The John Waters ‘Lost Merchandise’ You Always Wanted is at La MaMa Galleria [RECAP]
Do you remember playing with your Female Trouble Christmas Morning playset, or pining after a set of Pink Flamingos sheets, when you were a kid? Or begging your folks to buy you some Divine breakfast cereal?
We do. Maybe. And if you don’t, here’s your chance to rewrite the personal history you always wished you had.
A sampling of the (possibly real) product reviews:
- “I love my Pink Flamingos sheets! They are really scratchy and incredibly filthy. They’re perfect!”
- “My Dawn Davenport playset forgot the Cha Cha heels – I’m sending this damn thing back!”
- “My Queen Carlotta Halloween costume fits my personality so well, I wear it year-round!”
True, it’s shocking that John Waters, aka, the Pope of Trash, did not have manufacturers waiting in line to create toys and other licensed merchandise for his Dreamlanders. (Waters’ film company was called “Dreamland,” and the characters who appeared in his films were known as the “Dreamlanders.”) We would have been the first in line to buy them.
Now, there is an exhibit that visualizes the products which SHOULD have been.
“Lost Merchandise of the Dreamlanders” is the result of sculptor Tyson Tabbert’s attempts to license a few of Waters’ characters. Tabbert found that, despite his best efforts, he could not make it happen. (Are we surprised that so many people lack the good kind of bad taste?)
Without letting a little thing like major financing deter him, Tabbert approached fellow artists and craftspeople to create an exhibit. Objects on display at La MaMa Galleria include a Lobstora ashtray (inspired by the character in Multiple Maniacs), the aforementioned Pink Flamingos sheet set, Divine cereal and a number of Female Trouble playsets.
Each piece has a “history” of how and when the piece was made.
Artists recruited by Tabbert are Lauren Genutis, Misty Greer, Sarah Hedlund, Nazareth Horner, Asher Levine, Stela Ličina, Kyle Lords, Bart McCoy, Sara McCoy, Jaik Puppyteeth, Matthew B. Simpson, Lana Wharry and Sung-Yong Ahn.
“Lost Merchandise of The Dreamlanders” runs until June 24 at La MaMa Galleria.