Thursday, March 4, 2010

Into the Deep Blue Ocean and Its High Crimes

As some of you may have noticed there is a preference in Manson's work for the shades of blue, quoting in one of his paintings "Everyone Has a Blue Period".

Blue Period refers to a phase in which some artists go when they are experiencing melancholy, depression and all other related emotions populating their works with several tones; however, depending on the intensity the meaning changes. Some famous painters in the Post-Impressionism and avant-garde eras such as Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso and a contemporary British artist named Damien Hirst are a great example.

So, what's up with the abuse of this color? To begin with this tone produces in general a sense of calmness, lightness and in some cases a sense of spirituality. Blue is the sky and the ocean. But as we mentioned it encloses muted emotions.
In the case of Picasso's blue period it was used to symbolize a depressive stage in his life, after the death of a deared friend in Spain.

However, in Monet's work it conveyed postive emotions while his personal and financial life were getting very grim.

I paired this Picasso named "The Absinthe Drinker" with a recent picture used for the High End of Low album artwork. Both figures look down and have their arms wrapped around themselves. They are tilting down. The blue light adds more a sense of loneliness and melancholy while holding can also mean a need for protection or affection.

In "Everyone Has a Blue Period" a sky blue skull looks smeared. I compared this watercolor with a recent composition by Damien Hirst entitled "Human Skull in Space".
When the effect of blue goes a little bit too far it can also feel like a peaceful death.

This room that was used for the album artwork has more of an electric blue. Here the meaning changes a little bit. In dream terminology a room refers to the mind and everything that has been accumulated like memories. If you notice many words and random objects "live" in these walls. Probably there were young people here instilling passion for life.

Now when the blue light falls down on you it might mean more a spiritual energy or deep intuition. In this example which I call "I Have a Knife" the look on Manson´s face is more confident, while the knife can be a distant reference to a sword or a weapon that adds a sense of authority. Apparently when this picture was taken he was in a more defensive rather than depressive mood.

Compare this live shot where he's flooded with a blue light on stage and this other example. As you can see it is a recurring theme.

In "Wraith" and "Lenore Pink in Blue" the female portrayed has a more unearthly nature. Her face is misty but serene. In Tarot, the cards that usually bear the color blue are connected with optimistic, peaceful and intuitive feelings.

"And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly,
turned a whiter shade of pale"

In "Sometimes I squeeze things too hard" the face is blue and could be addressed as loneliness or insecurity and the need to feel attached.

Finally there has been a recent addition from My Space pics. Is this the hint of the Blue Period? If that´s the case the whole "ocean" concept is starting to make sense.

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