" (har-de-har-har) mind. Dissent from the agenda MUST be the product of the Taliban. The categorical thinking is breathtaking.

Right again Go_NAVY.

The Taliban is Islamist, dictatorial, bloodthirsty, favors blatant denigration of women (and gays), and uses terrorism to impose Sharia Law.

Christians have been at the vanguard of advancing human dignity, individual liberty, and building the most free, prosperous, and tolerant societies known to man.

Islam has declared war on Judeo-Christian nations, just like it's at war with other non-Islamic nations and with other Islamic sects.

The phrase "American Taliban" is ludicrous unless it's applied to peculiar individuals like John Walker Lindh.

Some people debate ideas by demonizing opponents.

Thus, there is a web site which calls people like Ann Coulter and Pat Robertson "American Taliban."

"Christians have been at the vanguard of advancing human dignity, individual liberty, and building the most free, prosperous, and tolerant societies known to man."
You are out of your mind.

Judeo/christianity is and has been responsible for most of the western wrold's wars, horros and belitttlement and retardation of the advancement of humankind since its beginiing.
Imprisonment of those that challenged articles of faith with accurate science. The enslavement of women and children as property. American christians helped to foment the holocaust (there are a few recordings of christian radio broadcasts that with the exception of the word homosexual for jew could have been broadcast last week). Puritans were expelled from Britain, not as you were propagandized in elementary school, because of their penchant for donning black hoods and thundering into villages in the dead of night to murder and burn out those that refused their version of "god".
American christians were at the vanguard of decimating native american cultures who refused to convert.
Need we mention the obvious: The Crusades, the Inquisition.
Please be so kind as to mention ONE culture CREATED by christianity that was not born of violence, blood, warfare, condemnation of SOME "enemy" real or imagined.
Learn what a Pagan is before you go spouting off your concept of us based on your book of fairy tales about an all powerful invisible friend.
You might as well inform your life from a book of Mother Goose. Or better yet, the unsanitized version of Grimm's Fairy Tales.

all the things you mention are a part of life, and thus a part of art. surely you know that art and music do not just reflect "Christian" values. I am suspect of those who puff themselves up about being Christian, for few angels walk this earth, and the Bible itself warned against self-righteousness. I like this man's art; in fact, I think he is God. His art reminds me a bit of Keith Haring, RIP, and that art was a celebration of life, as is this. Get a grip, for your own art will suffer with such narrow avenues of thinking

Please. You and I could meet for ten minutes with some spray paint and cold cream, slap it onto some cardboard, and end up with something just as brilliant as this junk.

This is junk. As in, the emperor has no clothes. We are not bound to keep the secret that the emperor is a fraud.

Cannibalism, projectile vomit, green diarrhea, and babies having their brains sucked out during abortions...are also "part of life." So are effluent from noses and dead dogs ... and your artist incorporates those into his paintings above.

If you find that appealing, go for it. But no one should pass up a decent art history class which includes say: Pieta, David, the Sistine Chapel, Ecstasy of St Therese, Inspiration of St Matthew...

No one expects art and music to only reflect New Testament themes. Most experts agree, however, that the Bible has inspired many of the finest works of art, literature, music, poetry, and architecture.

When an artist prides himself in offending, and produces paintings which reflect modest technical competence, while dragging us through the muck of life, don't expect everyone to just sit back as though they haven't seen better, including the kind of art which endures.

P.S. Unless I'm mistaken, a painting by this guy uses the name of Jesus and the f-bomb in the same sentence, mocking the Plan of Salvation. Christians are not called upon to be doormats. Offer this artist up as a "man we admire" and hopefully there will be dissent.

I'm not here to judge a man's religious or political views, or promote one person over the other but I agree with nameless1. Sometimes coloured squares are just coloured squares .......

The notion that this schlok is referred to by the New York Times as having been painted by the "most important living artist" tells you all you need to know about modern art, the Times, and the complete debasement of art as an expression of beauty.

I could gather a group of eight year olds, give them some paints, pastels, mud and some discarded car parts, ask them to make a mess, and I'd end up with an upgrade from this nonsense.

It reminds me of the story of a full hotel floor rented out for an exhibition, in each room a different exhibit. Late in the day, attendees were found oo'ing and aw'ing in front of a room whose contents consisted of (1) an unmade bed; (2) a card table with cards strewn about; and (3) three chairs at the table, one overturned.

All were suitably moved by this display of brillance, photographing it, noting it in journals they carried with them.

Poor things. How were they to know that it was the docents' break room?

It's reductive.

The fact of the matter is...Melgaard is creating art, which is an achievement.
Whether you approve of it or not doesn't matter. That it invokes the kind of emotional responses that it does, is a good thing, in that it's thought provoking and causes one to examine his work and perhaps gain a new perspective on "art" through his interpretation and it's manifestation. Being a lover of all forms of art and it's myriad approaches to expression and the resulting pleasures that it invokes makes me appreciate Melgaard's efforts, even if the work isn't visually enticing or emotionally soothing to me. Judging the artist and his work is best left to the experts. left to the experts...

The artist's cutting edge use of nasal effluent makes a striking statement about victims and villains, about the struggle between autonomy and collective responsibility.

The viewer is compelled to ponder the artist's choice to shade the effluent in stronger hues rather than more subdued tints.

The length of the luminous stalactites captures the artist's vision of breaking free from arbitrary social shackles, and so liberated, takes on pregnant meaning which only deep reflection can fully evoke…

Translation: dog snot

Hang on a sec, let me pass some gas. This will give you an opportunity to smell my F/art...
perhaps it may be enticing, or emotionally soothing to you as well...feel free to examine it and gain a new perspective...

"performance art" covers a lot of territory, including bodily functions. There may be a grant waiting for you out there somewhere.

Pretty sure these are in the backgrounds in photo posts on forgot to mention lighting a match to that fart.

Those of you who have taken the time to post rude remarks, what gives you the right to such pretentious name calling. One man's art is another man's drivel. Let it go, I seriously don't think any of your opinions matter

how are u doing today i want u to add em now \

I saw his show last month up at Luxembourg Dayan. It spanned 3-4 floors of the townhouse and included paintings, installations, stop action animated films, dioramas, and stacks of his latest novel. It was really a great show. I liked the Pink Panther series of paintings that hinged to the wall and could be swung outward to read the story written on the reverse. Also good were the dioramas with the miniature and life size accoutrements of a hardcore urban gay life, such as steroids, needles, scrip drug bottles, crack pipes, etc.

He's a good artist. I first saw his work installed in a room at the SMAK in Belgium(?)
And was drawn in first by the way he had with a brush and paint, then when I was deep into the physicality of the work, saw the figurative elements reveal themselves as queer. The work had a cruising quality about it, like the Rambles at night, a hot, dark summer night. A few years later I was surprised to come across his work at Alleged gallery during it's incarnation in the meat market in NYC. That show had life size bronze figures of the ape characters from the original Planet of the Apes movie, but different in that they were sporting big dick hard-ons, fucking each other, and flipping the bird to the gallery goer. He also had published a book in conjunction with that show. I regret I wasn't able to make it over to Ramiken Crucible on the Lower East Side this past fall and see the show he curated that had 2 live Siberian Tigercubs. He's worth watching.

Hate it or like it to an artist there's no such thing as bad publicity. As long as the artist's name is mentioned he/she will still have some relevance to hang onto.

Having said that all I have to say is that abstract art is my Kriptonite.

I don't understand the vemon that is spued forth in the christian's comments, it feels so hatefull and judemental,that being said,I don't care for the featured artist - other than his use of color is striking. I enjoyed the visual stimulation and his open gayativity. As for artist that I go for - totally into impressionist artist. But, varitity is the spice of life and I'm glad that the art world didn't stop there - the world would really be boring without the varitiy that people provide. Love the comments on the blog also. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned how ruggedly good looking bjarn is. Hope he's into old fat guys. lol. Go gays!

my favorite art is (and I won't spell this right) tromp l'oeil--especially the ink and wash impressionism. Love that stuff.
And gee, I don't know if it's been approved by christ or not--but I don't much care.

I think the best art piece on this page is Bjarne himself......DAMN!!!

I'm not so sure. He looks as unhappy as his work.