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Tune in to the Artsy Fartsy Show Tuesdays at 2pm on WBAI 99.5FM. Listen online http://stream.wbai.org. For more information about the Artsy Fartsy Show visit http://artsyfartsyshow.com.


Trailblazer's who have led the path for future artists Image:Rappaport Foundation

Today’s program interview artists who are 50+ years old and have ventured down the winding trail towards uncharted territories and changed the scope of art in their disciplines.



Maria Cooper Janis with her father Gary Cooper. Her book "Enduring Style" on the life of Gary Cooper.

“Dressed up like a million-dollar trouper/
Tryin’ hard to look like Gary Cooper/
Super duper”

—“Puttin’ on the Ritz,” Irving Berlin (revised lyrics, 1946)

Maria Cooper Janis, daughter of Gary Cooper and wife of world renowned pianist Byron Janis, has collaborated with noted fashion writer G. Bruce Boyer, art director Ruth Ansel, and fashion designer Ralph Lauren to bring you her latest book, Gary Cooper: Enduring Style.


Barika Edwards interviews Ben Vereen

Few entertainers today are as accomplished or as versatile as Tony Award winner Ben Vereen. His legendary performances on stage and screen transcend time and have been woven into the fabric of this country’s artistic legacy. A musical autobiography of Vereen’s life in showbiz, Steppin’ Out features Broadway classics, songs made famous by Frank Sinatra and a very special tribute to his longtime friend and mentor, Sammy Davis, Jr. Barika Edwards interview Ben Vereen on his life and career as a trailblazer in film, theatre and dance.

“It’s always pleasant to spend time in the company of a survivor, a pro and a performing prince. Ben Vereen is all three.”–The New York Observer

Find out More about Ben Vereen:

ONE – You can get Ben’s CD Steppin Out Live on iTunes and Amazon

TWO – Listen to Barika’s extended Interview with Ben


FROM CARNAGE IN THE RING TO CARNAL ON THE WALLS OF TACHI:            Jack Dourakos Interviews Former WWF Wrestler Turned Artist

Jack Dourakos, the AF Sessions Curator is no stranger to the world of wrestling. Did you know he is the Ring Announcer of Kajiu Big Battel? Our versatile Artsy Fartsy Show contributors, Melissa Silver and Jack Dourakos will sit down with the amazing Phillip Theis, aka Damien Demento, on his first art show KARNAL at the Tachi Art Gallery in Tribeca, NY which will open on March 15.

Former WWF Wrestler now artist, Phillip Theis talks to Jack Dourakos on The Artsy Fartsy Show. March 13, 2012

Phillip Thies, also known as Phil Theis, was born in 1958 and grew up in Brooklyn and Staten Island, New York. He currently lives and works in Manhattan. Phil grew up in a household where art was appreciated and he began to make his own toys out of cardboard as a young child. Eventually these projects evolved into small sculptures made from found objects and slowly he developed an interest in drawing and painting.

Phil majored in art at Wagner College while on football scholarship and thrived in their independent studies program. Once he graduated he continued to pursue art while working in construction. In 1987 he made his debut as a wrestler under the ring name Mondo Kleen. Phil is probably best known as Damien Demento, a dark character who comes from “The Outer Reaches of your Mind,” for the World Wrestling Federation. He left the WWF in 1993 and began to explore acting. He has appeared in a multitude of small roles, most notable as Erik in Die Hard 3.

As he pursued other professions, Phil continued to make art throughout his life drawing inspiration from his wrestling career as well as his childhood education in Catholic schools. Most of his work has a dark or macabre feel but he insists that although his work can be considered controversial, this is not his particular intention. As he continues to make artwork, much of Phil’s focus is to avoid being pigeonholed by a particular subject or medium and to continue to explore new ways of expression. This is his first New York exhibition.

ABOUT KARNAL at Tachi Gallery

Realizing they were making art with similar themes, artists and friends Uccello and Phillip Thies decided to come together in a joint exhibition entitled Karnage at Tachi Gallery. The title of the show is a play on the word carnage, meaning “relating to or given to crude bodily pleasures and appetites;  marked by sexuality.” The show opens on March 15th, 2012 and runs through April 14, 2012. The opening reception is on March 15th from 6-9PM. 


Spot of Culture with Hollis Witherspoon focuses on future trailblazers: Women Directors

“After the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in Kansas in 2009, four physicians—Dr. LeRoy Carhart, Dr. Warren Hern, Dr. Shelley Sella, and Dr. Susan Robinson—have become the new number-one targets of the anti-abortion movement, yet continue to risk their lives every day to keep doing work that they believe is vitally important. With unprecedented access into the lives of these doctors and the patients who seek their help, After Tiller will paint a vivid portrait of these four unforgettable men and women and the battles they fight every day in the name of choice.” – After Tiller’s Statement.

In today’s political climate, where access to contraceptives and women’s reproductive rights have reached fever pitch levels of controversy, two ambitious young filmmakers, Martha Shane and Lana Wilson bring us ‘After Tiller’. Hollis Witherspoon will chat with Shane and Wilson about the struggles of the their subjects, abortion talk in today’s political climate, and bringing awareness around these sensitive issues through the documentary form.

For more information on ‘After Tiller’, visit their website: http://aftertillermovie.com/


Emerging Artist: Justin Trawick


Hear Justin Trawick perform with Jon Bramon at the City Winery in NYC
On March 19th, Justin Trawick’s touring show “The 9 Songwriter Series” will be at the City Winery in New York City.  You are invited to come check out this amazing show that is making leaps and bounds up and down the east coast.  Just this past Friday 296 people came to see “The 9” at the Black Cat in Washington DC and the NYC show should be no less amazing.

About artsyfartsyshow

We are the Artsy Fartsy Show on WBAI 99.5FM With Hosts Barika Taheer Edwards and Spencer Howard. Join us online (wbai.org) and on-air 99.5FM in NYC, PA, NJ, CT, MA Tuesdays at 2pm EST. The radio program features stories on the art world of film, theatre, music, art politics and so much more. “The Artsy Fartsy show is fun, hip and a great show for artists.” Join us each week with Hollis Witherspoon, Pete Gleason, Jack Dourakos, Melissa Silver, Nikki Dinki and Jon Braman. Online Contributor: Jackie Goldstein. Visit: artsyfartsyshow.com for more information.