Dog Star / A Creative Arts Guide for Teens


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DOG STAR NYC IS A CREATIVE ARTS GUIDE FOR TEENS | ART + THEATER + CHEAP DATES + POP CULTURE + FREE EVENTS + CITY LIVING + DESIGN + MUSIC + PHOTOGRAPHY + SPORTS + VIDEO + FILM + STREET LIFE + WRITING + POETRY & LOTS OF FUN + MAKE ART OUT OF YOUR LIFE!

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Image above: Paul Cézanne, French (1839-1906), Mont Sainte-Victoire, painted 1904-1906, oil on canvas. This is a famous landscape painted by the painter many times and a view from his studio window in Aix-en-Provence, France.

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"Thank you for DogStarNYC, in general. The site speaks to so many kinds of interests; it discerns which qualities will appeal to many different tastes in a tremendous number of activities. I love how it encourages young people to pay attention to the unusual.

In New York we let so many teens walk around the periphery, mildly shell-shocked by life, while the information that they need to make sense of their world sits in the center of the room. DogStarNYC welcomes them into the middle of the room; the blog tells them how to walk there." - Stacy L.

EMAIL: dogstarcontact@gmail.com

DOG STAR is the creation of a high school English teacher in New York City. This blog began in 2008 as an online community for a journalism class and has since evolved into a curated site on the creative arts, arts-related news and a guide to free and low-cost events for teens. Our mission is to offer teens real-life options for enjoying all the creative arts in New York City. May wisdom guide you and hope sustain you. The more you like art, the more art you like!

IMPORTANT NOTICE OF NON COMMERCIAL & EDUCATIONAL CONTENT Unless otherwise stated, we do not own copyrights to any of the visual or audio content that might be included on this blog. Dog Star is for criticism, commentary, reporting and educational purposes under the FAIR USE ACT: Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. If you own the copyright to any images and object to them being included in this blog, please advise and the content will be removed. No attempt is made for material gain from this blog's contents.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Brooklyn's Evolution From Small Town to Big City to Borough



Why does "South Brooklyn" refer to Red Hook, and not to Coney Island? It's a question that's crossed the mind of almost every New Yorker at some point or another.

The answer is simple: as late as 1894, that area was the southern extreme of the City of Brooklyn. What we know today as Brooklyn is better described, historically, by its synonymous designation, Kings County. For centuries, Kings County was composed of numerous towns—and, briefly, one other city—and the progression from the original six towns to one unified City of Brooklyn can be charted through 350 years of maps.

Before we begin this journey through the history of Kings County, a bit of background is needed. First: just as with Manhattan, there's been a lot of land-filling over the years, so the geographic extremities of these maps won't be true to what they were in the 19th century. For practical purposes, changing water boundaries have been left out.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Dog Star Selects Veronese at The Frick Collection

Xavier F. Salomon, Chief Curator at The Frick Collection, discusses two paintings by Paolo Veronese. Henry Clay Frick purchased them in 1912 and they remain hanging in the same location today as they did when the house was first built.

These paintings have been hanging in the same place here in NYC for over one hundred years!  Amazing!


Friday, May 22, 2015

Dog Star Selects Body Paint Art on Streets of NYC


Artist Trina Merry, left, paints model Jessica Mellow in colors of the Manhattan Bridge in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The city’s streets are Merry’s studio, and the naked body is her canvas. She creates images that seamlessly camouflage her mostly nude models into New York City’s skyline, blending them into the details of the Empire State Building, the Manhattan Bridge, Central Park and other landmarks.




Monday, May 18, 2015

Shinrin-yoku & Other Cultural Concepts We Don't Have in America


Shinrin-yoku

Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese term that means "forest bathing" and unlike the Norwegian translation above, this one seems a perfect language fit (though a pretty similar idea). 

The idea being that spending time in the forest and natural areas is good preventative medicine, since it lowers stress, which causes or exacerbates some of our most intractable health issues. As MNN's Catie Leary details, this isn't just a nice idea — there's science behind it: "The "magic" behind forest bathing boils down to the naturally produced allelochemic substances known as phytoncides, which are kind of like pheromones for plants. 

Their job is to help ward off pesky insects and slow the growth of fungi and bacteria. When humans are exposed to phytoncides, these chemicals are scientifically proven to lower blood pressure, relieve stress and boost the growth of cancer-fighting white blood cells. 

Some common examples of plants that give off phytoncides include garlic, onion, pine, tea tree and oak, which makes sense considering their potent aromas." 

Read more: http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/blogs/7-cultural-concepts-we-dont-have-in-the-us#ixzz3ORwDu1yD

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Future of Getting Arrested


via The Atlantic:

Even the most straightforward arrest is built upon an incredibly complex foundation: the moment the handcuffs go on is the moment some of our society’s most hotly contested ideas about justice, security, and liberty are brought to bear on an individual. It’s also a moment that’s poised to change dramatically, as law-enforcement agencies around the country adopt new technology—from predictive-policing software to surveillance cameras programmed to detect criminal activity—and incorporate emerging research into the work of apprehending suspects.

Continue reading at The Atlantic website





Friday, May 15, 2015

GO SEE Spring Exhibitions at NYC's Museums

THIS IS A PRINTER-FRIENDLY POST. 

Dog Star's mini-guide to the Spring 2015 museum exhibitions.

Keep it in your agenda or refer to it and make dates to see these exhibitions with family and friends.

All of the museums have a free or pay-what-you-wish (it can be just $1) night so be sure to check the website - it is linked in BOLD in the name of the museum.

GETTING TO THE MUSEUMS - MAKE IT EASY WITH FRIENDS
You may read about artists here that you've never heard of before - that's a good reason to check it out.  Read the list and make a plan to see at least three to start - pick one you are excited about seeing and invite your family.  Choose another one and invite two friends to join you!  On the third go by yourself - it will be an entirely different experience and you would be doing less socializing, less talking, less talking ABOUT the art and MORE LOOKING. 

PRETEND YOU'VE LOST YOUR PHONE
And always keep your phone in your pocket.  It's tough to make a real connection to the artwork if you are texting, taking pictures or researching.  Give yourself the chance to have a "phone-free" experience with art. 

Escape Route:
Paintings and Drawings by Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave
Bronx Museum of the Arts
February 12 - May 31, 2015
Escape Route: Paintings and Drawings by Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave will present a selection of works by the New York based artist created from 2011 to 2014 that deal with issues related to race, religion and sexuality. Since 1998 Hargrave has produced a compelling, deeply personal body of work incorporating painting, drawing, sculpture and video that explore the dynamics between race, sexuality and religion in relation to his upbringing in the south and early adulthood as an African American gay male coming to terms with racial and sexual identity.

UNDER THE MEXICAN SKY: Gabriel Figueroa—Art and Film
El Museo del Barrio
March 4, 2015 – June 27, 2015
From the early 1930s through the early 1980s, the Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa (1907–1997) helped forge an evocative and enduring image of Mexico. Among the most important cinematographers of the so-called Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, Figueroa worked with leading directors from Mexico, the United States and Europe, traversing a wide range of genres while maintaining his distinctive and vivid visual style.

Russian Modernism:
Cross-Currents in German and Russian Art, 1907-1917
Neue Galerie 
February 19-June 15, 2015
This exhibition will be dedicated to the radical modernist movements in German and Russian art at the beginning of the 20th century. Their development was parallel and often intersected. Such artists as Vasily Kandinsky or Alexei von Jawlensky are claimed by the Germans but remain Russian artists for the Russians.

Björk: The Exhibition
Museum of Modern Art 
March 8–June 7, 2015
The Museum of Modern Art presents a retrospective of the multifaceted work of composer, musician, and artist Björk. The exhibition draws from more than 20 years of the artist’s daring and adventurous projects and her seven full-length albums—from Debut (1993) to Biophilia (2011)—to chronicle her career through sound, film, visuals, instruments, objects, costumes, and performance. The installation will present a narrative, both biographical and imaginatively fictitious, cowritten by Björk and the acclaimed Icelandic writer Sjón Sigurdsson. Björk’s collaborations with video directors, photographers, fashion designers, and artists will be featured, and the exhibition culminates with a newly commissioned, immersive music and film experience conceived and realized with director Andrew Thomas Huang and 3-D design leader Autodesk.

One-Way Ticket:  Jacob Lawrence's
Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North
Museum of Modern Art 
April 3 – September 07, 2015
MoMA marks the centennial of the beginning of the Great Migration, the multi-decade mass movement of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North, with Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series.  The show highlights the ways in which Lawrence and others in his circles developed a set of innovative artistic strategies to offer perspectives on this crucial episode in American history. One-Way Ticket reunites all 60 panels of Lawrence’s Migration Series at MoMA for the first time in 20 years, and includes other accounts of the movement in a broad variety of media, including novels and poems by writers such as Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Richard Wright; music by Josh White, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday; photographs by Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, Gordon Parks, and Robert McNeill; sociological tracts by Carter Woodson, Charles Johnson, Emmett J. Scott, and Walter White; and paintings by Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, and Charles White.

Bazm and Razm Feast and Fight in Persian Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
February 17–May 31, 2015
For centuries, Persian kingship was epitomized by two complementary pursuits: bazm (feast) and razm (fight). The ruler's success as both a reveler and hunter/warrior distinguished him as a worthy and legitimate sovereign. The pairing of bazm and razm as the ultimate royal activities is an ancient concept with roots in pre-Islamic Iran. It is a recurring theme in the Shahnama (or Book of Kings)—the Persian national epic—as well as other poetic and historic texts.

Also at the Met:
Reimagining Modernism is a re-installation of the Met's American and European modern paintings, decorative arts, photographs, sculpture and works on paper from 1900-1950.  On view until 2017.

Lincoln Speaks: Words That Transformed a Nation
The Morgan Library
January 23 - June 7, 2015
This exhibition focuses on Abraham Lincoln’s mastery of language and how his words changed the course of history. Today, nearly 150 years after the end of the Civil War, he remains an exemplar of exalted leadership in a time of great crisis and people the world over continue to look to him as a standard-bearer for principled governance. Lincoln Speaks explores Lincoln as a writer and public speaker whose eloquence shaped the nation and the world, in his time and in ours.

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic
Brooklyn Museum
February 20 – May 24, 2015
The works presented in Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic raise questions about race, gender, and the politics of representation by portraying contemporary African American men and women using the conventions of traditional European portraiture. The exhibition includes an overview of the artist’s prolific fourteen-year career and features sixty paintings and sculptures.

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks
Brooklyn Museum
April 3 – August 23, 2015
Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat filled numerous notebooks with poetry fragments, word play, sketches, and personal observations ranging from street life and popular culture to themes of race, class, and world history. The first major exhibition of the artist's notebooks, Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks features 160 pages of these rarely seen documents, along with related works on paper and large-scale paintings. A self-taught artist with encyclopedic and cross-cultural interests, Basquiat was influenced by comics, advertising, children's sketches, Pop art, hip-hop, politics, and everyday life.

After Midnight:
Indian Modernism To Contemporary India 1947/1997
Queens Museum of Art
March 1 2015 - June 28 2015
After Midnight: Indian Modernism to Contemporary India 1947/1997 presents a comparative study of art created in the wake of two defining moments in Indian history. The first, Indian independence in 1947 was notable for the emergence of the Progressives Artists Group. The second was 1997, which marked 50 years of India’s independence, a period that coincided with economic liberalization, political instability, the growth of a religious right wing, as well as a newly globalizing art market and international biennial circuit, in which Indian artists had begun to participate.

Also on view at the Queens Museum
Robert Seydel - The Eye in Matter
Jul 19 2015 - Oct 26 2015
The art of Robert Seydel (1960-2011) is a rare hybrid of the visual and literary that dissolves boundaries between the lyrical, the narrative, reading and looking, marked by an unrelenting sense of play. Seydel merges the historical past with the present by merging actual personages with fictional characters – for example, the viewer/reader meets Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp. Much of his work is made under the auspices of various personas in place of the singular first person perspective. 

Inaugural Exhibition - Re-Opening of
the Whitney Museum on The High Line
Whitney Museum
When the Whitney Museum’s new Renzo Piano-designed home on Gansevoort Street opens its doors on May 1, 2015, the inaugural installation will be the largest and most comprehensive display to date of the Whitney’s unparalleled permanent collection of 20th and 21st century American art. This ambitious display will offer new perspectives on art in the United States since 1900, following the Whitney’s in-depth analysis of its collection of more than 21,000 works, an initiative that has been underway since 2012. The sweep of the collection is echoed in the building’s magnificent multiple perspectives: the new Whitney looks south toward the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, east into the city, and west across the Hudson toward the expanse of the country.


Everything Is Design: The Work of Paul Rand
Museum of the City of New York (MCNY)
February 25 - July 19, 2015
"Everything is Design. Everything!" —Paul Rand Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand features more than 150 advertisements, posters, corporate brochures, and books by this master of American design. It was Rand who most creatively brought European avant-garde art movements such as Cubism and Constructivism to graphic design in the United States. He argued that visual language should integrate form and function. Born in Brooklyn in humble circumstances, Rand (1914-1996) launched his career in the 1930s with magazine cover design and, starting in the early 1940s, he worked as an art director on Madison Avenue, where he helped revolutionize the advertising profession.

Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera
NYU - Grey Art Gallery 
April 21 - July 11, 2015
Born in Hong Kong and later based in New York City, Tseng Kwong Chi (1950–1990) produced a large body of witty, playful, performance- based photography that both captures the pivotal Manhattan downtown and club scenes and reflects the increasingly globalized movement of people across nations and continents. In so doing, he raised critical questions about identity and culture.

Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection
Japan Society
March 13 — June 7, 2015
Since arriving in Japan aboard Chinese ships transporting sacred Buddhist scriptures in the mid-sixth century, cats have proceeded to purr and paw their way into the heart of Japanese life, folklore, and art. Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection illustrates the depth of this mutual attraction by mining the wealth of bravura depictions of cats to be found in ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the Edo Period (1615-1867).

Drone Flight Through New York's Five Boroughs

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Maya Angelou - Harlem Hopscotch

One of Maya Angelou's final projects before her death earlier this year was a collaborative hip hop album called Caged Bird Songs. 

The album was released last month, and now one of the songs "Harlem Hopscotch" has a music video, featuring all sorts of dancers including some familiar faces from Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and America's Best Dance Crew. 

The 13-track album features Angelou reciting her poetry, set to instrumentals by producers Shawn Rivera and RoccStar and is available on iTunes and Spotify.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Prose Poem by Claudia Rankine


from Citizen: “You are in the dark, in the car...”




/ 
You are in the dark, in the car, watching the black-tarred street being swallowed by speed; he tells you his dean is making him hire a person of color when there are so many great writers out there.
You think maybe this is an experiment and you are being tested or retroactively insulted or you have done something that communicates this is an okay conversation to be having.
Why do you feel okay saying this to me? You wish the light would turn red or a police siren would go off so you could slam on the brakes, slam into the car ahead of you, be propelled forward so quickly both your faces would suddenly be exposed to the wind.
As usual you drive straight through the moment with the expected backing off of what was previously said. It is not only that confrontation is headache producing; it is also that you have a destination that doesn’t include acting like this moment isn’t inhabitable, hasn’t happened before, and the before isn’t part of the now as the night darkens 
and the time shortens between where we are and where we are going.
/
When you arrive in your driveway and turn off the car, you remain behind the wheel another ten minutes. You fear the night is being locked in and coded on a cellular level and want time to function as a power wash. Sitting there staring at the closed garage door you are reminded that a friend once told you there exists a medical term — John Henryism — for people exposed to stresses stemming from racism. They achieve themselves to death trying to dodge the build up of erasure. Sherman James, the researcher who came up with the term, claimed the physiological costs were high. You hope by sitting in 
silence you are bucking the trend.
/
When the stranger asks, Why do you care? you just stand there staring at him. He has just referred to the boisterous teenagers in Starbucks as niggers. Hey, I am standing right here, you responded, not necessarily expecting him to turn to you.
He is holding the lidded paper cup in one hand and a small paper bag in the other. They are just being kids. Come on, no need to get all KKK on them, you say.
Now there you go, he responds.
The people around you have turned away from their screens. The teenagers are on pause. There I go? you ask, feeling irritation begin to rain down. Yes, and something about hearing yourself repeating this stranger’s accusation in a voice usually reserved for your partner makes you smile.
/
A man knocked over her son in the subway. You feel your own body wince. He’s okay, but the son of a bitch kept walking. She says she grabbed the stranger’s arm and told him to apologize: I told him to look at the boy and apologize. And yes, you want it to stop, you want the black child pushed to the ground to be seen, to be helped to his feet and be brushed off, not brushed off  by the person that did not see him, has never seen him, has perhaps never seen anyone who is not a reflection of himself.
The beautiful thing is that a group of men began to stand behind me like a fleet of  bodyguards, she says, like newly found uncles and brothers.
/
The new therapist specializes in trauma counseling. You have only ever spoken on the phone. Her house has a side gate that leads to a back entrance she uses for patients. You walk down a path bordered on both sides with deer grass and rosemary to the gate, which turns out to be locked.
At the front door the bell is a small round disc that you press firmly. When the door finally opens, the woman standing there yells, at the top of her lungs, Get away from my house. What are you doing in my yard?
It’s as if a wounded Doberman pinscher or a German shepherd has gained the power of speech. And though you back up a few steps, you manage to tell her you have an appointment. You have an appointment? she spits back. Then she pauses. Everything pauses. Oh, she says, followed by, oh, yes, that’s right. I am sorry.
I am so sorry, so, so sorry.

/

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Einstein on Race in America



Albert Einstein teaching a physics class at Lincoln University (HBCU in Pennsylvania) in 1946. The Nobel prize winning scientist said: "The separation of the races is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it."

Friday, May 8, 2015

From the Wave by Thom Gunn (Poem)


It mounts at sea, a concave wall
     Down-ribbed with shine,
And pushes forward, building tall
     Its steep incline.
Then from their hiding rise to sight
     Black shapes on boards
Bearing before the fringe of white
     It mottles towards.
Their pale feet curl, they poise their weight
     With a learn’d skill.
It is the wave they imitate
     Keeps them so still.
The marbling bodies have become
     Half wave, half men,
Grafted it seems by feet of foam
     Some seconds, then,
Late as they can, they slice the face
     In timed procession:
Balance is triumph in this place,
     Triumph possession.
The mindless heave of which they rode
     A fluid shelf
Breaks as they leave it, falls and, slowed,
     Loses itself.
Clear, the sheathed bodies slick as seals
     Loosen and tingle;
And by the board the bare foot feels
     The suck of shingle.
They paddle in the shallows still;
     Two splash each other;
Then all swim out to wait until
     The right waves gather.


Thom Gunn, “From the Wave” from Selected Poems. Copyright © 2009 by Thom Gunn. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux .

Source: Selected Poems (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2009)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Greatest Dance Number Ever Filmed

via MENTAL FLOSS:

Fayard and Harold Nicholas were a fantastic set of flash-dancers who performed as the Nicholas Brothers. Born seven years apart, the brothers performed for decades on stage and screen, later teaching dance to Michael and Janet Jackson, among many others. In the performance below from Stormy Weather, many of their trademark moves are on display -- jumping down stairs into splits, sliding up from splits without using hands, and gleefully jumping through orchestra stands, while tap-dancing in unison. This is downright amazing. According to The Kid Should See This:
Fred Astaire once called this performance “the greatest dance number ever filmed.” Mikhail Baryshnikov said, “Those guys are perfect examples of pure genius.”

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dog Star Selects ‘The Shepherd Paris’ by van Dyck (Wallace Collection in London)


from the Wallace Collection:

‘The Shepherd Paris’ Sir Anthony van Dyck (Antoon van Dyck)

Van Dyck’s painting of the Shepherd Paris is an arresting and mysterious work. The half-length figure of a beautiful young man stands out from the dark background, his bright blue cloak exposing his left shoulder and arm. 

The shepherd’s staff and the shimmering golden apple identify him as Paris, the prince and shepherd from Troy. Nothing seems to distract from his presence, but his posture makes it clear that he is part of a larger story: while his body is turned left, the young shepherd dreamily looks to the right at something invisible to us.

Paris was the son of Priam, king of Troy, and of Hecuba. When pregnant, Hecuba had a dream that she gave birth to a firebrand. This was interpreted as foretelling the destruction of Troy, of which Paris would be the cause. The shepherd Agelaus was ordered to kill the infant but secretly raised him as his own son. 

Paris was later ordered by Jupiter to award a golden apple to the goddess he considered the most beautiful of Juno, Minerva and Venus. He chose Venus when she offered him, Helen, the most beautiful woman on earth. Helen, however, was married to Menelaus and her abduction by Paris caused the Trojan War and ultimately the destruction of Troy.

Van Dyck depicted Paris in the act of choosing as indicated by the golden apple. As a highly unusual decision, the painter omitted the three beautiful goddesses. Paris thus seems mesmerized by what he is seeing while we are not permitted a glimpse. 

Van Dyck puts the emphasis entirely on the act of choosing and all its consequences (we are witnessing the first step towards the destruction of Troy and the founding of Rome), but is also suggesting that ideal beauty is imagined rather than seen.

The unusual concentration on the shepherd and his youthful beauty has soon led to the assumption that the painting might be a self-portrait of the painter. While there is nothing in his traits resembling van Dyck as he is known to us from other portraits, the painting might still be considered a symbolic self-portrait of an artist, a man seeking beauty.

The painting can probably be identified with a work in the collection of the marquis de Voyer d’Argenson in the mid-eighteenth century. (A porphyry vase and its plinth from the same collection can be seen in the main staircase.) Whilst we know nothing about a possible patron for the painting, it now is generally accepted that van Dyck painted this work c.1629/30, shortly after his return from Italy, when he was under the strong spell of Titian. Titian’s “Perseus and Andromeda” hanging next to the “Shepherd Paris” was once in van Dyck’s own collection.  

Go here for a link to Titian's painting.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Dog Star Selects The Feast of Acheloüs


The Feast of Acheloüs
Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, Siegen 1577–1640 Antwerp) 
Artist: and Jan Brueghel the Elder (Netherlandish, Brussels 1568–1625 Antwerp) Date: ca. 1615 - On view in Gallery 630 

Rubens and his friend Jan Brueghel collaborated on a number of mythological and religious pictures about 1610–20. In this panel Rubens designed and painted the figure groups and Brueghel painted everything else. The river god Acheloüs explains to the Greek hero Theseus that a distant island is his former lover Perimele, transformed by Neptune so that she could remain forever within the river’s embrace. The artists combined Latin learning, athletic nudes (some based on classical sculpture), the wonders of nature and some made by man into an encyclopedic display meant for a sophisticated collector.  - via the Met Museum - Always free for high school students to visit the Met Museum.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

GO SEE Spring Exhibitions at NYC's Museums

THIS IS A PRINTER-FRIENDLY POST. 

Dog Star's mini-guide to the Spring 2015 museum exhibitions.

Keep it in your agenda or refer to it and make dates to see these exhibitions with family and friends.

All of the museums have a free or pay-what-you-wish (it can be just $1) night so be sure to check the website - it is linked in BOLD in the name of the museum.

GETTING TO THE MUSEUMS - MAKE IT EASY WITH FRIENDS
You may read about artists here that you've never heard of before - that's a good reason to check it out.  Read the list and make a plan to see at least three to start - pick one you are excited about seeing and invite your family.  Choose another one and invite two friends to join you!  On the third go by yourself - it will be an entirely different experience and you would be doing less socializing, less talking, less talking ABOUT the art and MORE LOOKING. 

PRETEND YOU'VE LOST YOUR PHONE
And always keep your phone in your pocket.  It's tough to make a real connection to the artwork if you are texting, taking pictures or researching.  Give yourself the chance to have a "phone-free" experience with art. 

Escape Route:
Paintings and Drawings by Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave
Bronx Museum of the Arts
February 12 - May 31, 2015
Escape Route: Paintings and Drawings by Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave will present a selection of works by the New York based artist created from 2011 to 2014 that deal with issues related to race, religion and sexuality. Since 1998 Hargrave has produced a compelling, deeply personal body of work incorporating painting, drawing, sculpture and video that explore the dynamics between race, sexuality and religion in relation to his upbringing in the south and early adulthood as an African American gay male coming to terms with racial and sexual identity.

UNDER THE MEXICAN SKY: Gabriel Figueroa—Art and Film
El Museo del Barrio
March 4, 2015 – June 27, 2015
From the early 1930s through the early 1980s, the Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa (1907–1997) helped forge an evocative and enduring image of Mexico. Among the most important cinematographers of the so-called Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, Figueroa worked with leading directors from Mexico, the United States and Europe, traversing a wide range of genres while maintaining his distinctive and vivid visual style.

Russian Modernism:
Cross-Currents in German and Russian Art, 1907-1917
Neue Galerie 
February 19-June 15, 2015
This exhibition will be dedicated to the radical modernist movements in German and Russian art at the beginning of the 20th century. Their development was parallel and often intersected. Such artists as Vasily Kandinsky or Alexei von Jawlensky are claimed by the Germans but remain Russian artists for the Russians.

Björk: The Exhibition
Museum of Modern Art 
March 8–June 7, 2015
The Museum of Modern Art presents a retrospective of the multifaceted work of composer, musician, and artist Björk. The exhibition draws from more than 20 years of the artist’s daring and adventurous projects and her seven full-length albums—from Debut (1993) to Biophilia (2011)—to chronicle her career through sound, film, visuals, instruments, objects, costumes, and performance. The installation will present a narrative, both biographical and imaginatively fictitious, cowritten by Björk and the acclaimed Icelandic writer Sjón Sigurdsson. Björk’s collaborations with video directors, photographers, fashion designers, and artists will be featured, and the exhibition culminates with a newly commissioned, immersive music and film experience conceived and realized with director Andrew Thomas Huang and 3-D design leader Autodesk.

Also at MoMA:
The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters - Through March 1, 2015
This exhibition is the first MoMA exhibition in 30 years dedicated solely to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and features over 100 examples of the best-known works created during the apex of his career.

One-Way Ticket:  Jacob Lawrence's
Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North
Museum of Modern Art 
April 3 – September 07, 2015
MoMA marks the centennial of the beginning of the Great Migration, the multi-decade mass movement of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North, with Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series.  The show highlights the ways in which Lawrence and others in his circles developed a set of innovative artistic strategies to offer perspectives on this crucial episode in American history. One-Way Ticket reunites all 60 panels of Lawrence’s Migration Series at MoMA for the first time in 20 years, and includes other accounts of the movement in a broad variety of media, including novels and poems by writers such as Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Richard Wright; music by Josh White, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday; photographs by Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, Gordon Parks, and Robert McNeill; sociological tracts by Carter Woodson, Charles Johnson, Emmett J. Scott, and Walter White; and paintings by Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, and Charles White.

Bazm and Razm Feast and Fight in Persian Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
February 17–May 31, 2015
For centuries, Persian kingship was epitomized by two complementary pursuits: bazm (feast) and razm (fight). The ruler's success as both a reveler and hunter/warrior distinguished him as a worthy and legitimate sovereign. The pairing of bazm and razm as the ultimate royal activities is an ancient concept with roots in pre-Islamic Iran. It is a recurring theme in the Shahnama (or Book of Kings)—the Persian national epic—as well as other poetic and historic texts.

Also at the Met:
Reimagining Modernism is a re-installation of the Met's American and European modern paintings, decorative arts, photographs, sculpture and works on paper from 1900-1950.  On view until 2017.

Coypel’s Don Quixote Tapestries: Illustrating a Spanish Novel in Eighteenth-Century France
Frick Collection
February 25, 2015 - May 17, 2015
A masterpiece of comic fiction, Cervantes’s Don Quixote (fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha) enjoyed great popularity from the moment it was published, in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615. Reprints and translations spread across Europe, captivating the continental imagination with the escapades of the knight Don Quixote and his companion, Sancho Panza. The novel’s most celebrated episodes inspired a multitude of paintings, prints, and interiors.

Lincoln Speaks: Words That Transformed a Nation
The Morgan Library
January 23 - June 7, 2015
This exhibition focuses on Abraham Lincoln’s mastery of language and how his words changed the course of history. Today, nearly 150 years after the end of the Civil War, he remains an exemplar of exalted leadership in a time of great crisis and people the world over continue to look to him as a standard-bearer for principled governance. Lincoln Speaks explores Lincoln as a writer and public speaker whose eloquence shaped the nation and the world, in his time and in ours.

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic
Brooklyn Museum
February 20 – May 24, 2015
The works presented in Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic raise questions about race, gender, and the politics of representation by portraying contemporary African American men and women using the conventions of traditional European portraiture. The exhibition includes an overview of the artist’s prolific fourteen-year career and features sixty paintings and sculptures.

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks
Brooklyn Museum
April 3 – August 23, 2015
Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat filled numerous notebooks with poetry fragments, word play, sketches, and personal observations ranging from street life and popular culture to themes of race, class, and world history. The first major exhibition of the artist's notebooks, Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks features 160 pages of these rarely seen documents, along with related works on paper and large-scale paintings. A self-taught artist with encyclopedic and cross-cultural interests, Basquiat was influenced by comics, advertising, children's sketches, Pop art, hip-hop, politics, and everyday life.

After Midnight:
Indian Modernism To Contemporary India 1947/1997
Queens Museum of Art
March 1 2015 - June 28 2015
After Midnight: Indian Modernism to Contemporary India 1947/1997 presents a comparative study of art created in the wake of two defining moments in Indian history. The first, Indian independence in 1947 was notable for the emergence of the Progressives Artists Group. The second was 1997, which marked 50 years of India’s independence, a period that coincided with economic liberalization, political instability, the growth of a religious right wing, as well as a newly globalizing art market and international biennial circuit, in which Indian artists had begun to participate.

Also on view at the Queens Museum
Robert Seydel - The Eye in Matter
Jul 19 2015 - Oct 26 2015
The art of Robert Seydel (1960-2011) is a rare hybrid of the visual and literary that dissolves boundaries between the lyrical, the narrative, reading and looking, marked by an unrelenting sense of play. Seydel merges the historical past with the present by merging actual personages with fictional characters – for example, the viewer/reader meets Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp. Much of his work is made under the auspices of various personas in place of the singular first person perspective. 

Inaugural Exhibition - Re-Opening of
the Whitney Museum on The High Line
Whitney Museum
When the Whitney Museum’s new Renzo Piano-designed home on Gansevoort Street opens its doors on May 1, 2015, the inaugural installation will be the largest and most comprehensive display to date of the Whitney’s unparalleled permanent collection of 20th and 21st century American art. This ambitious display will offer new perspectives on art in the United States since 1900, following the Whitney’s in-depth analysis of its collection of more than 21,000 works, an initiative that has been underway since 2012. The sweep of the collection is echoed in the building’s magnificent multiple perspectives: the new Whitney looks south toward the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, east into the city, and west across the Hudson toward the expanse of the country.


Everything Is Design: The Work of Paul Rand
Museum of the City of New York (MCNY)
February 25 - July 19, 2015
"Everything is Design. Everything!" —Paul Rand Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand features more than 150 advertisements, posters, corporate brochures, and books by this master of American design. It was Rand who most creatively brought European avant-garde art movements such as Cubism and Constructivism to graphic design in the United States. He argued that visual language should integrate form and function. Born in Brooklyn in humble circumstances, Rand (1914-1996) launched his career in the 1930s with magazine cover design and, starting in the early 1940s, he worked as an art director on Madison Avenue, where he helped revolutionize the advertising profession.

Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera
NYU - Grey Art Gallery 
April 21 - July 11, 2015
Born in Hong Kong and later based in New York City, Tseng Kwong Chi (1950–1990) produced a large body of witty, playful, performance- based photography that both captures the pivotal Manhattan downtown and club scenes and reflects the increasingly globalized movement of people across nations and continents. In so doing, he raised critical questions about identity and culture.

Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection
Japan Society
March 13 — June 7, 2015
Since arriving in Japan aboard Chinese ships transporting sacred Buddhist scriptures in the mid-sixth century, cats have proceeded to purr and paw their way into the heart of Japanese life, folklore, and art. Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection illustrates the depth of this mutual attraction by mining the wealth of bravura depictions of cats to be found in ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the Edo Period (1615-1867).

Colorful Boxy Exterior for Japanese Bank Branch

Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture + Design have designed a colorful boxy exterior for the Nakaaoki Branch of the Sugamo Shinkin Bank in Tokyo, Japan.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Scoreboards Where You Can’t See Your Score

from The New York Times:

The characters in Gary Shteyngart’s novel “Super Sad True Love Story” inhabit a continuously surveilled and scored society. Consider the protagonist, Lenny Abramov, age 39. A digital dossier about him accumulates his every health condition (high cholesterol, depression), liability (mortgage: $560,330), purchase (“bound, printed, nonstreaming media artifact”), tendency (“heterosexual, nonathletic, nonautomotive, nonreligious”) and probability (“life span estimated at 83”). 

And that profile is available for perusal by employers, friends and even strangers in bars. It’s a fictional forecast of a data-deterministic culture in which computer algorithms constantly analyze consumers’ profiles, issuing individuals numeric rankings that may benefit or hinder them. 

 Observing a street billboard that publicly broadcasts the score of each passer-by, the Abramov character says in the novel, “The old Chinese woman had a decent 1,400, but others, the young Latina mothers, even a profligate teenaged Hasid puffing down the street, were showing blinking red scores below 900, and I worried for them.” 

In two nonfiction books, scheduled to be published in January, technology experts examine similar consumer-ranking techniques already in widespread use. Even before the appearance of these books, a report called “The Scoring of America” by the World Privacy Forum showed how analytics companies now offer categorization services like “churn scores,” which aim to predict which customers are likely to forsake their mobile phone carrier or cable TV provider for another company; “job security scores,” which factor a person’s risk of unemployment into calculations of his or her ability to pay back a loan; “charitable donor scores,” which foundations use to identify the households likeliest to make large donations; and “frailty scores,” which are typically used to predict the risk of medical complications and death in elderly patients who have surgery.

GO HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE AT THE NEW YORK TIMES

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Street of the dancing cat

"Rue du chat qui danse" (Street of the dancing cat)
Saint-Malo, Bretagne, FRANCE


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Over 70% of Americans Age 17-24 Fail to Qualify for Military Service

More than two-thirds of America's youth would fail to qualify for military service because of physical, behavioral or educational shortcomings, posing challenges to building the next generation of soldiers even as the U.S. draws down troops from conflict zones.

READ THE STORY HERE AT THE WALL STREET JOURNAL


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Five Paintings We Love @ The Frick - Bring your friends and family!

Dog Star enjoys The Frick Collection because it NEVER changes its permanent collection - it always has on view the paintings Henry Clay Frick selected and placed within his home.  

This does not mean the Frick doesn't have room for special exhibitions; it has separate spaces for temporary little shows.  We want devoted readers to visit the Frick to see these paintings in person - for yourself.  

The descriptions of the paintings are taken from the museum's website.  

Here is a photo of the West Gallery - imagine having this room in your home as your private art collection.  It's just ONE of the rooms you will see at the Frick:
 


   
The Frick welcomes quiet and respectful teens who put away all electronics, check their coats and bags and enjoy this very special museum as if they are visiting a stranger's home.  The Frick is open to ALL NEW YORKERS!

The Frick Collection (more here) is EASY TO REACH at 70th Street and Fifth Avenue - take the 6 train to 68th Street / Hunter College and walk over to 5th Avenue from Lexington & 68th. Admission for teens is $10 (students with valid identification).  Dog Star says go early on Sundays and pay just $1!  On Sundays, pay what you wish from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


Learn more about the Frick family and origins of the collection and museum here.  The museum was planned as a permanent art collection to be open to the public by its founder Henry Clay Frick!



PAINTING #1 - ABOUT THE PAINTING ABOVE:  Lodovico Capponi painted by Agnolo Bronzino. This proud young aristocrat is Lodovico Capponi (b. 1533), a page at the Medici court. As was his custom, he wears black and white, his family's armorial colors. His right index finger partially conceals the cameo he holds, revealing only the inscription sorte (fate or fortune) — an ingenious allusion to the obscurity of fate. In the mid 1550s Lodovico fell in love with a girl whom Duke Cosimo had intended for one of his cousins. After nearly three years of opposition, Cosimo suddenly relented, but he commanded that their wedding be celebrated within twenty-four hours.   

WHY WE LOVE IT: We like to think that Frick chose this painting of Capponi because of its association with one of the most powerful families in history.  The Medici family of the Italian Renaissance ruled over the region of Florence / Tuscany and nobody did anything without their permission.  They made a fortune owning farms, mills, textile (tapestry) companies and family members were even connected to the Vatican in Rome.  Frick most likely admired this young man and may have seen an aspect of himself in the picture:  bold, proud and ready for the upper classes!


PAINTING #2 - ABOUT THE PAINTING ABOVE: Gilbert Stuart  (1755 - 1828) George Washington, 1795-1796  Stuart earned a fortune producing replicas of the three portraits he painted from life of the first President of the United States. The Frick canvas is thought to be one of two copies painted by the artist for the Philadelphia merchant John Vaughan. It belongs to the group known as the “Vaughan type,” although it differs from the related versions in the color of the coat and in the treatment of the background. Stylistically the portrait recalls the work of Stuart’s English contemporaries, such as Romney and Hoppner.

WHY WE LOVE IT: The first thing to know is that the portrait of Washington on the one dollar bill is by Gilbert Stuart - same artist.  We like this painting because it shows our first president in a red velvet coat and we like to think Frick liked that, too.



PAINTING #3 - ABOUT THE PAINTING ABOVE: Johannes Vermeer  (1632 - 1675) Mistress and Maid, 1666-1667  The subject of writing and receiving letters, which recurs frequently in Vermeer’s work, is given an exceptional sense of dramatic tension in this painting of two women arrested in some moment of mysterious crisis. The lack of final modeling in the mistress’ head and figure and the relatively plain background indicate that this late work by Vermeer was left unfinished. Nevertheless, the artist seldom if ever surpassed the subtly varied effects of light seen here as it gleams from the pearl jewelry, sparkles from the glass and silver objects on the table, and falls softly over the figures in their shadowy setting. Bought by Mr. Frick in 1919, the year of his death, this painting was his last purchase and joined Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait, Holbein’s Sir Thomas More, Bellini’s St. Francis, and Velázquez’ King Philip IV among his favorite acquisitions.

WHY WE LOVE IT: Frick had exquisite taste and bought the very best paintings.  His taste in art is strongly conservative; by the time of his death in 1919 cubism and abstratcion were very popular but he would never have bought those kinds of pictures - he did not have a taste for "modern" art.  But there is just no disputing the beauty of a Vermeer - the way he handles the light so delicately!



PAINTING #4 - ABOUT THE PAINTER/ING ABOVE: Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn  (1606 - 1669) Self-Portrait, 1658.  Rembrandt first studied art in his native Leyden and later worked under Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam. Around 1625 he returned to Leyden, but in 1631/32 he settled permanently in Amsterdam. Although he enjoyed a great reputation and pupils flocked to him, he suffered financial difficulties that led to insolvency in 1656. By 1660 most of his debts were settled, and his last years were spent in relative comfort. Rembrandt painted many portraits, biblical scenes, and historical subjects.

WHY WE LOVE IT: This painting was completed about ten years before the painter died.  By the time he painted it his career had long been over.  And yet Rembrandt makes himself look so majestic, so regal like a king who is still at the top of his game.


PAINTING #5 - ABOUT THE PAINTING ABOVE: Jean-August-Dominique Ingres  (1780 - 1867) Comtesse d'Haussonville, 1845Louise, Princesse de Broglie (1818–82) and granddaughter of Madame de Staël, married at the age of eighteen. Her husband was a diplomat, writer, and member of the French Academy, and she herself published a number of books, including biographies of Robert Emmet and Byron. For her time and her elevated social caste, she was outspokenly independent and liberal. This portrait, begun in 1842, was the fruit of several false starts and a great many preparatory drawings, including full-scale studies of the raised left arm, the head, and its reflection. According to a letter written by the artist, the finished work “aroused a storm of approval among her family and friends.” Ingres appears to have surprised the young lady in the intimacy of her boudoir, where she leans against an upholstered fireplace, having just discarded her evening wrap and opera glasses.  


WHY WE LOVE IT: This painter's last name is pronounced eng-ah.  It's so easy to see why Frick would have loved this painting and why we love it, too.  The Comtesse is so beautiful and so charming in this portrait while also hinting that she is ready and willing to have an intelligent conversation.