PREVIEW: Lost Merchandise of the Dreamlanders: John Waters Tribute Exhibit @ La MaMa Galleria [NYC]

Over the years, as pop-culture focused art shows have continued to rise in both regularity and popularity, we have seen exhibits dedicating themselves to, not only films, but to the specific filmmakers that create them, being worked into the mix.  Names like Tarantino, JJ Abrams, Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese, Kubrick, and even David Lynch have all been honored with these tributes in the form of group shows.  But while there’s been plenty of solid work to come out of these events — some really great interpretations and re-imaginings filtered through the minds of an array of talented visual artists — I’ve still been left wondering when/if someone was going to have the brass to tackle a show dedicated to some of the other less-popular filmmakers that I love; ones that don’t have a series of Academy Award and/or Emmy nominations under their belts.  Will I ever witness a Harmony Korine-themed show, or pieces inspired by the work of Alejandro Jodorowsy?  Who knows?  What I can tell you is that, this week, La MaMa Galleria in New York City is stepping it up and hosting an exhibit of all new material inspired by the films of John Waters, “The Pope Of Trash” himself, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Opening this Thursday, May 25th, Lost Merchandise Of The Dreamlanders is a group show curated by sculptor, Tyson Tabbert, but based on the limited selection of preview images that we’ve seen up to this point, it appears that it goes a bit further than that, with contributing artists actually coming together and collaborating on some of these pieces to bring them to fruition.  The pieces themselves are equally unique in nature.  Rather than a series of prints, the work consists of fictional merchandise connected to the first 5 films directed by Baltimore‘s King of Kitsch, spanning from 1969 up through the 1970s.  Included are products that range from illustrated bed sheets to action figure playsets, all presented accurately circa time period of the motion pictures that they correspond with.  Considering the logistics, era, and limited market for something of this nature, to refer to these items as products that “should have” existed, might be a stretch, but they are definitely the sort of relics that I would be constantly trying to hunt down on ebay, right now, if they had actually ever been produced.  In that respect, Lost Merchandise Of The Dreamlanders is demonstrating one of the greatest powers that art possesses, an ability to summon up our seemingly most unattainable desires, no matter how twisted, and manifest them into reality.

As always, we recommend getting out to the gallery to check the work out in person, if you have the ability.  Plus, the admission to the opening is absolutely FREE.  For those that will not be in the NYC area anytime soon, you might still be in luck; Tabbert informs us that the show will be relocating to Lethal Amounts Gallery in Los Angeles for a West Coast showing from July 8 through August 2.  Put on your cha cha heels and come out to support this work!  If the response is good enough, we might even get a follow up and, considering that one of my other favorite Waters films, Polyester [1981], just misses the cut off, that’s something that I’d like to see go down.

The following exhibit info comes via the press release:

La MaMa Galleria is pleased to announce the opening of Lost Merchandise of the Dreamlanders, a group exhibition inspired by the films of famed director John Waters.

Do you remember eating Divine breakfast cereal or sleeping on Pink Flamingos bed sheets when you were a kid?  Neither do we, but you just might upon viewing this oddball array of rare collectibles that celebrate five cult classics of the 70s and 80s: Mondo Trasho, Multiple Maniacs, Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Desperate Living. Lost Merchandise of the Dreamlanders is a showcase of kitschy and ironic retail items based on these early films and their notorious stars: Divine, Edith Massey, and Mink Stole, among others.

Discover forgotten artifacts: “antique” collectible bed sheets, action figures, breakfast cereals, and clothing will all be on display. These objects are designed and fabricated to mimic the era of the films’ release, and each object is appropriately packaged and fatigued to convincingly read as vintage. Presented in the spirit of a Sunday morning garage sale, the exhibit revels in the strange, nostalgic appeal of the 70s and 80s.

With the film Multiple Maniacs recently re-mastered and added to the Criterion Collection, a new generation is being introduced to these irresistible masterpieces of film. Lost Merchandise of the Dreamlanders opens two days before the 40th anniversary of the film Desperate Living, with a reception held on Thursday, May 25th from 6-9 PM.

Check out a selection of preview images below, after the following event details.


Lost Merchandise Of The Dreamlanders
a group exhibition inspired by the films of famed director John Waters


Opening Reception
Thursday, May 25th



La Mama Galleria
47 Great Jones St
New York, NY 10003 



Free admission – ALL AGES
On View from May 25th – June 24th, 2017

Gallery Hours:
Wednesday – Sunday, 1pm – 7 pm (or by apppointment)

[click images to scroll/enlarge]

‘Divine From Female Trouble!’
12 inch Poseable Doll
by Kyle Lords
Sculpture by Tyson Tabbert
Illustrations by Jaik Puppyteeth

From ‘Female Trouble Edsel Playset’
by Tyson Tabbert
Illustrations by Bart McCoy and Rivquh Horner

‘Female Trouble Execution Playset’
by Tyson Tabbert
Illustrations by Bart McCoy and Rivquh Horner

‘Lobstora designer ashtray’
by Lana Wharry
Illustrations Rivquh Horner

‘Pink Flamingos Twin Sheet Set’
by Naz Horner

“Desperate Living Toy Tea Set”
by Lauren Genutis

Dead C

Located in Seattle, Dead C is the founder/editor, as well as the principal writer and photographer, of Monster Fresh. Creating the site in 2007, he did so with a specific dream in mind. Unfortunately, being a muscle relaxer-fueled fever dream, it's hard to recall all of the details. "I remember that my mom was there, but it wasn't actually her in the dream, it was actually 70s heart throb, Jan Michael Vincent. And everything took place here, in this room... but it wasn't actually here... it was different. The colors were washed out and, for some reason, there was a raccoon kicking it with us and it was wearing a holographic monocle."

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