Museum: John Waters film fest hails part of collector’s gift | State

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Museum of Art is about to begin a John Waters film festival to celebrate a gift of photographs and a sculpture by the movie maker.

Waters’ pieces include “Pig Latin,” a 6½-foot-long (2-meter) strip of photos showing eight movie scenes with a pig Latinized line from seven of them, starting with Marlon Brando in “On the Waterfront” and “I-way oulda-cay een-bay a-way ontender-cay.” Then there’s “Toilet Training,” a 5½-foot (1.7-meter) strip of photographs showing toilet scenes from nine movies including John Travolta in “Pulp Fiction” and Nicole Kidman in “Eyes Wide Shut.”

Waters’ pieces, which also include an 18-inch (46-centimeter) sculpture of a spilled drug “popper,” are among more than 80 paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures donated by Arthur Roger , whom the museum describes as a pioneer in bringing contemporary art to New Orleans. He began collecting art after opening the Arthur Roger Gallery 39 years ago.

“If three people said, ‘I couldn’t live with that,’ I started to care for it and took it home,” he said in a Facetime interview from England, where he was vacationing.

It turned out well: “The things people sort of were afraid of or were rejecting tend to be, a lot of times, the best work,” he said.

Roger said he loves living with art, and keeps it everywhere. “Pig Latin” was in his TV room. In the bathroom, he hung “Arthur as Sampson,” a portrait by Louisiana artist Douglas Bourgeois. The portrait shows Roger, well-muscled and in bodybuilder’s briefs, as columns crumble behind him.

“It’s me when I was competing in the Gay Games a long time ago,” Roger said. He joked that Bourgeois’ paintings are in such demand that “the only way I’d have one is something no one else wanted.”

Two other Bourgeois pieces are in the show. Other work includes New Orleans artists John T. Scott, Ida Kohlmeyer…

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