This work developed from a flikr page i looked at in which a young woman proudly sported a Charles Manson t shirt. Understanding the distancing nature of pop culture from its original source i none the less directed her to a website detailing the real facts of the case and its effects on the victims families. She felt that she had a right to wear the t shirt, and did not feel as thought wearing it meant anything. I wonder if she would wear a Hitler t shirt, or if a local rapist was released early would his face adorn her chest?. It struck me that she wore Manson not because of his crimes or those of his followers but because he fit the definiton of iconic. She wore it to appear cool to her peer group, which could be adolescent bravado, and the testing o societal limits. Paraded as he is on television constantly, with no context to the sadism of his acts and how it effected their relatives.Manson is a cartoon so there is no emotional connection, no empathy or understanding of what he did.
In researching this murder memorabilia i found a lot of money being made on the back of crime and violence, with most of it fitting the definiton of exploitation.
As you can see from the collage, the people using Manson and therefore his victims, are often large corporations.
I will be designing a t shirt based on this art , hopefully without Manson on the front of it.