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Sotheby's £50m sale Munch's Scream out of Reach?

As Sotheby's prepares to auction Munch's masterpiece with a record pre-sale price of £50 million, Rise Art presents some equally haunting works with a more affordable price tag.

By Sophie Nibbs | 03 May 2012

Sotheby's auction house in New York is set to make history today as it gears up to sell the only version of Edvard Munch's The Scream to still be part of a private collection. With estimates of £50 million ($80 million) the masterpiece holds the highest pre-sale value ever set by the auctioneer. The sale of this piece offers a hugely rare opportunity to purchase what is arguably one of most recognisable images in popular art and culture. 

If however, £50 million is slightly over your budget, do not despair. Here at Rise Art, we have scoured works by some of our most exciting artists to bring you a collection of works with all the drama of Munch, without the hefty price tag.

Emptinesst by Gina Parr

The first of our picks is Gina Parr's, Emptinesst. In this work from the series “Bye Bye Baby”, Parr muses on the sweet sadness that comes with children growing up and leaving home. She creates a dark void in the centre of the composition that draws the viewer in towards several slim, murky points of light. While this work speaks of pain and loss, there is also an acknowledgement of hope and possibility. 


This ghostly image of Mark Metcalfe's Ectoplasm Structure 3 forces the viewer to confront the unknown. Dealing with alleged emanations of ectoplasm, Metcalfe's series of oil paintings appear like aged photographs, blurring the line between fiction and reality and questioning the nature of faith and belief. The shaky ground on which Metcalfe's work sets those encountering it is what gives it a haunting quality, and it is its unnerving nature that aligns this body of work with The Scream.


Bill by Andy Wicks

Despite the dealing with the distinctly contemporary subject matter of the 2009 G20 Riots, Andy Wicks' work Bill which features the bloodied face of a policeman, summons the anxiety and unsettling nature of Munch's iconic 1895 work. Although we have more of an insight into the cause of this particular subjects distress, the anonymity of 'Bill' still leaves questions for the viewer and holds a certain intrigue.


Marks by Bartosz Beda

Rather than screaming, Batosz Beda's haunting figure in our next piece, entitled Marks, appears to be being silenced. Whereas Munch's masterpiece confronts us with a dramatic, gaping mouth, in Beda's work strong we see strong and urgent brush marks across the canvas where we might expect to see lips. The colour palette selected by Beda's, is arguably reminiscent of the swirling sky in the work of Munch.

Warpaint by Jack Addis

The distorted face featured within Jack Addis' striking work, Warpaint, is comparable to that in Munch's scream, despite being rendered using digital photography rather than pastel. Created as a reaction to the 2011 Riots in London that saw the city cast into uncertainty and images of violence beamed across the globe, Warpaint features an androgynous face, obscured and unidentifiable. There is a sense of uncertainty and unease contained within the work, despite the bright colour palette, also present in the iconic image of The Scream.

For more personalised picks from Rise Arts' team of curators and to discover your art profile, take our quiz.

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