In 2014 there was a controversial fiberglass Chair installation that featured a sculpted black woman lying on her back, knees nearly touching her chin, with a seat cushion placed on top of her thighs while Russian fashion editor and art industry maven Dasha Zhukova sat on top of the “chair.” That installation was conceived by Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard, and it surely caused the internet to stir into a frenzy of socio-cultural critique around race and the perpetuated ideology of societal dominance over black women. Heavy, heavy stuff indeed. Melgaard’s work pushes for conversations and the creation of art should always do that no matter one’s personal positions about the artist or their work; art is meant to provoke thought, creating fertile grounds for new conversations to grow.
Melgaard, who is commonly regarded as Norway’s most famous artist since Edvard Munch, has now presented the world with Melgaard the Muppet. Created by imaginative crafters of Jim Henson Studios, Melgaard the Muppet is a one-worded, obnoxious character who pretty much does whatever the hell he wants, whenever the hell he wants to. His creator recently presented a number of videos featuring the puppet, and the key here is to just watch and not take his outlandish, at times hushed behavior too seriously.
According to Melgaard’s frequent collaborator Babak Radboy, “the muppet is a marketing object: one in an abyss of likenesses which compose the Melgaard brand: a project including several streetwear collections, videos, ad campaigns, sculptures, a magazine and much, too-much more. All held together by a certain spirit, a noticeable absence of Bjarne’s hand–and at times even his most basic input.” Press play to check out the videos throughout, and don’t feel any kind of way if what you see leaves you scratching your head. That’s just a clear sign of Bjarne’s artistic vision at work.