Last weekend marked the opening of a major retrospective of John Waters’ visual art at the Baltimore Art Museum. With his reputation as an uncompromising cultural force not only in cinema, performance, and writing, the “Indecent Exposure” exhibition examines the artist’s influential artistic career through more than 160 photographs, sculptures, soundworks, and videos he has made since the early 1990s. These works deploy Waters’s renegade humor to reveal the ways that mass media and celebrity embody cultural attitudes, moral codes, and shared tragedy.

John Waters at the press viewing of the Baltimore Museum of Art exhibition.

While the exhibition has received wide-ranging media coverage—with provocative headlines such as Interview Magazine‘s “Why Contemporary Art Hates John Waters”—fans of all stripes will appreciate this weekend’s outstanding PBS News Hour interview.

Wrapped in the fanciest brown paper bag ever (it’s actually a reverse French folded poster), the exhibition catalogue tempts readers from the start.

A peek inside the pages reveals quintessential obsessions—from humorous and entertaining riffs on the familiar to famous faces and more.

Study Art Sign (For Prestige or Spite). 2007. Courtesy Sprüth Magers Gallery. © John Waters
Jackie Copies Divine’s Look. 2001. Collection of James Mounger, New Orleans. © John Waters, Courtesy Marianne Boesky Gallery
Children Who Smoke. 2009. Collection of Jack Tantleff. © John Waters, Courtesy Marianne Boesky Gallery

The exhibition runs through January 6, 2019 at the Baltimore Museum of Art, with an in-depth conversation between the artist and curator, Kristen Hileman on November 1. And for those lucky folks in New York, John Waters will also be doing a book signing at Rizzoli Bookstore on Friday, October 19 from 6–8 PM.

For those further afield, the exhibition catalogue can also be obtained via the UC Press site—enter code 18W8495 at checkout to save 30%.

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