July 13th, 2012 by Leo Plaw

Odd Nerdrum Might Paint in Jail

Odd Nerdrum

Odd Nerdrum

The saga of Odd Nerdrum’s jail sentence for tax evasion is not over yet. The Norwegian website, News in English reports that, Nerdrum told the newspaper Klassekampen late last week that he had written a letter to Norwegian prison authorities asking that he be allowed to serve his prison term from his home.

Nerdrum lost his appeal against a tax evasion verdict on June 27th and was subsequently sentenced to a longer sentence of two years and 10 months in prison.

I think it’s a better idea that I can stand here (at home) and paint with a foot link (that would prevent him from leaving the property) instead of wasting time in a prison playing cards,” Nerdrum told Klassekampen.

However Nerdrum’s defense attorney Pål Berg was not pleased about the article in Klassekampen and that Nerdrum gave an interview. “We are appealing (to Norway’s Supreme Court) to get him freed, so there shouldn’t be any talk about how he might serve a prison term,” Berg told Aftenposten. “This is still a tax dispute that will be evaluated in October.

It would be unlikely that the artist would be granted home detention, as this is usually given to those who are serving prison sentences of four months or less.

It appears Nerdrum is attempting to bargain with the authorities, by suggesting that if he is allowed to paint during his prison term, that he would create a large painting to be donated to the Norwegian state. One has to admire his creative thinking to make the best of a difficult situation. Prisoners are normally not permitted to continue activities which are their usual means of income.

There is hope for Odd however, as Bjørn Krogsrud, director of the prison authority was reported as saying, “I don’t think we will prevent him from painting. It’s the sales revenues that would be a problem,” Krogsrud added. “We can’t provide the opportunity to operate a business from the inside. But this is something we will evaluate carefully.


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