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Friday, 20 September, 2002, 17:57 GMT 18:57 UK
Manson reveals artistic verve
Marilyn Manson shows off his paintings in Hollywood
Manson's artwork is not for the sensitive
Controversial rock singer Marilyn Manson has opened an exhibition of his outlandish art work in Hollywood, called the Golden Age of Grotesque.

Manson, known for his shocking onstage antics and heavily made-up Satanic appearance, unveiled his artistic talent at a celebrity launch party on Thursday.

Among the guests were actor Nicolas Cage and his new wife, Lisa Marie Presley, who came to see Manson's 57 paintings of, among other things, grisly corpses.

Jack Osbourne, son of the rock singer Ozzy Osbourne, spent $15,000 (9,600) on a Mad Hatter painting titled Harlequin Jack as the Absinthe Bunny.

Bass player Flea from the band the Red Hot Chili Peppers spent $30,000 (19,330) on a portrait of Elizabeth Short.

Nicolas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley
Nicolas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley were at the launch

Short, known as the Black Dahlia, met a gruesome and unsolved death in a Los Angeles field 55 years ago.

The picture was one of a collection of four painted by Manson entitled Elizabeth Short as Snow White.

"I make things that most people would consider grotesque a little bit prettier," said Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner.

"I used a lot of child-like colours. I used a children's paint set actually, and it has a lot of pastels."

Tribute

The singer added that he enjoyed the creative process of painting.

"The one thing about it that differs from music is that I can be alone, I paint in silence, just me and the brush and the paper. I don't know if it's cathartic. It's very relaxing," Manson said.

The most expensive Manson work is a picture of a naked Hitler as a hermaphrodite, costing $55,000 (35,432). The cheapest costs $1,000 (644).

The title of the exhibition is the same as that of Manson's eponymous band's upcoming album. Manson said he was paying tribute to the Hollywood of the 1930s.

"I'm trying to bring back the excitement, the glamour, the decadence and take it as far as it can go," he said.

Manson, a former music journalist, is one of the most controversial characters in music and his concerts are regularly picketed by religious and civil rights groups.

But he remains popular with music buyers and recently figured in the UK top 10 with his cover of the song Tainted Love.

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