Art A Sex Book John Waters

by John Waters, Bruce Hainley

Cult movie director and artist John Waters has teamed up with acclaimed critic and curator Bruce Hainley to offer an interpretation of sex and sexuality today for this remarkable and original ‘exhibition in a book’. ‘Contemporary art is sex – it’s all about sex’, Waters tells us, and in the book he and Hainley have selected and carefully arranged a wide range of work, from startling graphic depictions of the body and sexual acts to abstract images suggesting the erotic. Paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography and video – all find their place here. In a frank and often hilarious conversation, the authors talk about their selection and their placing of the works. Along the way, they consider many of the issues raised by the art and discuss – with humour and seriousness alike – how it reflects attitudes towards sex and and the body in today’s world. Questionnaires devised by Waters and Hainley, and answered by fourteen featured artists, offer colourful insights into sex and its relationship with art, while the authors lists of favourite ‘sex reads’ provide leads to further stimulation. This book will appeal to anyone interested in exploring the place of sex within contemporary society and discovering how it continues to inspire and provoke our leading artists.

John Waters
by John Waters, Marvin Heiferman, Lisa Phillips

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.
Waters’s newer photographic work echoes themes that are central to all his work: race, sex, class, family, politics, celebrity, religion, the media, the allure of crime, glamour, and the skewering of cultural symbols and stereotypes. Waters’s longevity as a cultural figure reflects his unique ability to tap into our most private attractions to the erotic, perverse, and sleazy, blatantly unleashing thoughts that polite society tries diligently to repress. As he moves from margin to mainstream, Waters’s work in films, photography, and performance continues to resonate.

John Waters
by Kristen Hileman

It has been more than fifty years since John Waters filmed his first short on the roof of his parents’ Baltimore home. Over the following decades, Waters has developed a reputation as an uncompromising cultural force not only in cinema, but also in visual art, writing, and performance. This major retrospective examines the artist’s influential career through more than 160 photographs, sculptures, soundworks, and videos he has made since the early 1990s. These works deploy Waters’s renegade humor to reveal the ways that mass media and celebrity embody cultural attitudes, moral codes, and shared tragedy.

Waters has broadened our understanding of American individualism, particularly as it relates to queer identity, racial equality, and freedom of expression. In bringing “bad taste” to the walls of galleries and museums, he tugs at the curtain of exclusivity that can divide art from human experience. Waters freely manipulates an image bank of less-than-sacred, low-brow references—Elizabeth Taylor’s hairstyles, his own self-portraits, and pictures of individuals brought into the limelight through his films, including his counterculture muse Divine—to entice viewers to engage with his astute and provocative observations about society.

This richly illustrated book explores themes including the artist’s childhood and identity; Pop culture and the movie business; Waters’s satirical take on the contemporary art world; and the transgressive power of images. The catalogue features essays by BMA Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman; art historian and activist Jonathan David Katz; critic, curator, and artist Robert Storr; as well as an interview with Waters by photographer Wolfgang Tillmans.

Published in association with the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Exhibition dates:
The Baltimore Museum of Art: October 7, 2018–January 6, 2019
Wexner Center for the Arts: February 2–April 28, 2019

San Diego Magazine
by CurtCo/SDM LLC

San Diego Magazine gives readers the insider information they need to experience San Diego-from the best places to dine and travel to the politics and people that shape the region. This is the magazine for San Diegans with a need to know.

Art and Obscenity
by Kerstin Mey

Explicit material is more widely available in the internet age than ever before, yet the concept of ‘obscenity’ remains as difficult to pin down as it is to approach without bias: notions of what is ‘obscene’ shift with societies’ shifting mores, and our responses to explicit or disturbing material can be highly subjective. In this intelligent and sensitive book, Kerstin Mey grapples with the work of twentieth-century artists practising at the edges of acceptability, from Hans Bellmer through to Nobuyoshi Araki, from Robert Mapplethorpe to Annie Sprinkle, and from Hermann Nitsch to Paul McCarthy. Mey refuses sweeping statements and ‘knee-jerk’ responses, arguing with dexterity that some works, regardless of their ‘high art’ context, remain deeply problematic, whilst others are both groundbreaking and liberating.

Hairspray, Female Trouble, and Multiple Maniacs
by John Waters

Here are three more of John Waters’s most popular screenplays — for the first time in print, including an original introduction by Waters and dozens of fun film stills. John Waters, the writer and director of these movies, is a legendary filmmaker whose films occupy their own niche in cinema history. His muse and leading lady was Divine — a 300-pound transvestite who could eat dog shit in one scene and break your heart in the next. In “Hairspray,” a “pleasantly plump” teenager, played by Ricki Lake, and her big-hearted hairdresser mother, played by Divine, teach 1962 Baltimore about race relations by integrating a local TV dance show. “Female Trouble” is a coming-of-age story gone terribly awry: Dawn Davenport (again, Divine), progresses from loving schoolgirl to crazed mass murderer destined for the electric chair — all because her parents wouldn’t buy her cha-cha heels for Christmas. In “Multiple Maniacs,” dubbed by Waters a “celluloid atrocity,” the traveling sideshow “Lady Divine’s Cavalcade of Perversions” is actually a front for a group of psychotic kidnappers, with Lady Divine herself the most vicious and depraved of all — but her life changes after she gets raped by a fifteen-foot lobster.

by Peter Manso

When you look back at its history, you can see a progression in Provincetown, things getting wilder and wilder, the outlaw element becoming the norm….
Provincetown, Cape Cod: This small Massachusetts enclave has long been home to pirates, commune-dwellers, artists, and other noble countrymen who value liberty over law — from Norman Mailer and Tennessee Williams to John Waters, Robert Motherwell, and former congressman Gerry Studds. With one of the largest homosexual populations per capita of any town or city in the United States, and some of the highest beachfront real estate prices in the Northeast, Provincetown is a thriving tourist spot that attracts more than one million visitors each year. Here, acclaimed writer and longtime Ptown resident Peter Manso brings together all the celebrities and townsfolk, history and happenstance, and politics and gossip to offer an unparalleled account of this unconventional seaside society — a place, in the words of Henry David Thoreau, where “one may stand…and put all of America behind him.”

by John Waters

Carsick is the New York Times bestselling chronicle of a cross-country hitchhiking journey with America’s most beloved weirdo

John Waters is putting his life on the line. Armed with wit, a pencil-thin mustache, and a cardboard sign that reads “I’m Not Psycho,” he hitchhikes across America from Baltimore to San Francisco, braving lonely roads and treacherous drivers. But who should we be more worried about, the delicate film director with genteel manners or the unsuspecting travelers transporting the Pope of Trash?

Before he leaves for this bizarre adventure, Waters fantasizes about the best and worst possible scenarios: a friendly drug dealer hands over piles of cash to finance films with no questions asked, a demolition-derby driver makes a filthy sexual request in the middle of a race, a gun-toting drunk terrorizes and holds him hostage, and a Kansas vice squad entraps and throws him in jail. So what really happens when this cult legend sticks out his thumb and faces the open road? His real-life rides include a gentle eighty-one-year-old farmer who is convinced Waters is a hobo, an indie band on tour, and the perverse filmmaker’s unexpected hero: a young, sandy-haired Republican in a Corvette.

Laced with subversive humor and warm intelligence, Carsick is an unforgettable vacation with a wickedly funny companion—and a celebration of America’s weird, astonishing, and generous citizenry.

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