John Waters

John_Waters 1 (Children Who Smoke).jpg

The Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills, recently held an exhibition showcasing photographs and sculpture by filmmaker John Waters. Entitled, Rear Projection, the name is derived from the term as used to describe a special film effect in which a background is projected onto a screen behind actors in the studio. This now dated method began in the 1930s, showing characters driving in cars and scenes when motion, without variability, was necessary. For this show, Waters photographed and edited scenes from existing films. He manipulates his photos in a way that exploits general perceptions of Hollywood. For example, Children Who Smoke, presents us with child stars, like Shirley Temple, with a cigarette in their mouths. The bizarre humor and satire we expect from Waters is present in the subject matter and perspective of these works.

John Waters was born, raised, and inspired by the city of Baltimore, where his films are still shot on location. He has become a cult figure in the film community. Waters has always insisted on addressing taboo subjects like sexuality, drugs, and religion, in what some may call a callous manner. His most popular films include Pink Flamingos (1972), Hairspray (1988), and more recently Pecker (1998).

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