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21 Years in Hell : The Book by Manson X Perou

Aug 13, 2020

By Melissa Rodwell

Every artist has a muse. And we all know, as artists, our collaborations with our muses can either be life-giving and the ultimate “high” or they can be disastrous and lead us on a downward spiral of animosity and despair. Myself, as a photographer for 40 years, I would have to say that the collaboration between Superstar Marilyn Manson and photographer Perou, the former would describe their artistic endeavors. 

Perou has been photographing Marilyn Manson for 21 years. It all started with a commissioned magazine cover in 1998 and saw him become Manson’s principle photographers. The result is the book, “21 Years in Hell”, aptly titled for the number of years they’ve been collaborating. The book features over 350 photographers, many which have never been published, including conceptual portraits, informal behind-the-scenes photos and onstage captures. 

What I really loved about the book is the commentary between Manson and Perou….they talk about the photographs, giving us a delicious insight into the world that is Marilyn Manson. Published by Reel Art Press, the book reads as a visual journey of the pair’s individual and collaborative histories. 

As Pero writes, “a collection of fragments in no specific order; as confused as I have been for much of my time in Marilyn Manson’s company. Some visual clues that I use to remember where I’ve been and what I was doing.” 

Reading their conversations really make apparent the true intimate bond that they have created. As the press release states: “Funny, honest, warm and at times raw, this personal reflection is a wonderful portrait of both Marilyn Manson and Perou’s work tells of Manson’s deep appreciation of all artistic forms of expression.” 

Perou is the only photographer that Manson has ever truly trusted, which screams through the photographers in 21 Years in Hell. For me, Manson is one of our great artists who’s artistry reminds me of David Bowie, someone I worshipped since I discovered him in 1972. I have long admired Manson’s keen use of fashion and imagery to tell his story alongside his music. He’s a genius! And of course, geniuses need people they can trust to capture their true essence. 

21 Years in Hell is available on Reel Art Press’s website which you can find HERE

A signed numbered limited edition release of 21 Years in Hell will also be available exclusively at reelartpress.com 

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