The Mrowr and The Whine

The t-shirt offered by Woot today, The Mrowr, designed by walzaman:


A take-off on Munch’s The Scream, done in cats.

We’ve visited this territory before, in a posting with a Bizarro parody and a Homer Simpson version. There I wrote:

“The Scream” has been parodied many many times (just check Google Images), up there with Grant Wood’s “American Gothic”, Leonardo DaVinci’s “Last Supper” and the “Mona Lisa”, Michelangelo’s “Creation”, and Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks”. The Simpsons have parodied numerous paintings, including “The Scream”, several times.

(Munch’s work seems to be second only to the Mona Lisa in the number of parodies. Plus more indirect allusions, as in an Ed Ruscha SCREAM painting reproduced here.)

From Wikipedia on the original:

The Scream (Norwegian: Skrik) is the popular name given to each of four versions of a composition, created as both paintings and pastels, by the Expressionist artist Edvard Munch between 1893 and 1910. Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature) is the title Munch gave to these works, all of which show a figure with an agonized expression against a landscape with a tumultuous red sky. The landscape in the background is the Oslofjord, viewed from Ekeberg, Oslo, Norway.

Here’s the 1895 pastel version, which sold for $119,922,500 in May of this year:


Wikipedia on variations on the work:

In the late twentieth century, The Scream was imitated, parodied, and outright copies have been made following its copyright expiration, which led to it acquiring an iconic status in popular culture. It was used on the cover of some editions of Arthur Janov’s book The Primal Scream. In 1983–1984, pop artist Andy Warhol made a series of silk prints copying works by Munch, including The Scream. His stated intention was to desacralize the painting by making it into a mass-reproducible object. Munch had already begun that process, however, by making a lithograph of the work for reproduction. Erró’s ironic and irreverent treatment of Munch’s masterpiece in his acrylic paintings The Second Scream (1967) and Ding Dong (1979) is considered a characteristic of post-modern art. Cartoonist Gary Larson included a “tribute” to The Scream (entitled The Howl) in his Wiener Dog Art painting and cartoon compilation, in which the central figure is replaced by a howling dachshund. The Scream has been used in advertising, in cartoons, such as The Simpsons, films, and on television. The principal alien antagonists depicted in the 2011 BBC series of Doctor Who, named “The Silence”, have an appearance partially based on The Scream. The Ghostface mask worn by the primary antagonists of the Scream series of horror movies is based on the painting, and was created by Fun World employee, Brigitte Sleiertin, as a Halloween costume, prior to being discovered by Marianne Maddalena and Wes Craven for the film.

Everyone seems to recall the Gary Larson parody as The Howl — though in fact it’s entitled The Whine in Wiener Dog Art (1990):


Larson’s other works in this series include wiener dog cave art; Wiener Dog with Head Turned by Picasso; a still life, Bottle, Apple, Book, and Bowl of Wiener Dogs; and The Persistence of Wiener Dogs by Dalí.

4 Responses to “The Mrowr and The Whine”

  1. Gregory Stump Says:

    I imagine that Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” would give both “The Scream” and “La Gioconda” a run for their money in the category of most-endlessly-parodied paintings. (I’m distinguishing parodies from out-and-out imitations, in which category Andy Warhol’s varicolored multiples and Roy Lichtenstein’s ben-day bedotted paintings are the probable front-runners.)

  2. Far Side puns « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Arnold Zwicky's Blog A blog mostly about language « The Mrowr and The Whine […]

  3. More t-shirt art history « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Yesterday it was Munch’s The Scream done in cats. Today the Woot t-shirt is based on van Gogh’s Starry Night: ASCII Night by artguyaaron: […]

  4. Ziegler on toast « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Munch’s The Scream — one in a long series of parodies of the painting (some here; more here, with information on the […]

Leave a Reply