Tuesday, March 2, 2010

MM´s Recent Paintings: The New Batch

I consider this to be the first time that I analyzed these paintings. You don't necessarily have to be an artist to understand them or criticize them, just develop the essential amount of sensitivity.

There´s one thing I noticed immediately; lack of backgrounds or scenery.From my own point of view I think this can be for several reasons; although you might think painting backgrounds can consume more time on a composition, it brings a sense of dimension, like time and space. This gives them a more oniric approach.

On the other hand it gives the sensation that he's less attached to a particular place or a person. The watercolor technique seems to convey that message well; ephimerous, faded, slipping away, disposable, forgettable, fragile.

The outlined images, on the the other hand represent the things that you want to hold on to or let them stay a little bit longer.

His technique hasn't evolved very much, so it's pretty much conventional. The themes, skill, and use of color are the most attractive features, however.

Watercolor is one the oldest and most basic methods in art, yet it has a level of difficulty of its own and it's very friendly with other materials.But far from taking this techinque to a whole new level like many modern artists do in this case the goal is to focus more on the themes and the symbolism in them.

For example, I noted the recurring use of certain palettes. The diseased and weak are often colored in shades green, orange, red and yellow, which can be also observed in monsters and other ghoulish creatures. The solid blue and purple colors can be also observed in both paintings and recent pictures during the High End of Low tour.

"Everyone Has a Blue Period"

The predominance of blue seems to be a recent addition. It has a symbolism of its own. The most probable meaning of this one and judging by the smeared image of the skull is is associated to the mind in general. Blue conveys a calm state and can also be tied with the reference to the the phrase "crimes in the ocean" posted some weeks ago.

I'll dig deeper into this one using the High Priestess card from the Tarot. In some cases it indicates stubborness, denial, insensitivity. So yes, according to these set of negative emotions I guess everyone can have a "blue" period.

What´s relevant too is that Picasso, another famous Spanish painter between 1901 and 1904 had done some paintings in blue shades. It was said that he was started using this color after a friend´s death. Could the Manson image be referring to Death as well?


If you look up the meaning of the word "wraith" most of the time it's referring to an aparition that delivers an omen or a spectre a person sees before the moment of death. There is a high chance that this painting was inspired from a recent picture called "Lenore Pink in Blue" (see above)

"Baby´s On Fire"

Some say the title was taken from a song by Brian Eno. Again there is one specific palette that consists of primary colors. Up to here this style reminds me to an avant-garde art movement called fauvism. Although it lasted for a while it did spawn some very notable artists such and Henri Matisse. The goal was to focus on emotions rather than painting things as they are. Compare "Baby´s On Fire" with this example by André Derain "The Bathers"

Other Manson paintings have a similar nature and a similar color palette:


It grabs my attention that it was quoted that Manson has an obsession with painting diseased or decaying people. One great example is this untitled piece that shows a young blonde female with decomposing skin. However, underneath all, if you obesrve the abdomen is rose colored. This brings some optimism on the other hand.

The character is Lily White, a familiar feline, this time it was portrayed using an unconventional technique which is make up instead of watercolor. The Devon Rex cat was painted already years ago. There´s not much to say about this one, but if you analyze it from an oniric point of view cats are very feminine, delicate creatures and being pure white represents purity and virginity. The use of eyeliner and lip gloss enhances the meaning.


Another blonde nude figure with the same, blue, green, yellow and red palette. If you notice only the face has a rose color, unlike the other character above. From the neck down everything else is dimmed and lifeless. You can draw your own conclusions from this one.


I set this one apart because it uses a slightly different palette using more red and pink tones, also the blue is highlighted in the eyes. Probably this is one of many portraits of Evan; the theme is simple, however. This might be another way that he sees her, more like an actress, rather than an ordinary human being.


This one is incredibly haunting. The quote "sometimes I squeeze things too hard" makes sense. The character in question is extremely skinny holding a small pig. The use of color is the usual blue, green, red. Presumably it´s a self-portrait and the pig could reprsent everything that lacks purity, is common, filthy and ignorant. Sometimes you can be too prejudice with people? Too hard on yourself?


This last piece is a portrait of Kerry King, the lead guitarist from Slayer. No big comments despite the fact that it has vivid colors.

The conclusion of these new paintings? Marilyn Manson´s work is hard to digest like his music and other media, so it´s consistent and disturbing. Aside from the grotesque imagery one should be more focused on the use of color because it reveals the current mood and perspective. Hey, this might be the Blue Period afterall.

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