You can look at the lamps

Mim Udovith interviews John Waters for the NY Times.

UDOVITCH Do you think it's harder to be transgressive now than it used to be?

WATERS I've never tried to be. Transgressive — does that mean you change how people look at things? That would be the greatest flattery anyone could say to me. But I'm just setting out to do what I always do. First, I do it for myself. And then, maybe when you go to the movies after looking at my pictures, you can make your own movies in your mind. You can watch something and say well, that image could go here. You don't have to like the movie. You can look at the lamps.


UDOVITCH Do you feel you have any mentors?

WATERS Tennessee Williams made me realize that everything they told me in school was a lie and I didn't have to pay attention to it. Warhol certainly influenced me when he so wisely put homosexuality and drugs together, finally, where they belonged. Little Richard, because I wanted to be the white him in the hippie world. That's why I have this mustache. And Jean Genet, of course. I don't even remember that I named Divine after the character in "Our Lady of the Flowers," but I'm sure I did. They made me have the nerve to do what I wanted to do, so that I didn't care that I didn't fit in, that nobody else really liked what I liked when I was growing up.


John Waters
Jackie Copies Divine's Look

We went to the John Waters opening at the New Museum Saturday night. See the Holland Cotter NY Times review here.

It's the last show before it closes and work begins on the new building on the Bowery. I saw him a few times, but I didn't talk with him. I'll go back to watch the early films they're showing. I did see Gary Indiana, Andres Serrano, and many other artists and writers, including a few people from his films, plus many more who looked like they belonged in one. I heard Patty Hearst was there but I didn't see her.

It was a more interesting, and younger, crowd, than other New Museum events I have attended. I loved that the second floor was left empty for the big crowd to just have drinks and hang out. Every opening should have such a luxury of space.

This reminds me of an amusing John Waters story. In the early 1990s James and I saw Romper Stomper at Film Forum. It's a pretty disturbing movie about racist skinheads in Australia, with plenty of violence. If it hadn't had Russell Crowe in it, I doubt I would have gone to see it. During a lot of the worst violence, I could hear the person sitting right behind me giggling. When the lights came up I turned around to see who this idiot/madman might be. I wasn't annoyed anymore, in fact I was quite pleased, when that person turned out to be John Waters.

One other item: his new art book is amusing.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 5.2.13

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by published on February 9, 2004 2:50 PM.

In a totalitarian state, dissent = terrorism was the previous entry in this blog.

Protecting us from dangerous musicians is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.