Sunday, October 30, 2011

Golden Age Of Grotesque

[Liar. Marilyn Manson. Via]

I'm very interested in artists who use the word 'grotesque' and explicitly describe their work in terms of grotesqueness, because it often highlights the wide range of meanings that are associated with this term.

Musician and artist Marilyn Manson, aka Brian Warner, is one such person. Not only did he name his fifth album The Golden Age of Grotesque, but he also wrote a song of the same name.

Unfortunately Grotesque wasn't released as a single so there is no official music video. However, there is a video for mOBSCENE, another song from the album, which perhaps gives a clue as to Manson's definition of grotesque.

Manson went on a 'Grotesk Burlesk' tour to promote the album. If you are wondering what constitutes a grotesque burlesque, here is one version:

This reminds me of one of my favourite movies - The Brain that Wouldn't Die.

Manson has commented that "the deformed scar of one man, is "love's pretty dimple" to me." This preoccupation with deformation and injury - both physical and emotional - is visible in his watercolour paintings, which are deeply personal in nature.

[Everyone has their blue period. Via]

[“Do I have to do everything for you?” Via]

[Harlequin Jack and the Absinthe bunny. Via]

[I’ve got my arm around no one. Via]

The influence of the Gothic is quite clear in these images, and Manson's portrait of Edgar Allen Poe seems very appropriate.

[The moment I became Edgar I suddenly realized I was in Hell. Via]

[Each morning she prayed that demons would devour her parents. Via]

[When I Get Old. Via]

Love these.

While I may not be comfortable with all the imagery Manson makes use of, I rather doubt comfort is the response he is trying to evoke. It is difficult to deny the talent that fuels his musical and artistic work, or the complexity of the issues he wrestles with. The fact that this takes place somewhere under the banner of 'grotesque' is very interesting.

You can see more on Manson's website here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I love how creative people are being with music videos nowadays. It warms my heart.

[This might be NSFW, if you work in a nice place. Or any kind of place.]

It would make more sense to brush teeth after going to the toilet.

Big Bad Wolf by Duck Sauce reminds me of this music video, only pushing things further, to a more weird and interesting place.

[Via i09 and Eleanor]

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Zombie Boy

This advertisement is positively hypnotic.

It stars Rick Genest, aka Zombie Boy, a freak show performer who recently found fame in a Lady Gaga music video. [<--- Warning, that Gaga video may put you off giving birth. Ever.]

Yes, that is his real skin under there.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Two Thumbs

My new desktop background.


It cheers me.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Of Milk and Slime

I saw these pics by Bart Hess on the FaceCULTURE blog a while ago, and haven't been able to get them out of my head.

I love the texture and movement, and how they show something 'yucky' as beautiful in motion. They remind me of Julia Kristeva's discussion of abjection:

"The repugnance, the retching that thrusts me to the side and turns me away from defilement, sewage, and muck" - a reaction evoked by "that skin on the surface of milk," which revolts her despite being totally harmless (Powers of Horror, p.3).

Except here, the gelatinous mucus draws you in, rather than pushing you away (or is it just me? I would like to know how it feels in the slime.) It seems soft and... clean?

Hess has also created another set of works, the STRP mutants, for the 2011 STRP Art & Technology Festival in the Netherlands. His description states:

"The mutants evolved around the idea of transformation. They visualize movement and the ever changing boundaries between the different disciplines: art, music and technology."

They also remind me a little of superheroes, somehow fused into their costumes.

This festival looks ace. Wish I could go.

STRP Festival leader 2011 from bart hess on Vimeo.

Lots more videos on Hess' Vimeo account (links above) if you are interested in seeing more, or you can visit his website here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Be Kind Rewind

I took a little mini break last weekend. One of the 'grown up' things I have learned in the last few years is that my sanity is my responsibility. What a revelation, eh. Only you can keep your cogs and joints turning smoothly. Nobody else - no matter how much they might want or try to - can do it for you. Things were starting to get a bit out of balance all round, so I decided to take executive action.

It was a really good idea, if I say so myself. Which I do.

True to form, I came across a few weird and wonderful things, but I might save them for later. Oh okay, there was this rock.

Lion King. Amirite?