Aye Aye Aye

EYES & LIPS
Jeanne Galarneau Kent
20" x 16", acrylic on canvas panel
Northeastern University Evening Division art class project, 1969
Donated by the artist
December 2008

Stylized facial features float before a colorful background. The orange-slice eyes and blue lips are totally segregated; never invading each others’ space as they inhabit separate but equal real estate on the canvas.

The artist clarifies the yellow dots to the left and below every set of lips, “…I always wanted to have beauty marks like Miss Peggy Lee..."(the sultry singer/actress who famously sang of feverish affairs of the heart).

EYES SEE YOU
F. W. Covington
18" x 12", watercolor and marker on illustration board
Formerly in the collection of Milt and Mona Hinton, Queens, NY
Donated by David G. Berger and Holly Maxson
June, 2011
MOBA #524

The artist has effectively portrayed life-size pairs of disembodied eyes on a flame-red background; some staring straight ahead while others glance left or right. They are realistic and iconic in their simplicity. Of particular interest is a cross-eyed pair of eyes along the left edge, and one huge bloodshot eyeball at the right center that may be the artist's own after a long night out.

Holly Maxson, Guest Interpretator

AN I FOR AN EYE
A. LivLaing Bradford (2001)
30" x 20" acrylic on canvas
Purchased at a thrift store in Boston, MA
March 2008
MOBA #456


The woman/tree unquestionably is crying out for help that will never come. Her morphing, arborescent figure, faceless and in shame, is reaching upward for sustenance while a torrent of tearful eyes cascades about her, threatening to bury her in her own psychosexual drift. Each eye, of course, represents not the optic organ but rather the homophonic letter "I", or "Id" that dark, inaccessible part of one's personality that subordinates reality to a childlike search for pleasure and gratification.

The tragedy depicted in this work is that the woman/tree knows that help (redemption?) is beyond her reach, and her legs/roots meander aimlessly atop a barren landscape, grounded in nothingness. She needs water but receives only salt from an unending well of sorrow.

MOBA Guest Interpretator: Steve Herman

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU
Anonymous
48" x 16", oil on canvas
Rescued from curbside trash in Jamaica Plain, MA
September 2009

Larger than life and unencumbered by eyelashes, the solitary green eye looms menacingly silent.

THE GAZE
Anonymous
32" x 16", oil on canvas board
Purchased at a thrift shop in Boston, MA
February 2010

Pollockian splatters and a bright blue background change the palette, but the ominous black eye in the foreground of this derivative work is no less foreboding than the green one in HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU.

QUE VIVA PAPÁ CHANGO (CHANGO LIVES)
Anonymous
12” x 8”, oil on wood panel
Appreciated in a private residence in Havana, Cuba
November, 2009

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
Andres E. Maldonado, 1999
14” x 18”, acrylic on canvas panel
Donated by Vivian Fernandez
February 2017

While it is commonly recognized that eyes are portals to the soul, gazing into this one is disturbingly like staring down the barrel of a gun.

This artist was clearly influenced by M.C. Escher, the great Swiss surrealist.

EYE
M.C. Escher, 1946

EYE WISH EYE WERE AN OSCAR MEYER WEINER
Anonymous
48" x 14", oil on canvas
Purchased at Brimfield Antique Fair
and donated by Cindi Chapman
December 2009

This monochrome portrait of a young boy, repellent and yet compelling, is fraught with unanswerable questions. Where is his right big toe, does he have a right hand, and why is he portrayed wearing nothing but a short sleeve shirt that is obviously too small to fit over his belly; seemingly swollen in an unlikely pregnancy?

JEALOUSY
Bonnie J. S. Mueller (2003)
12” x 16”, acrylic on canvas panel
Donated by the artist
February 2017

The artist wrote that this painting was “part of a series of emotions." Everyone at MOBA hopes her frame of mind has improved.

ILLUSION OR CONFUSION
Steve Whitehurst (c.1967)
24” x 11”, oil on canvas
Donated by Shirley Whitehurst
March 2017

The artist depicted floating aquatic daisies surrounding the reflection of the sun in a pool of rippling water. The viewer is left to ponder who is lurking in the foliage.

WALLEYES
Anonymous
60" x 60", acrylic on canvas
Purchased by M. Frank at a thrift store in Boston, MA,
October, 2012
MOBA #560

Yellow walleye (Sander vitreus) and blue walleye (Sander vitreus glaucus) are freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and the northern United States. The black ones in this painting seem to be of a different order entirely.