The corner of Read and Tyson Streets in Baltimore will forever bear the glorious ghost of an iconically filthy moment: Divine (aka Harris Glenn Milstead), as Babs Johnson in John Waters’ Pink Flamingos, asserting her status as the “Filthiest Person Alive” by watching as a dog poops, approaching the poop, and then eating the poop.Soon — Kickstarter gods willing — this moment will be commemorated with an eight-foot-tall monument at that very street corner. No, it’ll no longer be a ghost people step through unawares (incidentally, much like dog poop), but rather a gargantuan, unmissable work of art, homage, and filth.
And apparently Baltimore’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, is completely down. The Baltimore Sun quotes her spokesperson, Howard Libit, saying, “The mayor thinks that the idea sounds divine and looks forward to seeing more details on the proposal.”
According to the Kickstarter for the project, the sculpture will be made of marble and granite and “will clearly reference other devotional spaces built for contemplation and reflection,” with the dog poops crafted from bronze, lounging, from the looks of it, at the foot of the monument. The face of the late icon — in full drag makeup — will stare out from a memorial arch. The crowd-funding page says:
At first glance this monument might masquerade as a typical devotional space, but make no mistake with a second look across the alley, the piece will irreverently and outrageously scream in pitched Bawlemorese, “Hey, damn it. I’m right here — and I’m simply DIVINE!”
The monument idea started with Michal Makarovich — owner of the Hampden Junque antique shop — who noted the amount of people who’d visit Baltimore who were interested in John Waters’ relationship to the city, and the city’s relationship to John Waters. The design for the project comes as a collaboration between Baltimore artists David Hess and Sebastian Martoran. Here’s a preliminary design, by Martoran:
Apparently, the monument will be a “gift of public art” — and one whose budget is 70,000 dollars — but is technically on mostly private property (it’s against the side of a house), and could ostensibly remain even if the city weren’t to condone it.
The “Divine Monument Team” has until March 26 to earn the $70,000 minimum in their Kickstarter campaign — donate here to make this idea an eight-foot reality.