Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland spent the last two
decades of his life creating works for this Oslo park, a
commentary on the human condition that can be interpreted
in many different ways. The above statue is bronze, and
unquestionably upbeat as to young men and women in love.
But the result could be this angry baby throwing a tantrum,
perhaps the most famous Vigeland image. Every statue here
is nude, except for a Vigeland self-portrait fully dressed.
Positive images, such as this mother and child, compete
with the negative sculptures, achieving a kind of balance.
Vigeland continues this pattern in marble, with many statues
of despair, old age, and mortality. Death is a constant image.
Once again the exact opposite, children and maternal love, the
sunny side of life receives equal time from Vigeland. Hope!
Vigeland left no notes to aid in understanding the meaning of
his work. But I can recognize "failure to communicate"
when I see it.
Vigeland died in 1943. His masterpiece is this inscrutable
monolith, in which 121 entwined human figures struggle to
climb upwards. At the very top are children, in which
humans in general, and Vigeland, must rely upon to carry on.
Even more Viegeland statues are included in the video.