Paula Cooper Gallery (521 W. 21st St., Manhattan)
Here, from the incomparable John Waters, is a paean to the power of subversive inspiration that will delight, amuse, enrich—and happily horrify readers everywhere. Role Models is, in fact, a self-portrait told through intimate profiles of favorite personalities—some famous, some unknown, some criminal, some surprisingly middle-of-the-road. From Esther Martin, owner of the scariest bar in Baltimore, to the playwright Tennessee Williams; from the atheist leader Madalyn Murray O’Hair to the insane martyr Saint Catherine of Siena; from the English novelist Denton Welch to the timelessly appealing singer Johnny Mathis—these are the extreme figures who helped the author form his own brand of neurotic happiness. Role Models is a personal invitation into one of the most unique, perverse, and hilarious artistic minds of our time.