Explore the Unconventional Artistry of John Waters and His Impact on American Cinema
By Dolores Quintana
John Waters: Pope of Trash, a groundbreaking exhibition, celebrates the cinematic contributions of the iconic artist. This comprehensive showcase delves into Waters’ unique filmmaking process, explores his signature themes and pays homage to his unmatched style. The exhibition features an array of artifacts, including costumes, set decoration, props, handwritten scripts, posters, concept designs, correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, film clips, and more.
In the adjacent Warner Bros. gallery, “Outside the Mainstream” contextualizes Waters’ films within various film movements, such as the American avant-garde, underground film, and New Queer Cinema, highlighting his enduring impact.
The Academy website states, “Hailed as the “Pope of Trash” by William S. Burroughs in 1986, John Waters, born in 1946, embodies the spirit of the self-made American iconoclast. His journey from his initial 8mm short film in 1964 to “A Dirty Shame” in 2004 is a testament to his defiance of conventions. Waters, a multifaceted artist—filmmaker, author, art collector, and fashion figure—channels his antiestablishment vision, influenced by filmmakers like William Castle, Kroger Babb, and the Kuchar Brothers. This vision shines through his roles as a director, producer, and more.”
Upcoming screenings for this exhibition are:
Thu, Oct 5 | 7:30pm | TMT | 35mm
Desperate Living (1977)
Fri, Oct 20 | 7:30pm | TMT | 35mm
Pecker (1998) with Cry-Baby (1990)
Thu, Oct 26 | 7:30pm | TMT | 35mm
Cecil B. Demented (2000) with A Dirty Shame (2004)
Sat, Oct 28 | 7:30pm | TMT | 35mm
“John Waters: Pope of Trash” is curated by Exhibitions Curator Jenny He and Associate Curator Dara Jaffe, with invaluable contributions from Research Assistant Emily Rauber Rodriguez and former Curatorial Assistant Esme Douglas.
The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of Robert and Eva Shaye and The Four Friends Foundation, with technology solutions provided by Christie®. Additional support comes from Emma Koss, Sara Risher, and Bloomberg Philanthropies, sponsors of the Academy Museum Digital Engagement Platform.