Sunday, November 06, 2005

Little movies

From the LA Times article Waters' stills do run deep by Christopher Knight on an exhibition of photobased art by John Waters.

Usually Waters appropriates images that have appeared in mass media, sometimes even shooting off the TV screen. Then he reassembles them, often in sequential strips, in ways their makers never dreamed.

The 79 works emerge as Conceptual Pop — the illegitimate love child of John Baldessari and Andy Warhol. Waters began to make art in 1992, after the triumph of Cindy Sherman and other artists who erased all established distinctions between photography and art. Formally Waters' work is more tame than adventurous, but he's the rare entertainment celebrity who also manages to make art worth looking at.

Waters' working method crosses film editing with collage. He refers to the resulting montages as "little movies," and generally they elaborate on themes familiar to his films. They also reveal a downright obsessive intimacy with all things cinematic.

My first encounter with Waters films was at the Performance Garage on Wooster Street in the late 1970s or early 80s. Intoxicated on cough medicine I watched Multiple Maniacs, Female Trouble and The Diane Linkletter Story projected on what I remember to be a big bed sheet.

Waters' concept of "little movies" is something that intrigues me as an extension of the manipulation and editing that I already do. I had been thinking about this more literally up till now - animating sequences. It will give me something to think about on my way to Hong Kong at the end of the week.

What projects are you working on?


Blogger Kathy said...

Multiple Maniacs and Pink Flamingos! Waters was definitely into kidnappers at that time in his career! His artistic vision is so demented! Gotta love it!

12:23 PM  
Blogger Art Assci (Paul) said...

Sounds like I should go find the movies and make up for my ignorance!

8:32 AM  

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