New York

John Waters, Mark #12, 1998, color photograph, 14 x 19 3/4".

John Waters, Mark #12, 1998, color photograph, 14 x 19 3/4".

John Waters

New Museum

In 1964, John Waters shot his first short film, Hag in a Black Leather Jacket, using shoplifted film stock and a Brownie 8 mm movie camera given to him by his grandmother for his seventeenth birthday. Thirty-three years later, while directing Edward Furlong and Christina Ricci in Pecker, he noticed that the tape marks his crew was using to position the actors on set looked a lot like abstract drawings, and decided to photograph and present them as art (Mark #1–Mark #15, 1998). Both Hag and the “Mark” series were included in “Change of Life,” Waters’s exhibition of photographic and sculptural work, curated by New Museum director Lisa Phillips and independent curator and critic Marvin Heiferman for the New Museum of Contemporary Art. But the most remarkable discovery here was what Waters calls his “little movies”—sequences of up to twenty-four still images, framed and legible from left to

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