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Contact Admin. In one a prone naked male appears to have been stabbed with a metal hook. Another is a sex dungeon, and nearby, on a video monitor, is a stop-action snuff video that was filmed there: The man behind the show, Bjarne Melgaard, has been called the most famous Norwegian artist since Munch.
His body of work is enormous and hard to categorize. The one thing that is widely agreed about Mr. Melgaard, 45, is that he is not an artist willing to be contained — by art-world categories, allegiance to a single art dealer or, perhaps, the norms of civilized society.
The main room in that show, Ken Johnson wrote in a review in The New York Times, looked like a loft apartment that had been vandalized by someone obsessed with being sexually dominated by black men.
Melgaard specified that two live, caged tiger cubs had to be on display and also required that the gallery be repainted in expensive metallic paint. The energy of his shows is a kind of self-annihilation, like opening up a portal to the dark abyss. Melgaard dropped by one morning recently he was distressed to discover that there had been a book slide. He knelt on the floor and carefully stacked the volumes again, with the spines all facing out.
He is a big, bearlike man with a large head and wide-set eyes of startling blueness. Those same eyes, in black and white, stare out of a mug shot, also part of the show, that was taken last summer, when Mr. Melgaard was arrested in Manhattan, charged with assault with intent to do bodily harm. In person, however, Mr. Melgaard, who lives in Brooklyn, is gentle, even shy, and talks about his career with detachment, as if he were speaking about someone else.