John Waters

Movie Star Junkie, 1997

8 C-prints, mounted on cardboard, 23 x 245 cm
Collection Fotomuseum Winterthur
Inv. no. 2005-018-001
© John Waters

John Waters
b. 1946 (Baltimore, US), lives and works in Baltimore, US and New York, US

John Waters made his name with fifteen films, some of which, such as Mondo Trasho (1969), Pink Flamingos (1972), Polyester (1981) and Hairspray (1988), gained a cult following and put trash firmly on the cultural agenda for an entire generation. William Burroughs called him, famously, “the pope of trash”. In the early 1990s Waters turned his attention to photography. He watched videos of films that fascinated him – Cleopatra, Baby Doll etc – and photographed images from them directly from the video monitor. These media-image moments became the raw material from which John Waters composed and edited new short photo-films. The process is summed up by the title of his book Director’s cut: photographic sequences that wittily and ironically take on a life of their own.