Saturday, November 8, 2008

The park and John Waters

Yesterday I took a dozen pieces of my jewelry over for consignment at one of my favorite local museums, Laumeier Sculpture Park. It's a wonderful place where we frequently picnic or walk the dog, with trails through the woods dotted with hidden sculpture, as well as a vast expanse of lawn and massive constructions of steel. The picture above is of Ricardo Cat, which used to be in the children's sculpture garden, right next to where they hold the art summer camp that my boys attended for years. Behind that you see the museum building, where they have indoor exhibits and the gift shop that heavily features local artists (and that is, not coincidentally, run by a woman who used to teach my youngest at summer camp). Below is another of the outdoor sculptures, La Libellule.

The current exhibit--well worth the trip if you live in the St. Louis area--is by one of my favorite film makers, the very twisted John Waters (yes, the guy who made Pink Flamingos and Hairspray). And it's just as funny as he is. The only other people at the exhibit when I was there was a woman and her granddaughter, who was taken by the sculpture of Michael Jackson as a baby (with an adult face and hair), crawling toward another baby/man. The girl was amused by Michael Jackson but didn't recognize the other baby as Charles Manson (complete with beard and swastika on the forehead).

My favorite pieces, I think, were his photographs, often presented in a long series and taken from films or the news--photos of Jackie Kennedy in the pink suit she wore in Dallas, interspersed with pictures of various actresses playing Jackie Kennedy in a pink suit; a whole series of Lana Turner's back, showing her in various films turned away from the camera; and similar series of Grace Kelly's elbows and Dorothy Malone's collar.

I had planned to see John Waters when he was in town for the opening of the exhibit (and a series of appearances around town), but events conspired and I missed him. But the exhibit runs through January 11, so I do plan to see it again and drag my children (if not my dog) along. We'll check out the gift shop while we're at it.


krystyna81 said...

Did the Ricardo the Cat sculptor have a show at the Atlanta Botanical gardens a couple years back...there were some very similar sculptures here and I just adored it, but the name slips my mind!

great post - so fun to experience art outdoors!

Callooh Callay said...

Good eye! Her name is Niki de Saint Phalle, and she's done some fantastic work. Here's the wikipedia article:

and some pictures from the Missouri Botanical Garden exhibit, which I believe also went to Atlanta: