Sun 15 Dec, 2002 08:38 am
The shock-rocker's watercolor paintings are made with archival watercolor ink on watercolor paper, "are hand-painted on top of," and signed and numbered by Manson, according to www.marilynmansonartworkonline.com
Some mild examples I admire...
Wow, that man is seriously disturbed, huh?
Not to mention seriously talented musically and (as I've now discovered) artistically, in my opinion. As much as I do consider him to be a creepy, outlandish individual.
I've never lsitened to his music, but I'd say his watercolors show talent.
I think they look like the works of a high school teenager that´s been painting for a few years and thinks he´s REALLY good at this and wants to be a famous artist when he grows up.
But I do like Michael Rodents red-ish teeth.
at $10k-20k a pop, you're looking at a name and not the art. Let's hope Michael Jackson doesn't decide to pick up a brush. What about Charlie Manson? Does he paint as well?
Although the poll here is a question as to whether this guy is a talented artist or not, that question wasn't really why I posted a link to his art. It's just that he's a celebrity I'm interested in (some of his music is damn good--if you like his genre), and before this evening I was unaware he sells art.
My favorite piece is the girl's face I posted at the top.
On the subject of other already famous people who dabble with a brush there´s:
HMQueen Margrethe of Denmark
and probably hundreds of others.
Monger,I enjoyed your comment about the majority of modern art fitting my description of Mr.Mansons.
Charlie Manson made quite fun music in his early days.
I find Marilyn Manson to be an extraordinarily-bright person, who is quite aware of his world and his ability to draw attention. His stage performance is quite awe-inspiring, and I was also surprised to hear him sing an accapella (sp) sweet ballad in the midst of some nightmarish numbers. I do have to recommend that one gets a chance to fairly hear his work by listening to a high quality stereo system at loud volume. If you don't ever get to hear the complexity going on beneath the surface, you may dismiss the band's work too easily. There is quite a bit of good writing and musicianship there - maybe not to most folk's taste, but I guarantee there are many qualities there that ensured the band's success.
The watercolor images are also fascinating. I'd like to see more, and more importantly, I'd bet his art work will progress as rapidly as his other mastery of talents, as time goes by.
I wouldn't want his stuff on my living room walls, but from your examples, he DOES have talent. I'm glad he can express it with watercolor instead of a chainsaw, though.
I never cared overmuch for Marilyn Mansons music. I ignored it when I heard it but I do admit to being captivated by his appearance and stage presence whenever I caught him on TV. Then I saw him in an interview (I don't remember when or who interviewed him) and I was blown-away at how intelligent he is. I began to listen to his music then but still have not found an appreciation for it. I watch his videos with an interested eye but although I cannot say he is hugely talented there is something about him that says "art". Looking at these paintings, I realize I am only interested because he did them. I like one or two of them but am not crazy about most of them. I think he has artistic flair that is not of my taste but that does intrigue me.
I have never heard Marilyn Manson's music and don't really wish to, but I saw an interview Michael Moore did with him in the movie Bowling for Columbine. I was surprised at his intelligence and compassion for the lives lost at Columbine. I also agreed with him in denying that his music was responsible for the shootings at the school.
His openness in the interview made me want to see more of him when he was just talking, one on one, with someone he respected.
As for his art, I've grown to appreciate modern or even avant guarde art because my son paints in that genre. I agree that most of it is mindless doodling, but sometimes, as when looking at a Picasso or a Miro, something clicks and you are drawn into it almost involuntarily. That is what I love about art, the sudden involvement and the need to keep coming back for more.
No, I wouldn't spend a dime on Manson's art.
I do not listen to MM's music, but I have considered his makeup, as bizarre as it is, aesthetic. This is my opportunity to convince my friends that by "aesthetic" I mean more (other) than just pretty. His image smacks you between the eyes, even though it is repulsive--like Goya's paintings of war. I checked out the link and was interested to see that his aesthetic makeup values are also in his painting. Frankly, while I would not buy or put his work on my wall (too many other works would have priority over his), I was struck (and to me an aesthetic achievement must strike, even quietly, at first sight). I clicked some of the more striking thumbnails and most appreciated the following (mainly for color and composition--revives my faith in the power of watercolor):
The Death of Art
Harliquin Jack and the Absinth Bunny
ie Deutsche Kampferi
Everyday it Hurts to Wake Up
(the snow white pictures are powerful, but their grotesqueness, is overwhelming)
My overall impression of Mansion's work is similar to my impression of the Czech painter, Franta--grotesque/offensive and at the same time aesthetically powerful.
I saw an interview Michael Moore did with him in the movie Bowling for Columbine. I was surprised at his intelligence and compassion for the lives lost at Columbine. I also agreed with him in denying that his music was responsible for the shootings at the school.
One of his paintings is about that. Here's what he said about this piece...
(this one's going for $20)
This appeared in Rolling Stone with my essay about Columbine and is sort of a caricature of [Eric] Harris and [Dylan] Klebold taken from their high school photographs. I was making a statement about America, and it was definitely part of my reaction for being blamed for something like Columbine. I thought the title 'Crop Failure' was appropriate for several reasons. Columbine, some people might know, is a flower. And, obviously, ['Crop' represents] raising up your children and harvesting them properly. Something did go wrong here, and I think the farmers should be blamed, not the entertainers.
Monger, his quote from Rollingstone is fascinating and tragically appropriate.
The columbine is Colorado's state flower. It is exquisitely beautiful, most likely from the orchid family which is what it looks like. Crop failure in Manson's sense, strikes at the very heart of what can lie beneath such beauty.
I went back to some of the thumbnails and found "Trainables." It is a picture of a baby holding a gun. He does tend toward the most intensely grotesque painting I have ever seen, not that I've been around the art world that much.
Perhaps entertainers of this sort put enough of a different spin on our world that it causes us to shake away the old, comfortable way of seeing things.
In a way, his painting reminds me of the tortured religious paintings if a few hundred years ago. Maybe his purpose is to show us the evil in the world, causing many to want to shoot the messenger.
Diane, good observations--and I love your quote from Baldwin. One reservation: your notion that Mansion's "gothic" performance (make-up, songs, and all) serves to remind us of the evil in the world should be tempered by the realization that much evil comes in the guise of goodness. Dahlmer and Ted Bundy looked very normal. If the Devil were to come among us, he would be disguised as an Angel--that is if he's as smart as they say he is.
JLN, don't most of us forget that the devil comes in the guise of an angel, whether or not we are religious? The blatant, in your face monstrousness of a Manson is terribly frightening, whether it is his performance or his painting.
Maybe he and the artists who illustrated Dante's Inferno were simply messengers of the truth who, like Cassandra, were never believed.
Your mention of Bundy and Dahmer are good examples of people we feel comfortable with, people who look "normal."
Because of some volunteer work I have done, I have come to recognize the beauty behind some very grotesque faces. When the initial shock is overcome, a recognition of the beauty beneath the surface slowly enters one's vision and eventually, makes it unremarkable.
Yet, in my home, I need the beauty of more representational art-- sculpture of the kind that hebba does, or paintings like those of algis.kemesky, both of whom are here on able2know.
Even though I love music and am willing to study forms that are atonal such as Shoenburg or, in jazz, someone like Ornette Coleman or Mingus when he was experimenting with hard, rough-edged horn parts, I still can't bring myself to listen for more than a few minutes. I truly appreciate the talent and creativity, but find the art form itself unpalatable.
I think Marilyn Manson is a creative genius, but I don't want to live with his art in my home. Basically, no matter how much I want to understand and how much I appreciate the talent, if it was in my home and I walked into a dark room with those paintings on the walls, I would revert to a primitive, frightened medieval peasant--it would give me the shivers!
Diane, your points are well taken. I do not believe in Devils and Angels, I used them as symbols for good and evil. And I do not even believe in Good and Evil as "things" in the world, only as evaluations we make about behaviors. I too would not have Mansion's work on my walls, but not because it is not good enough, or because it is frightening, only because I havn't the wall space for anything but work I prefer not to live without.