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Marilyn Manson - Exhibition (english)
The Flowers Of Evil
Marilyn Manson and his first exhibition of paintings in Germany




He provokes, he shocks and he is always good for surprises. We are talking about Marilyn Manson (38) – living overall-artwork and rocker of the darker generation. He had gone through hard times lately, a lot has affected him. The darkrocker`s life with the cream-faced complexion and the dark-red lips was disturbed totally in the youngest past. Suffering from depressions, the divorce from fetish-model Dita von Teese…Manson had to struggle with that. But in this whole confusion he finally found a way (out), namely a way to himself, to the human within. Manson has given this human being the chance to talk on his new record “Eat me, drink me”. The album is kind of a diary or letter, that Manson – now entirely humane – uses to clear up especially with the past.

But not only the music offers to Brian Hugh Warner, so Manson`s civil name, the possibility to express feelings to reach people. Already for a few years Manson also takes brush and easel over and over again. The painting makes it possible to express feelings beyond the music, Manson said. And these feelings can be found in large-sized aquarells. In Florida the paintings have already been presented two times – in Naples and Fort Myers. But now all-rounder Marilyn Manson shows his artworks for the first time in Germany. At the moment
Manson`s paintings can be admired in the gallery of Brigitte Schenk in Cologne for one month.

Referring to this exhibit there was a press conference taking place on the 27th of June 2007 in Cologne´s Hilton-hotel. The artist appeared in person to talk about his works. But first of all he let around 100 journalists wait in the conference hall of the hotel for half an hour. Excitement was in the air. All eyes and camera objectives were pointing at the door that could open up in every moment. One of the journalists tried to mix up the strained atmosphere by little jokes like “Is the red microphone on the desk soaked with blood? Hopefully Mister Manson won´t swallow it…”, but it did not really work.

Around 6:30 pm the waiting found its end. Marilyn Manson, so as we know him – white make-up with dark lipstick and big sunglasses – and gallery owner Brigitte Schenk entered the room. A murmur and salutatory applause slopped through the crowd. But instead of taking the “blood-soaked” microphone, first of all Manson took a glass filled with Absinthe and tasted the milky-green liquid. In that time Brigitte Schenk spoke some introductory words. In her gallery Manson´s paintings are presented for the first time in Germany. “33 large-sized water colours of high quality” can be admired, Schenk said on the press conference. The artworks cover the years from 1999 to 2006.

After the short salutation an open question period was started and everybody had the chance to ask the artist personally a few questions. Manson answered very openly and detailed, told the audience about his painting-procedure and inspirations, that he often works with sketches and polaroids before he really starts with a painting. He definitely learned the most by painting…

Manson´s paintings are about the dark side of life, the deepest descents of humans: despair and depression – similar to the lyrics of his music. In previous times he painted with “dirty water”, now he only uses watercolours. But he uses extraordinary substances like Absinthe in his paintings as well. People like it, or they don`t like it. But who doesn´t like the art, should do it better, Manson emphasised in the press conference. Artists are the most persecuted and blamed persons on earth, Manson criticised furthermore. He answered to the question, why he had chosen Germany as a next destination after two exhibits in the USA, that he likes the mentality here. Germany doesn`t try to be like America. And the Country is a good inspiration for him. Even though Manson likes Berlin a lot, he had chosen Cologne for the exhibit, because on his opinion the city is very understanding. If it`s like that, why wasn`t the shock-rocker allowed – as he said by himself – to enter the cathedral of Cologne? “…probably because I had lipstick on”, Manson laughed.

After about 25 minutes the open question period was finished, Marilyn Manson and Brigitte Schenk thanked the journalists for the great interest and invited the audience to an additional photo session in the gallery itself. In front of its doors there were a lot of fans waiting in hope to see their artist. But again Manson needed a bit longer and this offered the time to have a first look at the water colours in the gallery. The paintings mostly show portraits of humans whose beauty is totally distorted. Instead of a soft smile, a grotesque grin falls from the wall. Dimly distorted body parts buzzes through the room. A real provoking painter pool that leads to a dark trail and grabs the evil on its roots. Marilyn Manson calls his exhibition “Les Fleurs du Mal”, the flowers of evil. And these have titles like “Skoptic Syndrome”, “Mouth Of War” and “Pornography Becomes A Sport”. In his paintings Marilyn Manson works with border themes. He shows humans with unusual diseases (“Prone To Epilepsy”), goes back into the past of the US-crime history and presents the death of six years old JonBenet Ramsey (“Sleeping Beauty”), and with “Snow White I & II” the unsolved murder of Elizabeth Shot from 1947. Manson also dared to go back to the German past and painted Adolf Hitler as a transsexual naked creature. But the main focus was pointed at the painting “Skull Roses”, the real flowers of evil. When the photo session started around 8 pm, Manson stood right in front of that painting. Everybody wanted to take the best photo. But the journalists had only 10 minutes before they should leave the gallery.

Manson had a little round tour in the gallery by himself afterwards – this time his new girlfriend Evan Rachel Wood (19) joined him. The scary and beautiful exhibit “Les Fleurs du Mal” by Marilyn Manson in Cologne`s gallery of Brigitte Schenk can be visited until the 5th of August 2007. The entry is free.  



Report & Photos: Lea S.
Website Artist: www.marilynmanson.com
Website Gallery Brigitte Schenk: www.galerieschenk.de

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