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John Waters on His Existence in Art
by Stephen Mooallem
Released December 14 in Harpers Bazaar

Excerpt: For practically 6 decades, John Waters—the filmmaker at the rear of subversive touchstones like Pink Flamingos (1972), Polyester (1981), and Hairspray (1988) the author of nonfiction tomes like Shock Price and Part Products and the novel Liarmouth a stand-up comedian, spoken-phrase performer, and prolific photographer, sculptor, and blended-media polymath—has been not just producing art but also accumulating it. Waters’s assortment, which he has been amassing considering the fact that he was in his teens and has set up in the course of his residences in New York, San Francisco, and Baltimore, consists of some of the most crucial visible artists of the postwar period—people like Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, and Diane Arbus—alongside boundary pushers like Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, Mike Kelley, Richard Tuttle, and the Swiss duo of Peter Fischli and Eric Weiss.

The works in Waters’s collection reflect a lot of of his individual passions as an artist—in shock, humor, provocation, and pop tradition. But like his videos, they have a beating heart beneath them all: an comprehending of what it indicates to be an outsider or experience various, a craving for an acceptance that will under no circumstances arrive, and a glimpse of the toughness that can be collected from finding neighborhood by remaining gleefully out of step with the earth.



Mildred K. Pearson

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