John Waters: Change of Life

John Waters: Change of Life

by Lisa Phillips, Gary Indiana, John Waters, Marvin Heiferman
     
 
During the past forty years, the celebrated and always controversial film director John Waters -- once crowned "The Pope of Trash" by William Burroughs and now hailed as the genius behind Broadway's smash-hit musical Hairspray -- has moved from the margins of culture to the mainstream. Ever subversive and happy to raise the issues that polite society works hard to

Overview

During the past forty years, the celebrated and always controversial film director John Waters -- once crowned "The Pope of Trash" by William Burroughs and now hailed as the genius behind Broadway's smash-hit musical Hairspray -- has moved from the margins of culture to the mainstream. Ever subversive and happy to raise the issues that polite society works hard to suppress, Waters has helped to liberate us from social restrictions and norms. In that process, he has created hilarious and provocative filmed entertainment. And since he picked up a still camera more than ten years ago, he has reinvented himself as a powerful and perceptive visual artist. Scrutinizing videotapes of over-the-top Hollywood movies and forgotten art films that had long obsessed, amused, and fascinated him, Waters started to photograph video stills off his television screen. The hilarious, erotic, rude, revealing, and sometimes poignant moments that he captured became the raw material for artworks that Waters began to call his "little movies." In these novel photographic sequences, Waters continues to skewer cultural symbols and stereotypes, and to elaborate on the cultural and subcultural themes that have been central to all his work: race, sex, sanctimony, glamour, class, family, politics, celebrity, religion, the media, and the allure of crime.

John Waters: Change of Life, published on the occasion of Waters's first major museum exhibition, presents a survey of his still photographic works and stills from his earliest and seldom-seen no-budget films: Hag in a Black Leather Jacket, Roman Candles, and Eat Your Makeup. The book also includes images of objects from Waters's personal collection that reflect his ongoing fascination with photographic imagery, the mass media, and some of the more outrageous expressions of American popular culture. Accompanying these artworks, film stills, and quirky images are contributions by notable cultural and art historians that zero in on Waters's cinematic mind and photographic eye, and on surprising artworks that speak for themselves in more subtle and complex ways than might ever be expected.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Waters, cult director and trash-icon maven who crossed over into mainstream entertainment as the creator of the Broadway play Hairspray, produced this coffee-table art book to coincide with a recent exhibition of his photographic and sculptural works at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City. Offering still photographs that Waters took of his TV screen and essays explaining these eclectic images, the book at first seems slapped together and merely a crude attempt to capitalize further on Waters as a brand. Upon perusing the work further, one does come to recognize the shared beauty and banality of the media images presented here, which are inflicted on us daily. The book's appeal narrows when it depicts manufactured images from Waters's own life, ranging from photos of the inside of his car to the "actor marks" on the shooting set of a recent film. As usual, Waters has a flair for highlighting images that reveal contradictions in American society-images that society wishes to repress-but it's hard not to view much of the book as filler. Recommended only for libraries with a large John Waters following or extensive pop-art book collections.-Michael Tierno, New York Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810943063
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
03/28/2004
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
10.50(w) x 11.87(h) x 0.75(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >