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b. 1946, USA

John Waters Biography

In his career spanning over four decades, John Waters has established himself in a variety of roles including film directing, screenwriting, acting, stand-up comedy, journalism, and visual art. Waters is considered to be one of the most celebrated directors in American independent cinema but he also has found mainstream success with his films Hairspray and Cry-Baby, the former of which was adapted into a long-running Broadway musical.

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In his artistic practice Waters reimagines pre-existing images by taking single frames from his favourite films and placing them in different orders or contexts. These acts of appropriation have allowed him to produce new meanings and associations from already established narratives. His sculptures, installations, and photographic works serve as a commentary on popular culture and consumerism and are unapologetically satirical. Provocation, gender, race, sex, religion, and consumerism are recurring themes throughout Waters works.

The artist’s recent solo exhibitions have included BLACK BOX: KIDDIE FLAMINGOS at Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore (2016); Beverly Hills John at Sprüth Magers, London (2015); Fifty Years of John Waters: How Much can you Take? At Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York (2014); and John Waters: Neurotic at McClain Gallery, Houston (2012). Waters’ work is held in several public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

John Waters Featured Artworks

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Stolen Jean Genet by John Waters contemporary artwork mixed media
John WatersStolen Jean Genet, 2014Marble, paint, brass
20.3 x 38.1 x 2.9 cm
Sprüth Magers Enquire
Library Science #4 by John Waters contemporary artwork painting
John WatersLibrary Science #4, 20142 C-Prints
15.2 x 19.1 cm
Sprüth Magers Enquire
Shoulda! by John Waters contemporary artwork painting
John WatersShoulda!, 20146 C-Prints
15.2 x 137.2 cm
Sprüth Magers Enquire
Mom and Dad by John Waters contemporary artwork painting
John WatersMom and Dad, 20143 C-Prints
16.2 x 25.4 cm
Sprüth Magers Enquire
Lovesick by John Waters contemporary artwork painting
John WatersLovesick, 20143 C-Prints
10.2 x 45.7 cm
Sprüth Magers Enquire
Congratulations by John Waters contemporary artwork painting
John WatersCongratulations, 2014C-Print
35.6 x 43.2 cm
Sprüth Magers Enquire
Study Art Sign (For Prestige or Spite) by John Waters contemporary artwork installation
John WatersStudy Art Sign (For Prestige or Spite), 2007Acrylic urethane on wood and aluminum
142.2 x 106.7 x 11.4 cm
Sprüth Magers
Control by John Waters contemporary artwork sculpture
John WatersControl, 2009Fibreglass, silicone, urethane, acrylic, human and synthetic hair, fabric and wood
121.9 x 76.2 x 76.2 cm
Sprüth Magers Enquire

John Waters Recent Exhibitions

John Waters Represented By

Sprüth Magers contemporary art gallery in Berlin, Germany Sprüth Magers Berlin, London, Los Angeles

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