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The Dripby Brew Editors8:08 amNov 8, 20180

John Waters taking on City Hall: How Divine!

Filmmaker plans to testify on behalf mural in Mount Vernon, made without city permission

Above: Rising above the traffic and trash on Preston Street this morning – Gaia’s mural depicting Divine. (Fern Shen)

In an effort to save a three-story mural depicting his drag-queen muse and friend, Divine, filmmaker John Waters plans to testify next week before a city board, Baltimore Business Journal reports.

Making edgy art in defiance of pearl-clutching censors is pretty much how Waters got his start, so the role is a natural one for the director of “Pink Flamingos,” “Hairspray” and other films set in Baltimore and featuring Divine, born Harris Glenn Milstead.

“Of course, I am for the mural,” Waters emailed BBJ‘s Melody Simmons. “Have been there, taken friends and am fully supportive of the artistic choice of the homeowners and the positive influence on the neighborhood.”

Waters said he will testify at the November 13 meeting of the Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP), whose agenda lists the mural at 106 East Preston Street as the last item of its afternoon meeting.

CHAP staff say they aren’t attempting to judge the content of the mural, made by the artist Gaia for the residents of the rowhouse, Jesse Salazar and Tom Williams.

Instead, the matter comes down to obeying city rules: Salazar and Williams did not get permits or authorization for the work before it was completed on the alley side of the Mount Vernon building.

Now they’re essentially seeking permission after the fact.

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