Local artists propose public monument for Divine

Posted at 12:53 PM, Feb 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-02 18:59:45-05

A group of local artists are leading the charge to have a monument erected in honor of the late actor and local icon Divine, best known for performances in several films directed by John Waters.

The proposed monument would sit at the corner of Read and Tyson Streets in Baltimore, commemorating the final scene of Waters' 1972 cult film "Pink Flamingos" in which Divine, playing “The Filthiest Person Alive,” infamously eats dog poop from the sidewalk.

Monument creators say it would serve as public artwork and a landmark, allowing film fans to pilgrimage for conversation and pictures. The "Divine Shrine" will also pay homage to "a performer, director, and film that have all become an essential part of Baltimore's cultural history," as stated on the project's website

Baltimore natives Michal Makarovich and Alex Fox are spearheading the project, with design and installation led by artists David Hess and Sebastian Martorana. Organizers say the monument will depict a portrait of Divine in black granite surrounded by salvaged white marble pulled from abandoned city row homes.

An inscription would read: "It was a magic day in our happy young lives. —John Waters," along with a pile of cast bronze dog feces on carved marble steps.

“I think it’s a really cool opportunity to memorialize someone who was a significant cultural figure, an icon here in Baltimore,” designer Sebastian Martorana said.

Kickstarter campaign has been launched to raise $70,000 for construction and installation, which the group says will be located primarily on private property in Baltimore's Read Street area. 

Martorana says the project will be funded solely by Divine Monument supporters. “If this thing gets funded it will not be with any taxpayer dollars of any kind,” he said. However, organizers must meet the Kickstarter campaign's financial goal in order to get the project off the ground. 

"It’d be awesome to have a piece of artwork that would stand with all the other monuments here in Baltimore, which is known as the Monument City," Martorana said. "I would like to be apart of that history and have the opportunity to bring prominence to a figure who was so significant not just to Baltimore’s history, but to the history of the broader community globally.”