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Odd Nerdrum

"THE NERDRUM AFFAIR" in the current issue of AMERICAN ARTIST magazine explores the controversy around Nerdrums strong prison sentence.

To read the entire article by Allison Malafronte with commentary by Alexey Steele, Nelson Shanks, Joakim Ericsson, Daniel Graves, and Richard T Scott,  and Brandon Kralik go to:

There is also a video with Richard Thomas Scott and Brandon Kralik which lays out some basic facts of the case, features some great footage from Nerdrums studio and you can watch it here:   Comments are highly encouraged.

Help support Odd Nerdrum. Stay informed about this important issue and SPREAD THE WORD. SHARE IT for ODD.

Follow this link to learn how YOU CAN HELP SUPPORT ODD NERDRUM by spreading awareness:

TEXT to accompany the above pictures.

Sign the Petition to free Odd Nerdrum HERE

the official site

Basic facts of the Nerdrum Affair on Youtube. 

A short discussion between Richard T. Scott & Brandon Kralik about the case

Discussion between Richard T Scott and Brandon Kralik about the NERDRUM AFFAIR, some basic points of the first trial and footage of Nerdrums studio.

To Repost this page

PLEASE copy and paste this link:

Our aim is for the injustice being suffered by

the Painter Odd Nerdrum

to be spread by the media in America with the purpose of aiding in

the petition  to the Norwegian Prime Minister

for the pardon of Odd Nerdrum.

   Please spread this form letter to the address below.

                                                                          Thank you.

Spread this:

Your attention for a moment, please,

I am writing to you on behalf of myself and in conjunction with an international declaration of support for the painter Odd Nerdrum. 


It is believed, by a growing number of American supporters as well as others from around the world, that the painter Odd Nerdrum is being unjustly convicted under false allegations.  Behind it, they claim, is a long campaign by the State of Norway to silence Nerdrum’s criticism of the dominant Labor party politics of that country.   

His recent unprecidented conviction of 2 years and 10 months in prison by the Norwegian  appeals court is questioned by a lack of evidence on the part of the prosecution.  Non existant bank accounts, descrepancies in the taxable amounts in question, key evidence in Nerdrum’s defese which was dismissed by the court, as well as a documented State media campaign against Nerdrum all come into play in a trial that smells more like a witch hunt than justice.

I ask you to bring this story to the attention of your friends, constituents, and your peers throughout your networks.

Please add your name, and the name of institiutons you are affiliated with who support this declaration, to the growing list of us who believe that Odd Nerdrum should maintain his liberty.

But just as important is that you help spread the story to people in your networks who may be able to bring this to national attention, on the web, in print, or on television shows.

Below are links to various sources detailing a very interesting story of what a  western government can do to the freedom of speech when they think nobody is paying attention. 

Of coure this happens in China, but this isn’t China, it is Norway.  A country who prides itself on democratic principles and the right to free speech.

If you were the canary in the coal mine, would you want somebody to listen?

Thank you for bringing this to the attention of the public.


(your name here)


PLEASE send this letter to 60 minutes:


60 Minutes

524 West 57th St.

New York, NY 10019

PHONE: (212) 975-3247

They need to hear ALL of our voices! 

Sing out your support for ODD NERDRUM!

Remember to sign the petition HERE!

Follow, digest and share these links which provide relevant information to

this bizarre and interesting case:

image courtesy of Matthew D. Innes and Odd Nerdrum

Please share this page freely by copying and posting this link often:

Click HERE to read the article by John Seed and to see the censored footage of Odd Nerdrum from Skavlan, Nerdrum’s only interview in 10 years. 

Click HERE to read articles by Richard T. Scott

The largest collection of paintings by Nerdrum on the net

Click HERE to read

“The Nerdrum Affair”

published in American Artist

Feb. 2012 issue

by Allison Malafronte

with Nelson Shanks, Daniel Graves, Joachim Ericsson, Richard T. Scott, Alesey Steele, and Brandon Kralik

Click HERE to read and ask yourself why.

Click HERE to

read this report

Join the effort to FREE ODD NERDRUM HERE

Click HERE to read “An Odd Fact or Two”

by Matthew D. Innes

Artists Protest Harsh Sentence: Painter Denied Right to Paint

“The work of Odd Nerdrum is a gift to a world long in need of culture. To in any way inhibit or prevent his work is a crime against humanity and should be condemned.”

Nelsons Shanks stated in American Artist magazine in an article by Alison Malefronte entitled The Nerdrum Affair, Feb 2012. Shanks, considered one of America’s foremost realist painters, is known for his high profile portraits of Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Princess Diana, Pope John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher, among many others.

The June 27th verdict of the Norwegian appeals court sentenced internationally acclaimed painter, Odd Nerdrum 68, to two years ten months in prison on the charges of gross tax fraud. Nerdrum is sentenced without chance of bail, and without the right to paint, as it would be considered a commercial activity and therefore forbidden in prison under Norwegian Law. This marks an increase from the original sentence of the district court by ten months. Both courts stipulated that the artist could not abbreviate his sentence, and could not serve it on house arrest. The charge against him was not exactly failure to pay taxes, but gross tax fraud. That is, Nerdrum is accused of intentionally hiding income from the Norwegian tax authorities for the years 1998-2002. He had actually paid all claimed taxes several years before the court case was filed against him.

Nerdrum admitted to the court: [I’m not very good at math. But that is why I took the word of my accountant. However, if you want to know about Venetian Turpentine, I will be glad to tell you.] Paraphrased translation.

Understandably, he is still culpable for the failures of his accountant, but one might think that this would be considered by the court. So, if the sentence sounds a bit harsh to you, then you’re not alone.

And Shanks is not alone in his condemnation of the Norwegian courts’ verdict. Many other prominent figures have joined in the protest. Gregory David Roberts, author of New York Times best seller Shantaram, appeared on the Scandinavian show Skavlan, offering to serve the time on Nerdrum’s behalf.

Many protest that Nerdrum’s work is not merely a commercial activity, but an act of free speech. And they raise the question: will they also take away his pen and paper? Nerdrum also makes significant money from writing, he’s published books on everything from art history to theater plays. And if he was denied this right as well, would we then look at it in a different light? 

Some go further to declare it to be a case of political persecution. Nerdrum, certainly has been a controversial figure in Norway, and has been in frequent conflict with the state supported art world, and more to the point: he has been a staunch critic of the social democratic policies of the dominant Norwegian Labor Party, making incendiary statements equating the National Socialist Labor Party with the National Socialist Party of Nazi Germany.

“Having seen how the Norwegian press and government has been aggressively biased against him for many years, I think the court presumed him guilty from the beginning, and asked it of him to prove his innocence. I know the Norwegian judicial system follows something like the Napoleonic code, but "innocent until proven guilty" seems to me to be a basic premise of justice.”

Richard T Scott, professional painter and former pupil of Nerdrum, told John Seed on The Huffington Post.

Still other Nerdrum supporters, such as Scott, Brandon Kralik, and Alexey Steele claim grave errors in the court proceedings, such as faulty evidence, inflated numbers, and a failure to consider Nerdrum’s explanation for the accounting discrepancies which lead to the tax investigation. They provide a lot of convincing details, but ultimately it’s difficult to penetrate the language and cultural barriers of the opaque Norwegian press, unless you’re fluent in both Norwegian and Scandinavian culture.

Further, many of the numbers don’t seem to agree: the appeals court sentenced Nerdrum for approximately $2,349,000. The district court settled on around $2,100,000 and neither agreed with the official disclosure by the U.S. IRS of $1,860,000 – Nerdrum was selling exclusively through his NY gallery and so all his income from paintings was accounted for in the U.S.

But the one thing that seems crystal clear is Nerdrum’s explanation for how this all began.

In the 1980’s Nerdrum painted some 40 paintings, valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars a piece, with an experimental medium. After six years he began to receive complaints that the paintings were literally disintegrating, and upon closer inspection, he realized that the medium was melting when exposed to heat. Understandably, this put his career in great jeopardy and caused a rift between him and his gallery at the time. Unwilling to give up, Nerdrum brought in new models and painstakingly repainted each piece over the next decade – many of which were upwards of  10 ft long. He offered these as replacements for the damaged originals and wrote them off as a loss as his accountant advised him. Many collectors accepted them, but some clients demanded a refund instead. So, Nerdrum asked his gallerist for a loan, to use as a safety against potential claims from European collectors. He placed the money in an Austrian bank box, and, as he told the court, he did not consider it to be his at the time, and that it had finally been reported and taxed at a later date.

Why put the money in an Austrian bank box? This seems to be a question that befuddles everyone. The court took it as proof that Nerdrum was attempting to hide money. But, then, why not put it in a Swiss account, or the Cayman Islands? And the fact that it was Nerdrum himself who told the tax authorities about this box makes judging Nerdrum’s intentions even more elusive.

When considering this case, it’s difficult not to be confronted with two equally convincing contradictions. On one hand, Norway is considered to be a humanitarian nation: the host of the Nobel prize, and a strong advocate for the equal treatment of all. On the other, the Norwegian culture does emphasize assimilation: quoting from the Scandinavian folk wisdom of Jante’s law, “Don’t think you’re better than anyone else”. And for better or worse, Social Democracies such as the Norwegian government, undoubtedly have difficulty reconciling the good of the masses with the freedoms of the individual.

There are important questions about the significant differences between the Norwegian judicial system and the principles of justice in the United States. Such as the Statute of Limitations, which seems not to apply in Nerdrum’s case, as well as the premises that the accused is “innocent until proven guilty”, that it is the responsibility of the prosecutor to prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”, and not the responsibility of the defendant to prove his innocence. These are not fundamental principles in Civil Law as they are in the Common Law of the American judicial system. These differences appear to be some of the reasons this case is difficult for many Americans to accept. What may be legal in Norway, might not stand up in an American court. But, Norway is a sovereign nation with its own laws and its own constitution. So, what is the recourse? Is it fair of these American Artists to ask that Nerdrum be tried according to American ideas of justice, or that, because he is an international treasure, the Norwegian court should make an exception for him?

I’ll leave these conclusions for you to make.

Whether or not Nerdrum intended to hide money, or merely made a few accounting mistakes, is unclear. But in retrospect, the idea of taking away from humanity nearly three years of painting from perhaps the last decade or so of Nerdrum’s life, will certainly seem a grave error.

“Artists Protest Harsh Sentence:

Painter Denied the Right to Paint”

by Richard T. Scott