I've spoken before of my love of the disgusting-yet-hilarious when it comes to comedy. This affinity probably has its roots in my teen years, where I first discovered John Waters movies and his one-of-a-kind muse, Divine.
Honestly, what impressionable youth wouldn't fall in love with Divine, if given the chance? Large, lovely and out of control, the groundbreaking drag icon and cult movie star may have been an unlikely role model -- but I loved her.
Over the years, loving Divine has become a sort of litmus test for my friendships. If you can't laugh at a grown man dressed like a lowbrow Liz Taylor, eating a dog turd on camera and shooting herself up with liquid eyeliner, I'm really not sure it's gonna work out between us.
I've been lucky enough to surround myself with a group of likeminded filth-loving pals, and one of them -- artist and designer Lawrence Snelly -- recently organized a Divine-themed art show at a local comic shop/art gallery here in Los Angeles.
The show opened last Friday, and was a blast and a half.
One of the things I enjoyed most about the show was the variety of work included. No two pieces were alike, and the formats were all over the place: paintings, sculptures, felt collages, silkscreened posters and more. Side note: how badly do I wish you could open this lunchbox to find a matching thermos?! "Thirsty, Grizelda?!"
If you're in the area, stop by Meltdown (7522 Sunset Blvd. LA CA 90046) before the show comes down on November 17 (it's a quickie!) to see everything in person. Rumor has it many of the pieces will be made available online soon too, so keep an eye on their website for that. [EDITED TO ADD: There is now a Facebook photo album showing off most of the artwork, they recommend you view pieces there and call Meltdown at 323-851-7223 if interested.]
Oh, and the piñata I alluded to earlier? Larry had actually invited me to be a part of the show, and I thought it might be fun to break out the newspaper, flour and water to make a piñata shaped like Divine's gorgeously glam noggin.
Unfortunately, due to uncooperative weather (rainstorms really don't help the papier-mâché drying process) and basic structural integrity problems (I hadn't made a piñata since 8th grade), the skull caved in and I was left sadly empty-handed. It looked REALLY GOOD for about 20 minutes, though.
So sad, since I was looking forward to seeing the crowd break that big ol' 2-foot diameter bad boy open to enjoy the goodies within: Pink Flamingo feathers, matches (because Divine burned down the Marble trailer in Pink Flamingos), Tootsie Rolls (a stand-in for those famous dog turds) and uncooked spaghetti (Divine served spaghetti to the Dashers in Female Trouble, though Donald Dasher haughtily scoffed "I rarely eat any form of noodle."). Ah, well…next time.
Just so we don't leave things on a total downer note, enjoy the trailer for "I Am Divine," the new documentary in progress all about the Most Beautiful Woman in the World. Take one look at this glamour gal and tell me she doesn't deserve an honorary, post-mortem Academy Award. Give it up, Hollywood!