Mu­seum: John Wa­ters film fest hails part of col­lec­tor’s gift

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

The New Or­leans Mu­seum of Art is about to be­gin a John Wa­ters film fes­ti­val to cel­e­brate a gift of pho­to­graphs and a sculp­ture by the movie maker. Wa­ters’ pieces in­clude “Pig Latin,” a 61/2-foot-long (2-me­ter) strip of pho­tos show­ing eight movie scenes with a pig La­tinized line from seven of them, start­ing with Mar­lon Brando in “On the Wa­ter­front” and “I-way oulda-cay een-bay a-way on­tender-cay.” Then there’s “Toi­let Train­ing,” a 51/2-foot (1.7-me­ter) strip of pho­to­graphs show­ing toi­let scenes from nine movies in­clud­ing John Tra­volta in “Pulp Fic­tion” and Ni­cole Kid­man in “Eyes Wide Shut.”

Wa­ters’ pieces, which also in­clude an 18-inch (46-cen­time­ter) sculp­ture of a spilled drug “pop­per,” are among more than 80 paint­ings, draw­ings, pho­to­graphs and sculp­tures do­nated by Arthur Roger , whom the mu­seum de­scribes as a pi­o­neer in bring­ing con­tem­po­rary art to New Or­leans. He be­gan col­lect­ing art af­ter open­ing the Arthur Roger Gallery 39 years ago. “If three peo­ple said, ‘I couldn’t live with that,’ I started to care for it and took it home,” he said in a Facetime in­ter­view from Eng­land, where he was va­ca­tion­ing.

Iconic im­ages

It turned out well: “The things peo­ple sort of were afraid of or were re­ject­ing tend to be, a lot of times, the best work,” he said. Roger said he loves liv­ing with art, and keeps it ev­ery­where. “Pig Latin” was in his TV room. In the bath­room, he hung “Arthur as Samp­son,” a por­trait by Louisiana artist Dou­glas Bour­geois. The por­trait shows Roger, well-mus­cled and in body­builder’s briefs, as col­umns crum­ble be­hind him. “It’s me when I was com­pet­ing in the Gay Games a long time ago,” Roger said. He joked that Bour­geois’ paint­ings are in such de­mand that “the only way I’d have one is some­thing no one else wanted.”

Two other Bour­geois pieces are in the show. Other work in­cludes New Or­leans artists John T Scott, Ida Kohlmeyer and Robert Gordy; and early works by artists who later be­came na­tion­ally known, in­clud­ing pho­tog­ra­pher Cather­ine Opie, glass sculp­tor Dale Chi­huly, and Robert Map­plethorpe. Opie’s “Self-Por­trait/Cut­ting,” is “one of her most iconic im­ages now. And Arthur was one of the first gal­leries to ex­hibit it be­fore peo­ple knew about her work,” said Al­li­son Young, a cu­ra­to­rial fel­low who worked on the ex­hi­bi­tion. Roger said New Or­leans turned out to be an artis­tic draw. In most ci­ties, he said, sug­gest­ing a gallery show would bring ques­tions like “How well do you think it would do? Do you have a mar­ket?” But, he said, “In New Or­leans, they say, ‘Yeah! Let’s do a show!’”

He said he met Map­plethorpe when the artist was be­ing men­tored by an­other client, painter and pho­tog­ra­pher Ge­orge Dureau, who is rep­re­sented in the ex­hibit with six pho­to­graphs. Roger said Wa­ters’ movies had been im­por­tant in his own de­vel­op­ment, and not just be­cause he’s gay. “Be­ing young and try­ing to see where you fit in and re­al­iz­ing there was some­thing very dif­fer­ent about you, it was very ex­cit­ing to see some­one who cel­e­brated peo­ple’s dif­fer­ences,” he said.

‘Pink Flamin­gos’

So when he heard that Wa­ters was hav­ing his first art ex­hibit in New York, Roger queried about a show in New Or­leans. “He im­me­di­ately re­sponded. We be­came friends and started work­ing with his art work from the be­gin­ning of his art ca­reer,” Roger said. Wa­ters in­ter­viewed Roger for the show; the in­ter­view, plus il­lus­tra­tions - in­clud­ing one of them to­gether out­side a club called One-Eyed Jack’s - takes 17 pages of the show’s 143-page cat­a­log. The ex­hibit of Roger’s do­na­tions, ti­tled “Pride of Place: The Mak­ing of Con­tem­po­rary Art in New Or­leans,” opened last month and runs through Sept 3.

The five-movie film fes­ti­val be­gins July 21 with “Pink Flamin­gos” and con­tin­ues with “Polyester,” “Hair­spray” which brought Wa­ters into the main­stream - fol­lowed by “Cry-Baby” and “Pecker.” So many peo­ple want to see “Pink Flamin­gos,” Wa­ters’ 1972 break­out film, that the mu­seum sched­uled two show­ings, said Erin Green­wald, the mu­seum’s cu­ra­tor of pro­grams. Green­wald said “For the screen­ing of Pink Flamin­gos, we’re go­ing to have a drag im­per­son­ator as Di­vine,” who starred in four of Wa­ters’ films be­fore his death in 1988. For Cry-Baby, there will be a 1950s trib­ute band, and a lo­cal DJ will play 1960s rhythm and blues and rock and roll for “Hair­spray.” — AP

This un­dated im­age pro­vided by the New Or­leans Mu­seum of Art shows Ida Kohlmeyer’s mixed me­dia on can­vas, ti­tled “Syn­the­sis BB,” 1983. — AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.