Whitney Biennial 2014
Audio Guide Playlist

Hear directly from artists as they discuss the thoughts, processes, and ideas behind their work in the 2014 Biennial. The guide also features commentary from Biennial curators Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms, and Michelle Grabner.

KEITH MAYERSON: My name is Keith Mayerson.

My American Dream is a body of work that I've been building over the last few years. As I get older, I realize that my whole entire artistic output, in many ways, has been about my American dream in a more personal fashion, coming into my own as an artist, as a gay man, describing my own individual agency to the world, and having the world catch up to it.

MAYERSON: The installation starts out on the left-hand side with Andrew, my husband, falling asleep at our cabin. You can see a salon-style, micromanaged array of works from my earlier years. As he's sleeping, the reflection in the window reflects hopefully the surreality―the surreal abstraction―of where he's maybe thinking.

Slightly next to that is a picture of Anne Frank's Wall. This is really important to me. When I first went to Anne Frank's house right after college, I realized that to survive she pasted up images of fine art next to pop cultural images and stars next to Michelangelo and Rembrandt because it gave her hope. I realize in this high low conflation we see all these kinds of things in our world, and they all are meaningful to us.

NARRATOR: The panorama of images reads somewhat like the comics, with each painting impacting the next. It’s a non-linear narrative that Mayerson asks us to complete ourselves, linking historical and cultural figures, icons, scenes representing struggles for civil rights, and more personal images. At the far right, there’s a portrait of Mayerson’s family in 1970. 


We had just gotten a large TV set from my great-grandmother who hated our tiny TV set. My sister had a dollhouse that we turned upside-down, because she didn't use it anymore, to use as a pedestal for the television. We're watching the first day of our first new TV. I love this painting because I feel it's like Bedknobs and Broomsticks. It's my family looking to our future. The future of our own personal lives, but also maybe, vicariously, the future of America, at the hopefully dizzying array of everything that's to come.

More Audio Guides

Mary Corse: A Survey in Light audio guide
Nick Mauss: Transmissions audio guide
Between the Waters audio guide
Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables audio guide
Juan Antonio Olivares audio guide
Laura Owens audio guide