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Biography | Tattoos | Paintings | Art Show 2002

The Golden Age of Grotesque  Art Show 2002

Manson held a very successful debut art show from the evening of Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 September 2002. Marilyn Manson

The venue was Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, 6522 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, USA, with a third day being arranged at the nearby Club Vinyl.

Over fifty paintings were on display, mostly watercolours but also some mixed media. Prices for the artwork ranged from $1000 up to $55,000 for the painting Die Deutsche Kampferin, which he deliberately priced highly. Reluctant to part with his creations, Manson said 'I don't want to sell any of them, but I have to let go at some point.'

When later asked if he kept any for himself, he replied: 'Just the big Charlie Chaplin one, Die Deutsche Kampferin. That's the one that I made the most out of reach, because if someone does want it, I want it to go to the right home. I'm kind of strange about that; I feel weird about where the paintings are going to go and who's going to get them.'

Mind you, he also said afterwards that he: 'really wanted to get rid of some of them ... because of certain memories attached to them.' But that's understandable and I think I know the ones he meant. He plans to make a book of them all as a keepsake.

DAY ONE

Thursday 19 September 2002, by invitation only.

Amongst the invited guests on the opening night are Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea with singer Tobey Torres, Korn drummer David Silveria, Dave Navarro, Johnny Ramone, Charles Fleischer, Carrie and Chris Vrenna, Puddle of Mudd guitarist Paul Phillips, Nicolas Cage with Lisa Marie Presley, Andy Dick and Crispin Glover.

Ozzy Osbourne's son Jack is there with MTV camera crew in tow. He buys two paintings: Harlequin Jack and the Absinthe Bunny ($15,000) and Grey Daisy. DID Nic Cage buy Hand of Glory? Flea buys "Elizabeth Short as Snow White - and now a special sort of death for one so fair" ($30,000). Band member Pogo puts in an appearance with his girlfriend too, as does John 5.

The show's sponsor is Los Angeles based magazine, Flaunt. In keeping with Marilyn's favourite tipple, one of the drinks on offer to guests is Absente, a less potent American Absinthe.

Of his interest in art, Manson says: 'I've been drawing since I was a kid. It was an escape for me. And it still is. Painting is just you and a piece of paper, and no one can tell you what the rules are because there aren't any.

'I never intended to paint for anyone other than myself. But I realized eventually that this is something I should show people because this is a part of who I am.'

His paintings are described by one reporter as 'oddly appealing'. That seems a fair description for a lot of them. 'Quirky and accomplished' could apply to many of them too.

Manson described the theme of The Golden Age of Grotesque as a demonstration in conflict, whereby viewers experience mixed reactions.

'I'm pointing out the interesting ways to take pretty colors to make grotesque images.'

Marilyn Manson fans
Composite photo of artshow crowd

DAY TWO

Friday 20 September 2002, 8 till 11 pm.

After the invitation-only opening on Thursday 19th September, an estimated 3000 people queue along Hollywood Boulevard on the Friday night to see the artwork, meet the man himself, and hide from stark ;) Fifty-eight paintings are on display and he's already painting more. Marilyn later describes the second night as 'overwhelming'. Unfortunately, the large turnout means there isn't much time for most people to properly view the paintings before being ushered along by security staff!

Manson's girlfriend Dita von Teese is there as are his band mates Tim Skold and John5, with their wife and girlfriend respectively. Stark (then bbs admin) and his wife are there too - he watches out for bbs people to photograph but most of them are too shy.

The photos below show some bbsers meeting Manson and Tim Skold at the show. They are: asn, donna, jennabunnie, septum, (two folk with poster), and slash.

Marilyn Manson, Tim Skold and fans
Photos by Stark, Slash and Septum

DAY THREE

Saturday 21 September.

Because of the enthusiastic response to the Friday showing, with people having to be turned away, an extra viewing day is arranged at the nearby Club Vinyl (1650 Schrader Avenue in Hollywood), opening 2 pm.

As before, fans are able to buy gallery posters, lithographs and limited edition prints and get them signed by the man himself. They even get to sit around the Club Vinyl dancefloor whilst they wait. What music is playing?

Marilyn Manson fans
Waiting patiently for Manson at Club Vinyl. Pic by Stark

These links originally went to online articles written about the art. But I can't find the first two articles at their respective websites anymore, so I've made the original text part of this site:

From New Times LA/newtimesla.com (ceased to exist after 2nd October 2002), 19 September 2002: The Finger interviews Marilyn Manson

Rocker Has an Artist's Eye, by Jessica Hundley, 26th September 2002. Couldn't find this on the parent site any more either so here it is: calendarlive.com