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Anita Hill Shares Her Truth.

Anita Hill has written a book entitled "Speaking Truth to Power," (Doubleday) a reflection on the events surrounding the Hill-Thomas hearings of the fall of 1991. Hill addresses her difficult overnight transformation into a public figure, as well as the way her case has affected women and the work world as a whole. Hill is currently working on another book about sexual harassment, and lectures on civil rights and sexual harassment in the workplace.

34:34

Other segments from the episode on September 30, 1997

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, September 30, 1997: Interview with Anita Hill; Obituary for Roy Lichtenstein; Review of the television show "NYPD Blue."

Transcript

Show: FRESH AIR
Date: SEPTEMBER 30, 1997
Time: 12:00
Tran: 093001np.217
Type: FEATURE
Head: Roy Lichtenstein
Sect: News; Domestic
Time: 12:40

TERRY GROSS, HOST: Roy Lichtenstein was one of the first and one of the greatest pop artists. He died yesterday at the age of 73. The cause was complications from pneumonia.

Lichtenstein helped to bring the style and subject matter of pop culture into the fine arts. He put wham and blam into his paintings -- literally. His early paintings were inspired by comic books. In fact, they look just like frames from romance comics, war comics, and Mickey Mouse comics, including the thought balloons and the socko-pow exclamations.

In later years, he continued to use the visual language of comics -- bright colors outlined in black, often filled in with color dots, although the subject matter had shifted to interiors and advertising images.

I spoke with Roy Lichtenstein in 1993, at the time of a major retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum. I asked him why he wanted to do his own versions of romance comics and war comics.

ROY LICHTENSTEIN, ARTIST: I guess what I liked about both of them is that they're both emotional in different ways. The war things are full of action and the women are crying, you know...

LAUGHTER

... or waiting for telephone calls or something. And that -- that is the stereotype for trade in comic books at the time which really reflected the feeling of society. And -- but the idea of doing highly emotional subject matter in a very dry, mechanical, removed way seemed to symbolize something about where society was. Wars were being raged -- waged -- at the push of a button. Things like that.

GROSS: In one of your love comics, a worried woman is asking the man who is with her: "it's -- it's not an engagement ring, is it?" And in the catalogue that accompanies your show...

LICHTENSTEIN: Yeah.

GROSS: ... at the Guggenheim, they reprint the comic that you base that on. It's from a "Winnie Winkle" (ph) comic...

LICHTENSTEIN: Mm-hmm.

GROSS: ... and the context that that comes from -- the woman is saying: "Harry, about this piece of jewelry you're planning to buy for Tanya..." And he says: "I just want to show her how much she means to me." Then the woman says: "it's -- it's not an engagement ring, is it?"

LICHTENSTEIN: I know. It's a completely different thing when it's taken out of context.

GROSS: Yeah, yeah.

LICHTENSTEIN: Yeah.

GROSS: So, so now what interested you in that particular Winnie Winkle?

LICHTENSTEIN: Well, it wasn't the Winnie Winkle. It was just a pretty girl and a handsome man, you know -- those stereotypes -- and the cliche of being enthralled about engagement rings. I mean I'm sure everyone is even now, but it seemed like a male and a female thing to do.

GROSS: Now, did you ever hear from the original artist who did the strips that you...

LICHTENSTEIN: Well, I've really only heard from William Overgard (ph), and he was -- he wrote me a nice letter saying he was so pleased to see his work in the Guggenheim Museum.

LAUGHTER

It was -- he did "Steve Roper." And he's -- he said several things which are quite cogent about pop artists and cartoonists, and things like that. But he's, he's really I think the only one I've heard from. I haven't -- you know, nobody's ever said, you know, "you stole my cartoon" or something like that.

GROSS: Another love comic that ends up -- or love comic-type image that ends up really being about the art world is a woman is saying to the man "Why Bart, darling, this painting is a masterpiece. My, soon you'll have all of New York clamoring for your work."

Did that come from something or did you just make that one up?

LICHTENSTEIN: No, it came from -- almost all the lines came from...

LAUGHTER

... I can't make up lines like that. That was -- it -- I think that was a line connected to that particular cartoon. I may have edited it a little bit. Sometimes I take lines from other cartoons or put two together or edit it in some way. You know, I want it to sound either more general or more confused or whatever strikes me, you know, about what I liked about a line.

GROSS: You did a series of paintings of brush strokes, and of course in abstract expressionism, you know, brush strokes were -- brush strokes and dripping paint were about what it was all about.

LICHTENSTEIN: Mm-hmm.

GROSS: I mean, it was about seeing the action, the process of the painting -- the hand of the painter, a drip of the paint.

LICHTENSTEIN: Yeah.

GROSS: But of course, the brush strokes that you painted had no real dripping paint at all. I mean, the drips were carefully colored in.

LICHTENSTEIN: Mm-hmm.

GROSS: Was this your comment on abstract expressionism -- this kind of ironic version of brush strokes?

LICHTENSTEIN: No, I think it was a comment on the comparison between a bravura act that they did with paint, and the -- my way of representing it, which is -- it's where I'm painstakingly drawing the brush stroke up, you know, as though I were painting something difficult to paint, you know. And that one is romantic and the other is classical in that it's really a drawing of an ideal brush stroke or something that looks like a brush stroke.

And it doesn't fool you. I mean, you're not -- you don't think it's real -- that's really a brush stroke. But you think it's a picture of a brush stroke, and you know, that's a kind of absurd thing to do. And it -- so it has that built-in absurdity, and that's the reason I like it.

GROSS: There's a chapter in the catalogue that accompanies your Guggenheim show -- a chapter that's called "Cliches Into Icons." Is that what you see yourself as doing? Transforming cliches into icons?

LICHTENSTEIN: Well, I like the idea and I do think that there's a relationship between what with classical art and cliche. I mean, the Greeks or Romans -- we look at as trying to make ideal figures or ideals of beauty and that sort of thing. And so are comic strip people. They're making an ideal pretty girl or handsome man or whatever the thing is -- rocket ship.

And -- but one is thought of as important and the other isn't. And -- but by making archetypes, I am trying to make them into icons. And if you -- particularly even in sculpture where I isolate something. You know, it can be a lamp that's standing on its light rays, you know, or something like that; or a German expressionist head or something. I try to make it as cliched or as typical or whatever it is, and that's really the same thing, I think, as making it classical.

GROSS: You know what I'm asking about -- the style that you paint in -- that style that looks like mechanical reproduction but isn't. This is a style that you appropriated from mass culture.

LICHTENSTEIN: Mm-hmm.

GROSS: But it seems to me at this point, it's become something else. It's become your style. It's become...

LICHTENSTEIN: Yeah.

GROSS: ... your personal style. So painting in that style must feel really different than it did when you started. It must have really become a way to express yourself -- a very personal vocabulary for you; one that you must be very comfortable with.

LICHTENSTEIN: Yeah, I think that's -- you're explaining it very well. That -- because it originally had that meaning. This is printing and so forth. And I don't think that even though it still may mean that, it's certainly not -- doesn't reveal anything and it just become a way of making color so now -- or tonalities. I use dots and diagonals and dots that graduate from thick to thin, and I mix them up in the painting with other colors.

And it's -- it just became a way of working, and if I could find a way out, I would be happy to do that, you know, but the way has to mean something. And you know, well, I tried -- one group, which I like a lot, of landscapes made of brushstrokes, some of which are real brush strokes and some are cartooned brushstrokes. And they work together in the painting, and it gives the painting a certain interesting surface which I would have disdained a few years ago.

But the, you know, so I'm trying to do various things and trying to extend it, but I don't want to make it complicated or decorative. And I like the plainness of it. But it is just the way I work, and it's interesting that what would become everyman's style -- I mean, you know, is very recognizable.

GROSS: All of your paintings are, maybe I should say most of your paintings, come from print matter -- from a two-dimensional source. From comics or from advertisements or in some cases from other paintings. You seldom, if ever, paint from life itself.

LICHTENSTEIN: Mm-hmm.

GROSS: Why is that? I mean, you know, there's the tradition in art that if you're painting from the still life or the model or the landscape, you're painting from life, not from a reproduction of life.

LICHTENSTEIN: Yeah. Well, I know that. I even did that before, I mean when I was -- in the '50s. I had several shows in New York which not many people know about, and the work was kind of expressionist and cubist and you know very derivative in retrospect. And it was from historical paintings, or paintings of cowboys and Indians and something like that.

So I always seem to have used two dimensional sources, and you know, I mean, I feel that artists are always using two dimensional sources. They just think they're using three-dimensional sources. In other words, if we all started to learn to draw and paint simply by looking at the model, we'd all be painting like children. You know, it really is that you're painting in terms of the history of art. And you're really making a drawing of a life model the way Michelangelo did.

You know, I don't mean that there have been no advances in this, but mostly all of that scene is learned from looking at two-dimensional sources, not three-dimensional sources. That's not really the reason I do it, but...

GROSS: The real reason is...

LICHTENSTEIN: The real reason is I have no idea...

GROSS: Right. OK.

LICHTENSTEIN: ... the real reason for everything.

GROSS: I'll buy that.

LICHTENSTEIN: Yeah.

GROSS: Roy Lichtenstein recorded in 1993. He died yesterday at the age of 73.

Dateline: Terry Gross, Philadelphia
Guest: Roy Lichtenstein
High: Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. He died yesterday in Manhattan at the age of 73. He was one of the inventors of pop art in the 1960s, finding inspiration for his paintings in comic books and advertisements. Lichtenstein's work often replicated the heavy black outlines, bright colors and dots of a color comic strip found in a newspaper. Called by one critic the "supreme virtuoso of pop", his work was filled with constant references to high and low arts as well as to his own work. We remember him with an interview from 11/8/93.
Spec: Arts; Deaths; Roy Lichtenstein
Please note, this is not the final feed of record
Copy: Content and programming copyright 1997 WHYY, Inc. All rights reserved. Transcribed by FDCH, Inc. under license from WHYY, Inc. Formatting copyright 1997 FDCH, Inc. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to WHYY, Inc. This transcript may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission.
End-Story: Roy Lichtenstein
Show: FRESH AIR
Date: SEPTEMBER 30, 1997
Time: 12:00
Tran: 093002np.217
Type: FEATURE
Head: New Blue
Sect: Entertainment
Time: 12:55

TERRY GROSS, HOST: In May, when the ABC cop series "NYPD Blue" presented its season finale, viewers were left with a powerful cliffhanger. Bobby Simone, played by Jimmy Smits, was suspended from the force, his reputation smeared, while his partner Andy Sipowicz, played by Dennis Franz, was implicated in the murder of a man who had helped frame Simone.

The new season of NYPD Blue starts tonight, and TV critic David Bianculli has this preview.

DAVID BIANCULLI, FRESH AIR COMMENTATOR: As the new season of NYPD Blue begins, Andy Sipowicz and Bobby Simone haven't seen each other all summer. Bobby, still off the force, is working at a bar and agonizing over the possibility that his best friend Andy may have tried to protect him by killing someone in cold blood.

Meanwhile, Andy is stewing at home and at work, wondering why Bobby hasn't called and doesn't seem to care.

Finally, in the street language of NYPD Blue, Bobby reaches out to Andy and the two have a very intense meeting at the precinct house about the ongoing grand jury investigations.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP, "NYPD BLUE")

JIMMY SMITS, ACTOR, AS BOBBY SIMONE: I gotta ask, Andy: could they have more?

DENNIS FRANZ, ACTOR, AS ANDY SIPOWICZ: More what?

SMITS: Could they have statements you pulled the trigger they're holding back to see where I go?

FRANZ: They could have statements on Ann Margret. If you're asking "did I shoot the guy," I already told you no.

SMITS: Yeah.

FRANZ: I was worried for you. I followed you to take your back. Somebody shoots Salvo (ph), I drive up to see are you all right. If you want, I'll be the witness, you say take off.

SMITS: 'Cause I was thinking maybe you did it.

FRANZ: I told you I didn't. I just told you so again.

SMITS: You mind not breaking off this subject?

FRANZ: I followed you to back you.

SMITS: I know that you were backing me.

FRANZ: I'm sorry. It got things comp...

SMITS: Well, that's the way it worked out.

FRANZ: Do what you gotta do. Put me there. Let them try to prove I pulled the trigger.

SMITS: Andy, this is not about me trying to get from under this. If I was looking to do that, I would have done it four months ago.

BIANCULLI: Well, it's been four months for viewers, too -- one-third of a year between first-run episodes of NYPD Blue. It's been too long a wait, but tonight's season opener almost makes it worth it.

Not that there's a lot of real suspense here. Loyal viewers of this show know that while Andy may do some questionable things, and one time even asked Bobby to track down and murder the killers of his son Andy, Jr., Andy Sipowicz simply wouldn't do the crime. He wouldn't have killed that guy at the end of last season's show, and NYPD Blue fans are sure of it.

Just like fans of the "X Files" know that Mulder (ph) didn't kill himself in that show's season finale, but that's another story.

The good news is the makers of NYPD Blue know that viewers know that Andy is innocent, so they waste no time clearing up that particular plot line. Instead, tonight's NYPD Blue spends most of its time checking out relationships, exploring the lighter sides of quite a few regular characters, and presenting a pair of rather graphic romantic scenes.

One scene involves relatively new castmember Andrea Thompson (ph) as Jill Kirkendall (ph), who is shown tonight in a very revealing clinch with a surprise suitor. The other scene, a shared bath between Jimmy Smits' Bobby Simone and Kim Delaney's (ph) Diane Russell has a lot of skin and action above water level, and some very suggestive things going on just below the surface.

And for those who keep track of or care about such things, there's a brief shot of Jimmy Smits without any briefs. The camera shot is from the rear and of the rear.

Yeah, NYPD Blue is back, and I'm glad it is -- no ifs, ands, or butts.

GROSS: David Bianculli is TV critic for the New York Daily News.

Dateline: David Bianculli, New York; Terry Gross, Philadelphia
Guest:
High: TV critic David Bianculli previews tonight's season opener of "NYPD Blue."
Spec: Media; Television; NYPD Blue
Please note, this is not the final feed of record
Copy: Content and programming copyright 1997 WHYY, Inc. All rights reserved. Transcribed by FDCH, Inc. under license from WHYY, Inc. Formatting copyright 1997 FDCH, Inc. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to WHYY, Inc. This transcript may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission.
End-Story: New Blue
Transcripts are created on a rush deadline, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of Fresh Air interviews and reviews are the audio recordings of each segment.

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