That's Not Trash, That's John Waters's Art Collection

Show Us Your Walls
By Melena Ryzik
John Waters in his New York apartment with “Candles, Chandelier, and Burning Chairs” (1993), by Karen Kilimnik
Mr. Waters, the filmmaker, author, performer, and bon vivant of bad taste. He has an expansive, and very seriously considered, art collection — even if a lot of it is funny, and some of it is, in his words, “ugly.” (He likes brown art, he said, for that very reason.) He began collecting as a teenager in suburban Baltimore, where his first pieces included an Andy Warhol print of Jackie Kennedy, purchased in 1964, for $100 — “which was a lot then,” he said. “A hundred dollars was like $1,000.” Since then, Mr. Waters, 73, has acquired several other (pricier) Warhols, and an insider’s knowledge of contemporary art; his own visual work has been exhibited in galleries and in a 2018 retrospective, “Indecent Exposure,” at the Baltimore Museum of Art. [More]