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John Waters exhibit coming to Baltimore Museum of Art, the first major retrospective of the filmmaker's work

John Waters exhibit coming to Baltimore Museum of Art, the first major retrospective of the filmmaker's work
The exhibit on John Waters, best known for the movies “Hairspray” and “Cry Baby,” will open in October and run through early 2019. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

The Baltimore Museum of Art later this year will open an exhibit serving as the first major retrospective of native filmmaker John Waters’ art in his hometown.

The exhibit on Waters, who is known for the movies “Hairspray” and “Cry Baby,” will open in October and run through early 2019.

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“Johns Waters: Indecent Exposure” will feature more than 160 photographs, sculptures, soundworks and video he has created since the early 1990s.

“We are thrilled to organize the first retrospective of John Waters work in his hometown,” museum director Chris Bedford said in a statement. “The wide-ranging influences and products of his work speak succinctly to popular culture within the context of the history of art. I’m excited for visitors to experience this exhibition and find frequent homages to Baltimore across his work.”

The exhibit will have a focus on race, gender and power, according to a BMA news release. It will be organized around themes of popular culture, the movie industry, the contemporary art world, and the artist’s childhood and identity.

It will include lowbrow references to cultural icons, such as Elizabeth Taylor’s hairstyles, Justin Beiber’s “preening poses” and Waters’ own self-portraits, to give visitors a look into his views about society.

One piece it will feature is “Children Who Smoke,” a 2009 film still of eight child film stars of the 1930s and ’40s with lit cigarettes. Another is “Congratulations,” a 2014 riff on the red dots once used in art galleries to indicate a sale. “Kiddie Flamingos,” a 2014 video work, features children reading a G-rated version of Waters’ film “Pink Flamingos.”

  • Entertainment
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