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John Waters, Beverly Hills John, Sprüth Magers Gallery
"Beverly Hills John", 2012Courtesy of Sprüth Magers Gallery

John Waters presents his warped view of Hollywood

The Pope of Trash takes aim at the movie biz through a series of witty artworks featuring himself, Justin Bieber and Lassie

In a deliciously naughty interview with Dazed in 2014, John Waters revealed his obsessions (wives of Boston bombers), frequently visited websites (Chaturbate), and his frank disgust at people sending condolences via email. Among these gems uttered from his famous, razor-moustached mouth, Waters also reveals his encyclopaedic knowledge of alternative film. His brain is like the box of banned videotapes in the basement that Blockbuster don’t want you to see.

Waters likes to send up the movie world via witty, pithy artworks that are the creative equivalents of naughty whispers in the backs of glittering parties. Next week, the Pope of Trash's most recent exhibition Beverly Hills John will go on show at London’s Sprüth Magers Gallery. The works address the question ‘Since celebrity is the only obscenity left in the art world, where do I fit in?’ and are collections of collaged photographs and mixed-media pieces that vocalise the director-artist’s inner monologue and reveal his cutting but spot-on opinions of the fraying and mental nature of Hollywood.

Expect photographs of pin-ups Amy Winehouse, Princess Diana and Whitney Houston, some movie snapshots interspersed with news clips and – famously – the freakish image of Waters himself, altered not-unrealistically to appear almost unrecognisable thanks to a heap of terrifying cosmetic facial surgery.

Beverly Hills John is on show at Sprüth Magers from July 1 – August 15 2015