By Arturo J. Flores
Thursday April 1, 2010
The controversial musician also paints and soon will present the exhibition in Mexico Hell, etc., Which bares his rock star soul on the canvas.
"I like to paint at night when the world sleeps. Then the nightmares sprout from my fingers and become colored ghosts that inhabit the canvas. Marilyn Manson confesses that he has never painted a live model, but was offered by Angelina Jolie. Manson is very excited, finishing his contract with Interscope Records and is now master of his own fate. Manson prepares to begin the shooting of two films that will be the preamble to its official debut as a filmmaker, the film Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll. Though he's not too curious to see Tim Burton's film about the Carroll's masterpiece. "
I have heard that when you first began to show your paintings, you felt a little shy. I cannot believe that Marilyn Manson, the same man who destroyed Bibles and sodomizing girls on stage, could possibly be shy.
I'm definitely very shy. People believe that artists are extroverted and like to show our thoughts and emotions to a bunch of strangers, but not that is not true in all cases. For me, it wasn't hard to stand in front of a crowd and sing, but when it comes to painting, to show my deepest feelings, things change. Perhaps it is not necessarily shyness, but is similar.
They say that Rembrandt was starved even though he had accumulated treasures at home, and Van Gogh cut off his ear in an act of love. What are the rituals of your own creation?
When I want to be alone and I can not write songs, then I paint. I usually do in the middle of the night, when everyone is silent and I can get in touch with myself. The process is different, because for me, when I write songs I know they will be heard by more than one person, but in the case of my paintings, considering that most of them are portraits of people I find interesting, I try to connect with a single person who is looking at the painting. Usually, I do it from photographs, I never have sat down and attempted to paint a person sitting there with me. In fact, I never thought of making a gallery or to sell my paintings, because I figured that someone may be of interest such as personal expressions. My first painting was the gift to the people I had painted. The first time a person bought my paintings, another artist by the way, he said, "Hey, you are a painter, you have to charge more."
Do you paint with heavy metal music in the background?
No, I prefer silence because I do not like to be distracted. I turn off everything I enjoy, and enjoy the intimacy that gave me face the blank canvas armed only with a brush and waiting to see what happens. One of the reasons why I like working in the middle of the night is because most people stop thinking and then my brain can think much more clearly. Painting is a kind of mental exercise for me.
What is your first memory of painting that comes to your mind?
My first art class in school when I was very young. At that time I wanted to be a cartoonist. I had no interest in painting at the time, because one thing was to draw in black and pouring another soul on the canvas. Once I had surgery as a child and painting helped me pass the time. Then, in the days of Mechanical Animals, I wanted to return the painting. I went to a pharmacy and bought some children's watercolors. There were only four colors, but I mixed red, yellow, blue and red to find a coffee. I also used the dirty water left in the godet and the result was interesting. Painting strives you to be creative, go beyond your own limits. I like doing things with my own hands. If you only have one color, you have to do the best you possibly can. If you're stranded on an island, it would be painted in any way.
After seeing the documentary Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore, it is clear that people will try to blame everything bad that happens. In that context, Do you take yourself seriously as a painter?
I try to remove part of being "celebrity" of my painting, because being a rock star and is different to being a celebrity. It is my environment, yes, and then I have to keep in touch with that. As Andy Warhol said that marked the trend in twentieth century art, and is part of pop culture and sometimes that can be frustrating. There are those who claim to be psychiatrists and analyze my paintings from that perspective, while others are unimpressed with the painting by itself. In music, people form a bias because they know that this is a song of mine. In the painting, no matter if you are not my fan to admire my painting, whatever you can see and have an opinion, whether it is done by Marilyn Manson.
And you prefer the music or painting to spread your messages?
I don't really know... if I had to choose.
The last time you were in Mexico, the people of Monterrey was held to pray that does not take out your show. Are you frustrated that your paintings censure someone for not liking your music?
Not at all... It scared me a little. I remember Monterrey, go ... (laughs subtly). Historically, the most brilliant artists have suffered similar, sometimes their works are destroyed, but other icons have gone much further. People express their hatred of things in strange ways. Hate or love something, but I'm not surprised that people swallow that nonsense like that which is abound in American culture. I do not think my paintings are entirely political, or religious, nor is my music, so do not feel so angry at them. My paintings are not what people expected of me.
Each of your albums contains a concept and a different aesthetic, from Portrait of an American Family to The High End of Low, through Antichrist Superstar. Have your painting also has gone through different periods?
I think so, at the beginning my paintings were quite different from those that did, for example, this week. At first, I barely painted eyes and now they are very important. It has changed my perception of colors.
Not showing the eyes, as I first represented in my earlier work, are perhaps, a personal projection. Now I try to open up more, both with the songwriting as well as painting. I am no longer afraid to be who I am, something happened at the beginning and therefore I tried to use more complicated sentences and elaborate metaphors. Right now I'm in the studio, working on a new disk, because I am going through a period of great inspiration. Last week I worked seven days straight on paintings and when I finished, I was satisfied with all them. The same with music, I have been working on more than one song a day. So work for me, is when I run out of paint back to music and vice versa. I think my brain can only focus on one thing.
You started your career as a journalist, do you pay much attention to the criticisms that are written about you as an artist?
I like listening to people. Today's world allows each of us to become a critic and the Internet makes a big difference in that regard. It also allows artists to overcome and flourish. I usually show the people my paintings, I value their opinions. I like that rather than count how many good and bad reviews have accumulated. I am not of those who say, That I do not care what people think, because that would be a lie. I do not live according to what people think, but I do listen to their opinions, because it is the only way, as an artist,that I can measure how much my art affects or influences people. But yes, I care much more the opinion of the people I know than strangers. I can not say that hearing the criticism as a musician and a painter are the same, because they definitely are not.
I know that you enjoy the work of Frida Kahlo. She has a strong sense of suffering in her paintings, not to mention that using orthotic devices similar to those used in the video for "The beautiful people." Is there some sort of connection with her work with yours?
It's funny that you mention Kahlo. I read a biography of her and saw the movie Julie Taylor and that definitely affected the way I admired her work. But I also believe that there is a major difference between cultures. She drove concepts as evil and darkness, which makes me curious considering the strong religious tradition that exists in your country (Mexico). That, too, is alien to me, because I lived with it (as a child, he attended Catholic school Heritage. N. of R.). So I always questioned religion and when I see it reflected in art that truly appeals to me, either in the form of witchcraft or Santeria. But no, I do not imitate anyone, although I admire a lot of artists, like Salvador Dali. I know that I could never paint like him but he has had a considerable impact, as well as Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp. Long ago I realized that the less imitate others, the sooner you'll find your own voice. So in an attempt to reinvent the music, and painting you may have to regurgitate your own creation to find your own voice.
Some time ago you made a photo shoot for us (Manson portrayed his ex-wife, Dita Von Teese.), who would be a good model for kids?
I've painted many women and most of them I've never seen naked. Just before talking to you I was working on a picture of Angelina Jolie naked. When I showed it to her, after I had completed it, she offered to pose for me, but honestly I was too shy to accept the offer. I think the way that I paint, I am always afraid that a person which I think is beautiful, might feel offended by my strokes and the way that I tend to distort the human body. I would paint any woman naked except for Courtney Love, unless maybe paint over it.
Your makeup, your tattoos, paintings and preparation for the film, Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll. It seems that the image is very important to you. "Direct cinema is an extension of this taste for painting?
In a sense maybe it is. At the time I realized that the film industry moves at a speed different from the music, I was very disappointed, because I wanted the film jump-start the same years. Ever since I read the journals of Lewis Carroll, I identified a lot with him, by the way explains the origin of the writings of Alice. Something that few people know is that he was a pioneer of photography and the camera he used, was rather rudimentary, it was more than a box of objects reflecting the world upside down as he described in his books. Images revealed in dark rooms, at a time when there was no electricity. months before conceiving, Phantasmagoria I began to take a lot of pictures and watch a lot of movies, all of that has made me mature as a painter. In addition to Phantasmagoria, I have a couple of stories in mind, for a much smaller series of independent films, They do not even have to be shown in theaters. I ended my contract with Interscope, so now I can decide what to do with my career. I'm much freer. From now on, my music will be a bit like painting, I will invest my own money and take my own risks. This year will see more of me, but it will done by my own hands. What was surprising, with Interscope, but necessary, because it reminded me that I need not have anyone behind me.
And I suppose now it will be favorable to sell more pictures. Who have already have yours?
Several friends. Nicholas Cage, Elizabeth Presley, Jack Osbourne ... I'm not sure of all of them. I do not base my life on the celebrities, I'm very select with my friends.
Even if your movie deals more properly the history of Lewis as a writer, what do you think of Tim Burton's Alice? Did you see it?
No, nor do I want to, I do not follow his work very much, if any of his films that I do like it would be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I'm good friends with Johnny Depp, but it still doesn't stir my interests. (Burton) mixed the two books (Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass) and I do not know if that was a good decision.