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.

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