Memes come and go, the best ones stay forever. Kevin Love and his shocked face worked into “The Scream”, the famous Edvard Munch painting, is probably the best of the NBA Finals.
Love’s look of terror while Stephen Curry takes a shot got a lot of editions and versions since game 5 in the finals . While movie posters make us giggle, putting him as part of the Munch painting (which exists in four versions, just so you know: two pastels from 1893 and 1895 and two paintings from 1893 and 1910).
Why does this one work much better than the rest? First, because there’s no scream more famous and valuable than Munch’s Scream, it’s one of the most recognizable paintings in all art, it’s been interpreted as representing the universal anxiety of modern man, and it’s invaluable. The 1895 pastel version was sold for $119,922,500, making it the only version not held by a Norwegian museum. And Love is a modern man in anxious time, or something close to that.
But I guess the clash of worlds is what makes it work best. A multi millionaire player in 2016 looking like he’s freaked out by a player shooting over him (the camera can make us think weird things), and on the other hand, someone from 120-130 years ago, having some existential crisis. Maybe it fits: Love, making max-level money, is being used as a third, fourth and fifth option on offense in Cleveland. If that’s not an existential crisis, I don’t know what is.