July 15th, 2010

This review of the July 2010 First Thursday in SF was originally written for comPAct, “the unholy little brother” of Plastic Antinomy. Layla Lyne-Winkler, Editor.

“Rush” Work by John Waters @ Rena Bransten Gallery, 77 Geary, San Francisco, May 27th – July 10th

“Control” (2009) by John Waters

Is nothing sacred? No. John Waters adds products and bare-assed photo bombs to classic movie stills, gives Audrey Hepburn wicked hickies and The Beautiful People cleft palettes. In “Pig Latin,” a series of eight closed-captioned stills, he takes the wind out of cinema’s most memorable quotes, including “Asten-fay our-yay eatbelts-say,” “I-way ant-way o-tay e-bay alone-way,” and “Osebud-ray.”

Oddly enough, Water’s desecration actually works, probably because he balances the vandalism of these objects found in the public domain with his own creations. Three Pop Art sculptures—“ La Mer,” “Decorative,” and the titular “Rush”—are scattered around the galleries, and in “Control,” a nearly life-sized Ike Turner pulls Tina Turner’s strings.

One piece with a local connection is “True Crime,” a photo diptych of fertilizer-salesman-turned-scumbag-wifekiller Scott Peterson, along with a photo of a… pecker. Ironically, Water’s provocatively titled “Pecker Still Life,” is a series of 15 straightforward and safe fine art chromogenic color prints taken while filming “Pecker.”

“Rush” is pleasantly all over the map of Water’s creative pursuits. The only thing missing is the artist himself, propped in the corner, French inhaling a cigarette.

Rating: Yay

Michael Singman-Aste
Postdiluvian Photo

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