Magazine article Artforum International

John Waters' Top Ten

Magazine article Artforum International

John Waters' Top Ten

Article excerpt

1 CY TWOMBLY, UNTITLED (1992):

I defy you to come up with a more cutting-edge piece of work than this shockingly beautiful sculpture I first saw at the opening of the Menil Collection's Cy Twombly Gallery in Houston. Rich people, art critics, and museum trustees never looked more vulnerable as they turned the corner and came face-to-face with this rudely witty, obscenely elegant piece that made everybody in the room look like they were trying too hard. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it's supposed to be about "time and meaning," "transformation," and "metamorphosis and myth," but to me it looks like a most confident and graceful depiction of Godzilla's discharge. Go see it. It's still there.

2 ODEUR 53:

I never wear a scent, but this "abstract anti-perfume" from Comme des Garcons has me hooked. Only Rei Kawakubo could get away with creating a new fragrance "cloned" from "inorganic materials," "smells with no precise names only abstract ideas." Do you want to smell like "the absence of structure"? I sure do. How about the combination of "the freshness of oxygen," "burnt rubber," "wash drying in the wind," and "ultimate fusion"? If so, you're in luck. Just call me Odeur 53 John. P.S., it stings.

3 ADULT VIDEO NEWS:

The Variety of the porno film business. This monthly trade glossy reviewing such titles as Shut Up and Blow Me, Fuck My Dirty Shit Hole, and Rectal Rooter also features hard-hitting editorials against "barebacking" (lack of condom use) in heterosexual sex epics. The gossipy features on porno-star feuds alone make this a must-read for any serious student of journalism.

4 DAWN POWELL:

Even though Gore Vidal later called her "our best comic novelist," the great Dawn Powell died broke in 1965, "destined to be forgotten." But now a full-fledged Dawn Powell revival is in progress. Try starting with My Home Is Far Away (" not for fun but it is a masterpiece," reads the least aggressive jacket blurb I've ever seen) and graduate to The Diaries of Dawn Powell where, after the death of her husband of forty-two years, Powell writes, "we have been through worse disasters together." Then you'll be ready for the book I've been waiting for: Tim Page's sad but never depressing, funny but hardly smile-inducing biography Dawn Powell (Henry Holt), the crowning jewel in the literary resurgence of the wittiest, most terrifyingly personal writer you never heard of.

5 THE DONNAS (LOOKOUT! RECORDS):

The trashiest girl group since the Shangri-las. Four teenage tough girls from Palo Alto, California, who don't have names, only letters (Donna A, C, F, and R) that are spelled out on their Kmart-style T-shirts. …

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