Sears & Roebuck released this colorful set of Pink Flamingos bed sheets in 1972, and it mysteriously disappeared almost as quickly as it hit store shelves. The sheets were made available two weeks prior to the release of the film, and within two months they were nearly impossible to find. Sales records indicated that only 500 to 800 units were sold nationwide, though Sears reports that over 5,000 units were actually produced. Where did all of the missing bed sheets end up? No one really knows, but it is speculated that they were pulled from shelves and junked by retail biddies who objected to the content of the film. Each set contained a fitted sheet, top sheet and two pillow cases.
The Goldberg Company (those responsible for the original 1978 Dolly Parton doll) fashioned an impressive set of four Divine character dolls in 1984. While the full line was on shelves in time for Christmas, most never made it under the tree. Most units were left unsold, even after being discounted as much as 90%. Goldberg was banking on Divine’s disco career creating the necessary interest to sustain the line, but it was an appeal that did not translate in the toy department.
It appeared that American girls under 12 were not ready for this kind of Barbie, which is unfortunate given Goldberg’s future plans to add six more figures to the line.
Upcoming fictionalized Divine characters included Astronaut Divine, Party Girl Divine, Divine as Shirley Temple, President Divine, Waitress Divine (Dawn Davenport) and Surf’s Up Divine.
Photographed as Part of the Lost Merchandise of the Dreamlanders Exhibit at La MaMa Galleria in NYC.
While I can’t admit to being fan of every single John Waters‘ directed film (and I have seen most of them), I sure do appreciate his artistic aesthetic, and he seems like a cool person from what I hear. So, I was really excited to rush out to the Marianne Boesky Gallery in 15 degree weather to check out Waters‘ latest exhibit (and third at this gallery) which is called Beverly Hills John. This is an ambitious exhibit which showcases the director/artist’s work in a variety of mediums including photography, prints, collage, sculpture and film — all of which I found to be utterly delightful.
In boundary-pushing works that address Waters‘ obsession with Art, Pop Culture, Pulp Fiction Novels, the Film Industry and Gay Culture, his irreverent humor is evident everywhere you look; but he also gives you something to think about.
Or Thimk about.
In Congratulations (above), Waters riffs on the infamous red dot commonly used in galleries to indicate a sale.
Bill’s Stroller features a studded leather strap for securing baby and the stenciled names of various underground Gay Sex Clubs.
R.I.P. Mike Kelley is a tribute to the late artist, who committed suicide in 2012.
In Grim Reaper, Jackie O and JFK are trailed by Death as portrayed by Bengt Ekerot in the Ingmar Bergman film, The Seventh Seal.
Film Festival takes a famous film title and changes one word, making it grammatically incorrect while (in most cases) maintaining roughly the same meaning. Two detail shots are below.
Separate But Equal, (2014)
I have no comment for this one.
The absolute highlight of the exhibit (for me) is a new 74-minute video entitled Kiddie Flamingos, which is one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever seen in my life and is brilliant on so many levels. Kiddie Flamingos shows a table read of Waters’ X-rated 1972 cult film Pink Flamingos, rewritten as a children’s movie with an all-kid cast. Bluntly put: this video is mind blowing. Even if you can’t stay for the entire film, make sure you see at least 15 minutes of it, because it is just insane. According to the press release, “Waters hopes that this defanged and desexualized sequel is even more perverse than the original, transferring innocence into a new kind of joyous, G-rated obscenity.” Seriously, don’t miss this exhibit.
John Waters: Beverly Hills John will be on Exhibit Through February 14th, 2015 at Marianne Boesky Gallery, Located at 509 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.