Bjarne Melgaard

Photography by Jason Mandella
Text by Danny Calvi
An abominably fabulous mixed media sculpture by Bjarne Melgaard: Untitled (2015), courtesy of the artist and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.

Controversial homosexual artist from Norway, Bjarne Melgaard (who readers will remember from BUTT 16), is mounting two impressive shows this winter following his k-hole of an installation at the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

In Oslo, visitors to Melgaard’s Munch Museum exhibition, juxtaposing his and Edvard Munch’s works, may listen to a soundtrack of seventeen songs presented as an alternative to the show’s audio guide. The playlist includes Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Olivia Newton-John, Dolly Parton, and the Carpenters among others.

Just imagine confronting the tortured souls in ‘Angst’ from 1894 while Karen Carpenter’s sad contralto oozes like honey from the headphones.

Meanwhile in Paris, Marais art hounds can see Melgaard at his most camp — and cuddly — in an immersive and typically messy solo show which sees the artist going into full-on muppet mode. What started as a series of quick pencil sketches, were then reinterpreted by hairstylist Bob Recine and fashion designer Andre Walker using synthetic hair, hair pins, fake eye lashes, makeup, and nail polish as well as oil paint.

The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment is on display from 5 February to 14 March 2015 at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, 7 Rue Debelleyme 75003 in Paris. Melgaard+Munch at the Munch Museum, Tøyengata 53
0578 in Oslo, Norway runs through 12 April 2015.