The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), presented on Tuesday “John Waters: Indecent Exposure.”
It is the first major retrospective of the visual arts of the iconic filmmaker in his hometown of Baltimore. Today’s show was a preview for the media.
The exhibition features “160 photographs, sculptures, sound and video works made by Waters since the early 1990s.” A lot of his work, of course, is in a really “bad taste.” What did you expect from Waters who gave the world such memorable flicks such as: “Mondo Trasho,” “Multiple Maniacs,” and “Pink Flamingos.”
Some of Waters’ photographs highlighted the JFK assassination in Dallas, TX, and referenced the 9/11 tragedy in NYC. Naturally, the late Hollywood Queen Bee, Elizabeth “Liz” Taylor, was given a big play. Waters was always fascinated with her and her many lovers. Liz was married eight times.
One of the Waters’ banners proclaimed: “Ed Sullivan Raped Me!” (Sullivan, long since dead, had a national TV show back in the 50s.) Another display, supposedly a button given out on election day stated: “Have Sex in a Voting Booth.”
A legend in Lalaland, too, Waters has made over thirty films. Some of them, like “Hairspray,” have been transformed into popular plays. He has also penned six books, and is supposedly, working on a seventh. Waters has also produced two books of his photographs.
Waters was introduced by the BMA’s senior contemporary art’s curator, Ms. Kristen Hileman. The program will run from October 7 to January 6, 2019. The BMA’s director, Christopher Bedford, welcomed the large contingent of media to the event. They seemed very entertained by Waters’ running commentary as he chatted about some of the exhibits. As we walked along viewing the exhibition, there were also some short Q&A sessions.
Waters’ heretical humor and way-off-center-cultural views are on full display in this must-see exhibition. It is highly recommended. Kudos to the BMA for making it happen.
Note: By way of full disclosure yours truly was in four of Waters’ movies.
To see more of my photos, go to my Facebook page.
Bill Hughes is an attorney, author, actor and photographer. His latest book is “Byline Baltimore.” It can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/William-Hughes/e/B00N7MGPXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1