Episode #505

Waters, Finster, Roma

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Saturday, January 31, 2004

Kurt Andersen and his guest the cult movie director John Waters talk about outsiders of all kinds. The sculptor Lee Bontecou skipped out on the New York art scene 30 years ago, after conquering it, and made her way to the backwoods of Pennsylvania, to work where she could concentrate. Also, we'll hear some passionate crooning from the outsider musician BJ Snowden, who attracts fans with her unconventional sound and her love of Canada. The gallerist who discovered the magical paintings of the Reverend Howard Finster tells what struck her about the Georgia preacher’s mix of kaleidoscopic color and religious imagery. A Romani (or Gypsy) musician tells stories of making music at the edge of European society, including running from Bulgarian cops. Plus, Kurt responds to the new designs for the World Trade Center transit hub, tower and memorial. 

Guests:

John Waters

New Optimism at Ground Zero

Kurt has been skeptical of New York's ability to come up with plans to rebuild Ground Zero, but new announcements have left him hopeful. 

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Special Guest: John Waters

John Waters' films have been shocking — and amusing — audiences for 40 years. His 1972 Pink Flamingos earned him notoriety for its pure filth. But by the late 80s and 90s the mainstream was flowing more in his direction, and he was making movies like and Serial ...

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Lee Bontecou

What happens when an artist drops out at the pinnacle of her artistic success? In Lee Bontecou's case, she kept working, and her art got even better. Bontecou abandoned stardom in the New York City scene of the 1970's, to work in seclusion in rural Pennsylvania. ...

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Howard Finster

The art world uses the label "outsider artist" to apply to a whole range of self-taught creative types — from people in prison to folk painters. But for many people the term is personified by the late Reverend Howard Finster. The Baptist preacher from Summerville, Georgia first began ...

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B.J. Snowden

BJ Snowden is a musician who’s earned a great following partly because of her surprising rhythms and unusual melodies — and partly because of the passion in her songs. Snowden trained in music, but it’s her rawness that appeals. Fred Schneider, of the band The B52s, tells Studio ...

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Romani Music

Yuri Yunakov is a saxophonist who will do anything to play his music. He is a member of the Roma culture (better known to most people as Gypsies) which historically has been a marginalized group in Europe. Wherever they've gone across Europe, they've been discriminated against, and have survived mostly ...

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