In a powerful new body of photographs, sculpture and installation, John Waters continues his investigations of film history and contemporary politics. Primarily known as the filmmaker behind such cult classics as Pink Flamingos, Polyester and Pecker, Waters has been making “fine” art since the early 1990s. In it, he tackles both cinematic themes and political events by building narratives, frame by frame, from early commercial films. In this publication, Waters shares the method by which he constructs each work as if he were making a personal guidebook, so that his snapshots, color photographs and handwritten notes indicating composition are re-created as if in their original plastic organizational sleeves. Neither the art world, celebrity miscreants, politicians or Waters himself are spared in these incisive new works. An essay by Brenda Richardson examines Waters’s history, as well as each work, in brief and brilliant detail.
Once crowned The Pope of Trash by William Burroughs, and now hailed as the genius behind the smash-hit Broadway musical Hairspray, John Waters (b. 1946) is not only a controversial director, but also a powerful, perceptive visual artist. This book, published on the occasion of his first major museum exhibition, surveys his still photographic works made over the past decade, and also features stills from his seldom-seen no-budget films and objects from Waters’s personal collection that reflect his fascination with photographic imagery, the mass media, and outrageous expressions of American popular culture.
John Waters, famed underground director of such outrageous, cult classics as Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Hairspray, Cry Baby and Serial Mom, “re-directs” forgotten art films, obscure melodramas, lurid pot-boilers and his own early films in the form of photographic story boards made up of stills. The resulting work is this brilliant twist-off from Waters’ absurd, comic view of life, and the images are as funny and delightfully edged as the very best of his films. Waters shakes the fantasies of normalcy into a new, often delicious, taste of Heaven. 165 photos, 150 in color.