Shia LaBeouf and his girlfriend Carolyn Pho spent some time one night with Marilyn Manson. That experience compelled them to go around LA taking pictures. Those pictures have now become a book. They also made a short film in honour of Manson’s new album Born Villain. Last night there was a book signing and screening in Hollywood. Guaranteed admission only if you spent $75 on the book. Click here to see the project website. The trailer for the film is below. And this is how Shia describes the endeavour. Please note that he did the highlighting, no editorial interference was applied:

Our initial objective was to promote something we believed in -- a short film we both worked on for Marilyn Manson's upcoming album. We found ourselves taking risks on a whim. Artistically your mind works at its highest frequency when paranoid. It allows you to explore every avenue and possibility of your situation at high speeds with total clarity. Born of this new found outlook on a city we had become ambivalent towards, we quickly found ourselves addicted to the recreation of spaces. So, armed with a truck, some rollers and glue for our image we went out in search of the best canvas. Our experiment in self-propelled and executed promotion became our aesthetic and the basis for this book. Some become cops to make the world a better place. Some become vandals to make the world a better looking place. Enjoy. (source)

Here’s Shia’s own introduction to the film:

Locals Rule. I think. Odd, living in L.A all my life and taking for granted my environment, my city. But one night, just a few months ago, I bumped into Marilyn Manson at one of my locals and together we crawled the city a bit; where he lived, where I lived, where we ate and drank and where we have been entertained. We traveled the roads to those places on streets that had become too familiar. And then I reflected back on that brief journey and traced that trip (with photographs). I connected buildings and streets, freeways, storefronts and trees with a BORN VILLAIN at my side. Here it is but with a little mood music to set my mood. (source)

Here’s me rolling my eyes for an entire hour.

I get it, you know? I get that art is subjective. I get that what appeals to me may not appeal to you. Art has become more accessible, a modern inevitability. And this is good, mostly. But has the democratisation of art led to the deterioration of technique? In the hipster Shia art community, “inspiration” is probably deemed more important than texture, symmetry, or depth. Inspiration is the new composition.

Like, he was just so “inspired” by that billboard. The inspiration itself is the Art. The Creativity revealing itself through the Inspiration is the Art. The Randomness of the Arrival of the Inspiration transforms into the Art. If you don’t get it, it’s because the Inspiration has not visited you so that you cannot see the Art.

How can you argue with that kind of justification?

Anyone who does is deemed a “hater” who doesn’t have the Gift. And they make you question your own instincts.

Well don’t.

I’m looking at the same thing you are. Nothing out of the ordinary. A picture of the f-cking pavement on La Cienaga is apparently a masterpiece now.

Photos from Felix Foto/