John Waters, ‘Bad Trip’, 2006, Rena Bransten Gallery

About John Waters

Best known for directing the cult film classics Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Female Trouble, and Hairspray, John Waters explores the same provocative themes of race, sex, gender, consumerism, and religion in photography, montage, and, more recently, sculpture. Featuring retro imagery from the 1950s, Waters’ work is rife with humor and puns. For instance, in Ham (2009), Waters photographs a large glazed ham hanging on the wall of a movie star or casting agent. Catholic Sin (2009) is an illustration from his own childhood catechism book that equated the purity of the soul with fresh milk. Two oversized sculptures—Rush (2009), a gigantic “popper” bottle and its spilled contents, and La Mer (2009), a jar of face cream—poke fun at our cultish obsession with beauty products and drugs.

American, b. 1946, based in Baltimore, Maryland