As Browns Fans Contemplate Another First Round Pick . . . .

the-scream

If you didn’t know that he lived in Europe in the 19th century, you’d probably swear that Edvard Munch was a Cleveland Browns fan.

Why?  Because The Scream perfectly captures, better than anything else I’ve seen, the unique combination of horror, fear, disgust, and profound dread that grips Cleveland Browns fans as they contemplate the team making another first-round pick in the NFL draft.  Indeed, Munch even painted the disturbing, roiling sky behind the angst-ridden screamer in the Browns’ familiar orange colors.

If you’re a Browns fan, knowing that the NFL draft is only a few hours away and that the Cleveland franchise has the first choice to boot, you feel almost compelled to cup your face in your hands, let your eyes open wide, and howl out to the waiting world the deep anxiety and disquiet that you feel as you consider prior drafts and contemplate the likes of Gerard Warren, Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, Kellen Winslow . . . and Johnny Manziel.

In fact, any fan of another NFL team would think of the ludicrous choice of “Johnny Football” and feel a perverse sense of comfort.  After all, how could this year’s pick possibly be any more wrong-headed and disastrous than that?  But this is the Cleveland Browns, remember.  With the Browns, all things bad are possible.

Go ahead, Browns Backers!  Tip back your head and wail for all you’re worth.  The NFL draft is here.

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We All Scream For The Scream — An Update

Edvard Munch’s The Scream is now officially the most expensive painting sold at auction — in fact, the most expensive artwork of any kind sold at auction.  It went for $120 million to an anonymous bidder in an auction that lasted 12 minutes.

We All Scream For “The Scream”

Not many pieces of artwork become iconic.  Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa obviously is one; Michelangelo’s David is another.  I would put Edvard Munch’s The Scream in that category.

Munch painted four versions of The Scream in 1895.  Three are in museums in Norway, Munch’s native land.  The fourth is being auctioned tonight.  It is expected to be sold for at least $80 million, and if it fetches more than $106.5 million — the current record — before the auction is gavelled to a close, The Scream would become the most expensive painting ever sold.

It’s not hard to see why The Scream has become an instantly recognizable image in modern culture.  The mindless horror evoked by the image of a screaming man on a bridge under a lurid sky can be used to capture our reaction to things as diverse as the futility of daily life, senseless crimes, and the Holocaust.  I’m sure that more than one Norwegian dealing with the mass murder committed by home-grown madman Anders Breivik thought of The Scream when they read about Breivik’s unpardonable crimes.

It would be fitting if a painting that is so accessible, and so aptly related to modern life in so many respects, became the most expensive painting ever sold.