Brian Hugh Warner (born January 5, 1969), better known by his stage name Marilyn Manson, is an American musician and artist known for his controversial stage persona and image as the lead singer of the eponymous band, Marilyn Manson. His stage name was formed from juxtaposing the names of two 1960’s American cultural icons, namely, actress Marilyn Monroe and convicted multiple murder mastermind3 Charles Manson as a critical and, simultaneously, laudatory appraisal of America and its peculiar culture. He has a long legacy of being depicted in the media as a detrimental influence on young people. The seemingly outrageous styles for which he models and the controversy surrounding his lyrics have led to his very pronounced public appeal.
Manson claimed in a 2004 interview with i-D magazine to have begun his career as a watercolor painter in 1999 when he made five-minute concept pieces and sold them to drug dealers. On September 13–14, 2002, his first show, The Golden Age of Grotesque, was held at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions Centre. Art in America’s Max Henry likened them to the works of a “psychiatric patient given materials to use as therapy” and said his work would never be taken seriously in a fine-art context, writing that the value was “in their celebrity, not the work”.On September 14–15, 2004, Manson held a second exhibition on the first night in Paris and the second in Berlin. The show was named ‘Trismegistus’ which was also the title of the center piece of the exhibit – a large, three-headed Christ painted onto an antique wood panel from a portable embalmers table.
Manson named his self-proclaimed art movement Celebritarian Corporation. He has coined a slogan for the movement: “We will sell our shadow to those who stand within it.” In 2005 he said that the Celebritarian Corporation has been “incubating for seven years” which if correct would indicate that Celebritarian Corporation, in some form, started in 1998.
Celebritarian Corporation is also the namesake of an art gallery owned by Manson, called the Celebritarian Corporation Gallery of Fine Art in Los Angeles for which his third exhibition was the inaugural show. From April 2–17, 2007, his recent works were on show at the Space 39 Modern & Contemporary in Florida. 40 pieces from this show traveled to Germany’s Gallery Brigitte Schenk in Cologne to be publicly exhibited from June 28 – July 28, 2007. Manson was refused admittance to Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), when he was in the city to attend the opening night. This was, according to Manson, due to his makeup.
Manson revealed a series of twenty paintings in 2010 entitled Genealogies of Pain, an exhibition the artist collaborated on with David Lynch. The series is being showcased in Vienna’s Kunsthalle gallery.