Strange and demented art of Odd Nerdrum [graphic content]

Posted by on May 23 2008, in Art, Uncategorized, zegarkus

I recently did an image search on google (I can’t remember the search string) and found some interesting and twisted work of the Norwegian painter “Odd Nerdum”

Nerdrum is renowned for his emulation of old-master techniques and textures: there are in his paintings many echoes of Rembrandt and Caravaggio, in particular. Beyond that, his devotion to the depiction of flesh brings the work of Lucian Freud to mind; whereas certain of his pictures have, to my eye, unexpected likenesses to canvases by Dalí, or Ferdinand Hodler.

A great many of Nerdrum’s paintings of the ’80s and ’90s share a common setting: a bleak, post-apocalyptic locale where crudely-clothed or naked figures adopt contorted poses, or perform acts of violence, or enact bizarre rituals: like hallucinated variations on themes suggested by the Mad Max movies.
Detail from ‘Liberation’ by Odd Nerdrum, 1974.

Nerdrum’s staunch use of traditional techniques, and of figurative subjects, has drawn its share of criticism and derision. Part of his response has been to claim that he is not an artist, but rather a ‘kitsch painter’, further claiming that ‘the kitsch painter is committed to the eternal: love, death and the sunrise’ and ‘because modernism has conquered art, kitsch is the saviour of talent and devotion.’

Visit some Odd Nerdrums sites here, and here.

Incidentally, the image above reminds of the giant plush rabbit in the Alps (complete with spilled guts)


  • Dan Zukovic's "DARK ARC", a bizarre modern art noir dark comedy called "Absolutely brilliant…
    truly and completely different…" in Film Threat, was recently released on DVD through
    Vanguard Cinema (, and is currently
    debuting on Cable Video On Demand. The film had it's World Premiere at the Montreal
    Festival, and it's US Premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival. Featuring Sarah Strange
    ("White Noise"), Kurt Max Runte ("X-Men", "Battlestar Gallactica",) and Dan Zukovic
    (director and star of the cult comedy "The Last Big Thing"). Featuring the glam/punk
    tunes "Dark Fruition", "Ire and Angst" and "F.ByronFitzBaudelaire", and a dark
    orchestral score by Neil Burnett.


    ***** (Five stars) "Absolutely brilliant…truly and completely different…something you've never tasted
    before…" Film Threat
    "A black comedy about a very strange love triangle" Seattle Times
    "Consistently stunning images…a bizarre blend of art, sex, and opium, "Dark Arc" plays like a candy-coloured
    version of David Lynch. " IFC News
    "Sarah Strange is as decadent as Angelina Jolie thinks she is…Don't see this movie sober!"
    Metroactive Movies
    "Equal parts film noir intrigue, pop culture send-up, brain teaser and visual feast. " American Cinematheque