Sometimes art is great, and sometimes it stinks, but it’s always easy to figure out when you listen to the Navel Gaze.

Welcome to the podcast that takes the tinkle out of fine art. Angela Sawyer and Ken Green visit museums, galleries, statues, and other high-fallutin’ spots around New England and then tell you what’s good and bad about it.

Episode Two

shownotes

Ken and Angela visited a bunch of pieces at the Harvard Art Museums, more commonly known as ‘The Fogg’,which was established in 1895.

The museum includes rooms known as the Fogg, the Busch-Reisinger, and the Sackler. I counted 9 different exhibits across 3 floors.


Chuckles candy.


Famed architecht I.M. Pei


Part of the Art In Public Spaces exhibit is 258 Fake by Ai Weiwei. It was made in 2011 and consists of 12 monitors, shaped cell phones, that show a total of 7,677 photos. The photos come from Weiei’s blog, which was taken down by the Chinese government in 2009.


Curve X, by Ellsworth Kelly, is from 1974. It’s part of the museum’s Modern and Contemporary Art exhibit, and the empty space that you see because of the very slight curve in the side of the piece is meant to evoke loss.


Four Greens is part of a series by Josef Albers called Homage to the Square. He began the series in 1949 to research what it looked like when related colors sat together. Albers taught design at the Bauhaus school in the 1920s and 30s, and also at Black Mountain College, and Yale. He took lots of photographs, made wallpaper, stained glass, woodcuts, album covers for Enoch Light, and lots more. This painting was done in 1964, long after he was famous, mostly just for teaching color theory. One of the other paintings in the series, Against Deep Blue, is from 1955. Albers was the first living artist to be given a solo show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, in 1971. Four Greens and Against Deep Blue are part of the Mid Century Abstractions exhibit.


Victor Grippo is from Buenos Aires. His piece Analogia I is from 1970-71 and part of the exhibit The Sixties Experiment. Many of Grippo’s work feature potatoes, and at least at the Tate in London, they have to replace the potatoes once a week. Here’s a link to create your own potato battery.

The dead brains I was worried about turned out to be the brains of pigs.

Also, here’s a picture of Louis Pasteur’s original flasks. They have beef broth in them, not a whole steak, and they’re from the 1860s.


Before the 1980s, Aqua Net, like most hairsprays, contained Chlorofluorocarbons (bad for the ozone) and tumor-causing Vinyl Chloride (bad for people).


50 U Heinrich-Heine-Str. is by Corrine Wasmuht and was made in 2009 in Berlin.


Michael Stipe in the video for “Shiny Happy People”.


Georgia O’Keefe’s Red and Pink is from 1925, and was painted for a silk manufacturer’s brochure. It was constructed by enlarging and cropping flower petals. Although she spent some time working in New York, O’Keefe is best known for living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Fogg has it as part of their Surrealism exhibit.


Fantastic Voyage came out in 1966 and stars Raquel Welch and Donald Pleasence.


David Alfaro Siqueiros was a raging communist who painted murals in Mexico during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). El Fin del Mundo is from 1936 and part of the Social Realism exhibit. David used pictures of a real place in Iraq as inspiration (called Taq Kasra), and the result is a 3D painting where the rock ridges come right off the canvas.

The red reminded Ken of Ronnie James Dio, and me of Dario Argento and He Man. Obviously.

And also the right panel from the triptych Garden of Earthly Delights, painted around 1500 by Heironymous Bosch and used on innumerable album covers and postcards ever since.


Todd Hido’s #2810 is from 2001. He lives in San Francisco and takes lots of pictures of suburban houses (that makes them look non-awful) and also recently took photos of models for an Italian fashion line. This photo reminds me a lot of one by Remi Thornton, who also takes a lot of nighttime pictures in the burbs.

Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks from 1942.

Thanks for listening!

Episode One

shownotes

Ken and Angela visited three pieces at the Boston ICA.

Before 2006, the ICA was located at 955 Boylston Street for over 30 years.

Liz Deschenes made Green Screen #4 in 2016.

Liz is from Boston, and it’s the first time she’s had a piece at the ICA.

Sondra Perry made Graft and Ash for a Three Monitor Workstation in 2016.


Sondra is from New Jersey, and has shows around the country and in London.

Hybrid Bodies is an exhibit within a larger ICA show called Art in the Age of the Internet 1989 to Today. One of it’s pieces is Safe Conduct by Ed Atkins.

Josh Kline made Saving Money With Subcontractors between 2015 and 2017.

Josh is originally from Philadelphia, but lives in New York. He is an art curator as well as an artist.

The sculptor I can never remember is Duane Hanson. This one’s called The Shoppers.

We also mentioned the box at the end of the movie Seven,

And Joe Pesci, star of Eight Heads in a Duffel Bag.

Thanks for listening!