Dog Star / A Creative Arts Guide for Teens


ENTER YOUR EMAIL TO SUBSCRIBE

AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE CLICK "OLDER POSTS" TO SEE MORE CONTENT!

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!

NOW IN OUR 7th YEAR! NEW POSTS DAILY!

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.

BELIEVE YOU BELONG!

BE CURIOUS ABOUT THE WORLD!

"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.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

How Did this High School Student Go From Being Suspended 20 Times to Graduating Valedictorian?

High school student Damon Smith had been suspended more than twenty times before entering Ralph Bunche High School in Oakland, an alternative high school for chronically expelled students. After working with Eric Butler, a restorative justice counselor at the school, Damon left behind the gang violence he had been embroiled in, earned a 3.7 GPA and graduated valedictorian in his class. How did it happen? This new video produced by Storycorps and the Atlantic Philanthropies tells Smith’s story of his struggle between realizing his true potential academically or falling back into the street violence of his hometown.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Chief Keef & Black Futures

A Cold Heart, but Hints at WarmthChief Keef’s New Album is ‘Finally Rich’

By JON CARAMANICA

Exactly one rap star has an Instagram account wholly devoted to affectionate, intimate, cute pictures of his child: Chief Keef. This is the same Chief Keef who had another of his Instagram accounts suspended in September for posting a photo of himself receiving oral sex. The same person who spent a significant portion of 2012 under house arrest in connection with gun charges. The same one whose music is in part a catalog of gang-related boasts and threats. Chief Keef is 17, and appears happy for the most part to be seen as a problem child.

There’s plenty that’s troubling, and troubled, too about his major-label debut album, “Finally Rich” (Glory Boyz/Interscope), which was released this week. Like the mixtapes that preceded, it’s relentlessly dark and sometimes lifeless, at least in the lyrics. It is also, thanks to Young Chop, who produced about half of it, exuberant and pugnacious, a stress reliever of an album.

Surprisingly, “Finally Rich” is an album that at least doesn’t ignore fatherhood. “Got Them Bands,” a bonus track, is the most direct. “My daughter’s heaven sent/She rock Gucci, Louis,” Chief Keef raps. “She be flexin’ like a bitch/She know papa got that cash/She know papa hella rich.”

At least four other songs mention his daughter, whose nickname is Kay Kay, and that doesn’t count the song called “Kay Kay,” which is as coldhearted as anything here — “Tats all on my body/Don’t make me catch a body” — while only obliquely referring to her.

Chief Keef might not be much of a rapper — he’s clunky, monochromatic and sometimes outright awful — but he’s careful. These mentions are the only indication of heart on this album, which barely rewards close listening. Typically his rhymes don’t get more inventive than “Hit him with that Cobra/Now that boy slumped over.” But his grip on youthful abandon is compelling — he makes menace sound fun. He’s an inheritor of several generations of Chicago gangster rap, and also of the drill music that’s saturated the city in the last three years. But he’s also a child of Internet-driven cults of personality like Soulja Boy and Lil B, young rappers whose most meaningful fan interactions happened outside the label system. Whatever demand there is for Chief Keef he generated it on his own, with his mixtapes, straight-to-YouTube videos and local hero status.

Like those progenitors, Chief Keef has a narrow palette, a rigorous commitment to it and a reluctance — or inability — to change. “Finally Rich” has a couple of moments that suggest forward movement, though. “Love Sosa” and “Hate Bein’ Sober” have insistent melodies that are brighter than anything he made on his own. The decidedly weird “Laughin’ to the Bank,” with its ghoulish laughs — “I’m laughing to the bank like ha ha ha, I’m laughing at these lames like ha ha ha” — could have been a Dr. Demento favorite. And the three bonus tracks are among the most adventurous on the album, with his vocals on two of them buried in digital processing that recalls the recent genre-melting work of Future. But mostly the turf is familiar, and often disturbing. Even though he’s a success, the Chicago that Chief Keef grew up in is still with him. On “Diamonds,” Chief Keef appears to taunt the gang claimed by Lil JoJo, an aspiring Chicago rapper who was murdered in September, and whom Chief Keef taunted on Twitter after the killing (though he later claimed his account had been hacked).

As a title, “Finally Rich” has the sound of a fait accompli, but Chief Keef is anything but. He’s still a small fry in the hip-hop economy. And compared to the rest of the hip-hop mainstream, Chief Keef’s music is stark and raw, something that is made even clearer by the handful of outside guests who appear on this album looking for some refracted credibility: 50 Cent, Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, Young Jeezy, French Montana. They all sound polished to a tee. And they barely leave a stain. It’s not hard to imagine Chief Keef and his crew rolling their eyes at the old guys.

Certainly the fact that less than a year ago, Chief Keef was filming videos in his grandmother’s house, where he was under arrest, is remarkable. But there’s little about his rise on “Finally Rich” apart from the steady references to newfound wealth. You learn more about what Chief Keef has seen in the last nine months from the liner notes than from the music: the list of guests, the use of Interscope Studios in Santa Monica for recording much of the material.

You also have to return to Instagram to spy on his growth. On his various accounts there are frequent shots of stacks of money, and of expensive purchases. Though he hates being interviewed, he’s happy to preen for the cameras, showing off this designer outfit or that luxury sports car. He is, after all, just a kid.

As a whole, he comes off as someone who, major label record deal notwithstanding, has seen little of the world. His album is preoccupied with old beefs and old feelings. On most songs he shouts out members of his crew — the people who’ve been alongside him for years, not the new people clamoring for his attention.

And then there’s his daughter. He recently posted on Twitter photos of child-support documents that he appeared pleased with. He also posted a video of shopping at Target for gifts for her first birthday. He may have a narrow worldview, but that’s a fate that, because of her father, Kay Kay might be able to avoid.




Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Discover Jacob Lawrence's Paintings of Haiti's Freedom Fighter (Toussaint L’Ouverture)



Jacob Lawrence: The Toussaint L’Ouverture Series 

Influenced by the Harlem Renaissance, Jacob Lawrence (1912–2000) believed that art should be a quest for both personal and communal identity, a philosophy he advocated throughout his long and distinguished career. On several occasions, he developed multi-paneled series of works exploring heroic stories and themes. 


His first of these monumental efforts, The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture, created in 1936–38, is showcased in this exhibition. Consisting of 41 images—for which Lawrence also composed captions—the series brings to life L’Ouverture’s feats in emancipating Haiti from European rule, thereby establishing the first black republic in the Western Hemisphere.  







Toussaint L 'Ouverture was a leader in the Haitian revolution. Born a slave, he rose to become commander in chief of the revolutionary army. In 1800 he coordinated the effort to draw up Haiti's first democratic constitution. However, in 1802, before the Republic was firmly established, Toussaint was arrested by Napoleon Bonaparte's troops and sent to Paris, where he was imprisoned. He died in prison the following year. In 1804 Haiti became the first black Western republic. 

See more images here.

Monday, January 19, 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. 

DOG STAR'S TOP FIVE PICKS - DON'T MISS THESE SHOWS
While we encourage everyone to see as many of these exhibitions as possible we know that's not likely to happen.  (There are about 35 exhibitions listed here.)  Here's FIVE that we think are DO NOT MISS SHOWS.  If you had to be selective - because of work schedules and school - we recommend these FIVE TO SEE IN THIS ORDER OF PRIORITY:

1.  Romare Bearden at the Wallach Art Gallery (Columbia University)
2.  Kehinde Wiley's First Career Retrospective (Brooklyn Museum)
3.  Jacob Lawrence's Great Migration Series (Museum of Modern Art)
4.  Jean-Michel Basquiat's Unknown Notebooks (Brooklyn Museum)
5.  Re-Opening of the Whitney Museum on The High Line


Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey
Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University
January 21–March 14, 2015
Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey presents and explores the artist's 1977 cycle of collages and watercolors based on Homer's Odyssey. One of the most esteemed and beloved African American artists of the 20th century, Romare Bearden (1911 – 1988) underscores the epic text in the service of his most significant artistic theme: searching for a way home. Bearden works with and against Homer, translating the ancient stories through a 20th–century visual voice while considering their enduring relevance. Bearden's black characters raise the issue of race, inviting us to consider the Odyssey as a truly global classic.

Takahiro Iwasaki: In Focus 
Asia Society
January 27 - April 26, 2015
Takahiro Iwasaki creates detailed miniature landscapes using towels, toothbrushes, used clothing, and other found and recycled materials. This exhibition is a part of Asia Society Museum’s ongoing In Focus series, which invites contemporary artists to create new works, often in conversation with the Asia Society Museum’s permanent collection of traditional Asian art.

Also at the Asia Society:
Buddhist Art of Myanmar
February 10 - May 10, 2015
Buddhist Art of Myanmar will be the first exhibition in the West focusing on works of art from collections in Myanmar. The exhibition comprises approximately 70 spectacular works—including stone, bronze and wood sculptures, textiles, paintings, and lacquer ritual implements—from the fifth through the nineteenth centuries. Artworks include objects created for temples, monasteries, and personal devotion, which will be presented in their historical and ritual contexts. The exhibition will explore how Buddhist narratives were communicated visually and the multiplicity of regional styles.

Titus Kaphar: The Jerome Project
Studio Museum in Harlem
Nov 13, 2014 - Mar 8, 2015
Titus Kaphar (b. 1976) is celebrated for producing paintings, drawings and installations that initiate a contemporary dialogue with history. Marrying eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American portraiture with modernist gesture, Kaphar produces aesthetically striking, intellectually engaging artworks that often blur the line between historical fact and fiction. Representing a marked departure in his practice, Titus Kaphar: The Jerome Project is composed of small-scale works that engage with contemporary social issues, particularly the criminal justice system.

Judith Scott - Bound & Unbound
Brooklyn Museum
October 24, 2014 - March 29, 2015
Born in Columbus, Ohio, with Down syndrome, Scott (1943–2005) was also largely deaf and did not speak. Judith Scott’s work is celebrated for its astonishing visual complexity. In a career spanning just seventeen years, Scott developed a unique and idiosyncratic method to produce a body of work of remarkable originality. Often working for weeks or months on individual pieces, she used yarn, thread, fabric, and other fibers to envelop found objects into fastidiously woven, wrapped, and bundled structures.

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.

New Territories:  
Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America
Museum of Art & Design (MAD)
November 4, 2014 to April 6, 2015
The term “new territories,” as evoked by Italian architect and designer Gaetano Pesce, refers to the state of making in today’s globalized society, a phenomenon that has helped to spur a confluence of art, design and craft. The exhibition New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America will examine this trend in several distinct cities throughout Latin America, where some of the most pertinent new directions in arts and design are emerging today.

Helena Rubinstein: Beauty Is Power
The Jewish Museum 
October 31, 2014 - March 22, 2015
This is the first museum exhibition to focus on the cosmetics entrepreneur Helena Rubinstein (1872 – 1965). Rubinstein – as businesswoman and arts patron – helped break down the status quo of taste by blurring the boundaries between commerce, art, fashion, beauty, and design. Her innovative business and style challenged conservative taste and helped usher in a modern notion of beauty, democratized and accessible to all. Beauty Is Power will reunite much of Rubinstein’s famed collection, including modern artworks by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Elie Nadelman, and Joan Miró, among others, as well as her iconic collection of African and Oceanic sculpture, miniature period rooms, jewelry, and fashion.

Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion
New York Historical Society
September 26, 2014 - April 19, 2015
Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion explores the centuries-long history of trade and immigration between China and the United States—a history that involved New York from its very beginnings—and will raise the question “What does it mean to be an American?” The exhibit narrative extends from the late eighteenth century to the present and includes all regions of the country, thus interpreting the Chinese American saga as a key part of American history.

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.

Becoming Another: The Power of Masks
Rubin Museum of Art
March 13, 2015 - February 8, 2016
Becoming Another illuminates the common threads and distinct differences in mask traditions from Northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Mongolia, Siberia, Japan, and the North-West Coast tribes of North America. Featuring masks used in shamanistic practices, communal rituals, and theatrical performances, this exhibition speaks to the human impulse to transform one’s identity.

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:
Madame Cézanne - November 19, 2014–March 15, 2015
Madame Cézanne, the first exhibition of the paintings, drawings, and watercolors by Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) of his most painted model, Hortense Fiquet (1850–1922), will open at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on November 19. The exhibition will trace Cézanne’s lifelong attachment to the woman who was his model, his wife, and the mother of his son, Paul. She profoundly inflected his portrait practice for more than two decades, yet despite this long liaison, she was not well received—by either his family or his friends.

Paul Cézanne: Drawings and Watercolors from the Metropolitan Museum’s Collection will be on view from November 18, 2014 through March 15, 2015.

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.

On Kawara
Guggenheim Museum
February 6 – May 3, 2015
Through radically restricted means, On Kawara’s work engages the personal and historical consciousness of place and time. Kawara’s practice is often associated with the rise of Conceptual art, yet in its complex wit and philosophical reach, it stands well apart. Organized with the cooperation of the artist, On Kawara—Silence will be the first full representation of Kawara’s output, beginning in 1964 and including every category of work, much of it produced during his travels across the globe.

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).

Dr. Martin Luther King’s Inspiring Street Sweeper

Re-posted from Andy Sternberg's blog:

One recurring theme in many of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s speeches that always inspires involves the job of street sweeper as a parable for self-fulfillment. I’ve always admired Dr. King’s ability to affect not just churchgoers or civil rights activists but humans of all kinds, secular and otherwise, and the “street sweeper” element and its metaphorical allusions to the arts is my favorite example of this. 

…[E]ven if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go on out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures; sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music; sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry…

GO HERE FOR EXCELLENT AUDIO OF DR. KING DELIVERING THIS SPEECH

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mike Rose & His Emoji Tattoos


Mike Scott is another idiot who gets ink work because...he doesn't have a good reason. Here's how he answered the question about his emoji tats:

"The story behind it is I just use emojis a lot when I text. It's me; it's original. People are doing it now, but no one else had it before I started getting into it. I dunno—I guess I started the trend. It's a trend I see now but for sure no one had it when I started. Sometimes they say what you can't say. They can express the words that you can't say about how you feel. You can do a whole conversation just using emojis and people will understand. I actually do that a lot."

There is NO STORY. What you said is NOT A STORY. It's a lame excuse you thought of on the spot to answer the question. You didn't tell a story. A story is a narrative. What a friggin dumb ass.

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Yorker Magazine Cover (Dr. King in 2015)



Barry Blitt drew next week’s cover, inspired by the photographs of the Selma-to-Montgomery march that are everywhere again. “It struck me that King’s vision was both the empowerment of African-Americans, the insistence on civil rights, but also the reconciliation of people who seemed so hard to reconcile,” he said. “In New York and elsewhere, the tension between the police and the policed is at the center of things. Like Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, Martin Luther King was taken way too early. It is hard to believe things would have got as bad as they are if he was still around today.”

Do you believe the universe is friendly or unfriendly?

Do you believe the universe is friendly or unfriendly? The choice you make about this (and it is your choice) has an impact on every thing that happens and every other choice that comes after.

“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” ― Albert Einstein

Thursday, January 15, 2015

LAST WEEKS! CLOSING SOON! GO SEE these Exhibitions at NYC's Museums this Autumn/Winter

Dog Star's mini-guide to the Fall/Winter museum exhibitions.

THIS IS A PRINTER-FRIENDLY POST.  Just the one image above and all text in black to make it easy to print the list.  

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. 

DOG STAR'S TOP FIVE PICKS - DON'T MISS THESE SHOWS
While we encourage everyone to see as many of these exhibitions as possible we know that's not likely to happen.  (There are about 35 exhibitions listed here.)  Here's FIVE that we think are DO NOT MISS SHOWS.  If you had to be selective - because of work schedules and school - we recommend these FIVE TO SEE IN THIS ORDER OF PRIORITY:

1.  Matisse at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
2.  Romare Bearden at the Wallach Art Gallery (Columbia University)
3.  Nam June Paik at the Asia Society
4.  Sebastião Salgado at the International Center of Photography (ICP)
5.  Annie Leibovitz at The New York Historical Society

Finally, we've added one line called WHY GO? to encourage Dog Star readers to see an exhibition.


Under Another Name
Studio Museum in Harlem
Jul 17, 2014 - Mar 8, 2015
Under Another Name borrows its title from a line that appears in Renée Green’s letterpress print William Morris. In it, she cites William Morris, a 19th century English artist, writer, textile designer and socialist. In his novel A Dream of John Ball (1888), which Green quotes, he writes: “I pondered...how men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name…” Under Another Name considers work in multiple media, focusing on the relationship of various genres and media to one another. Here, ephemeral sculptures are captured as photographs; letterpress prints invoke the aesthetics of video; performances are recorded as drawings; sound is captured in objects; and photographs are abstracted into paintings. Rather than privileging one medium over another, the exhibition looks at their interdependence and what happens when a work is understood through the context of a new medium.
WHY GO?  Don't miss the inventive and creative ways artists make images and objects.

LAST WEEKS!  CLOSING SOON!
Francesco Clemente: Inspired by India
Rubin Museum of Art
September 5, 2014 - February 2, 2015
The first museum exhibition devoted to the Indian influences in Clemente’s work and how they relate to the artistic practices and traditions of various regions in India features approximately 20 works, including paintings from the last 30 years, and four new, larger than life-size sculptures created especially for the exhibition. In contrast to leading conceptual art practices of the 1970s, Clemente refocused attention on representation, narrative, and the figure, and explored traditional, artisanal materials and modes of working.
WHY GO?  Don't miss this opportunity to see an amazing artist's paintings and sculpture inspired by the traditions of India - there will be a spiritual component to the whole exhibition.

LAST WEEK!  CLOSING SOON!
Egon Schiele: Portraits 
Neue Galerie 
October 9, 2014-January 19, 2015
This autumn Neue Galerie New York will open "Egon Schiele: Portraits," a special exhibition devoted to portraiture created by the masterful Austrian artist Egon Schiele. This is the first exhibition at an American museum to focus exclusively on portraiture in Schiele's work.
WHY GO?  Egon was the bad boy artist of his times - like Basquiat in 1980s New York City.  Life during Egon's time (end of the 19th century, early years of the 20th century) was very conservative but he had an open, fresh and liberal idea about how to show people and their personalities.  The twisted body shapes and the expressive line that characterize Schiele's paintings and drawings mark the artist as an early exponent of Expressionism.  He is a true original who died of the Spanish Flu at age 28.

LAST WEEKS!  CLOSING SOON!
Matisse:  The Cut-Outs
Museum of Modern Art 
October 12, 2014–February 8, 2015
Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs is a groundbreaking reassessment of this important body of work. The largest and most extensive presentation of the cut-outs ever mounted, the exhibition includes approximately 100 cut-outs—borrowed from public and private collections around the globe—along with a selection of related drawings, prints, illustrated books, stained glass, and textiles. The last time New York audiences were treated to an in-depth look at the cut-outs was in 1961.
WHY GO?  DO NOT MISS THIS EXHIBITION -  An opportunity to discover and re-discover this great modern master.  Go see his masterpiece "ZULMA" - completed at age 80!

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.

LAST WEEKS!  CLOSING SOON!
El Greco in New York
Metropolitan Museum of Art
November 4, 2014–February 1, 2015 To commemorate the four-hundredth anniversary of the death of El Greco, the Metropolitan Museum and the Hispanic Society of America are pooling their collections of the work of this great painter to provide a panorama of his art unrivaled outside the Museo del Prado in Madrid. The Frick Collection will display its paintings contemporaneously. This is a unique opportunity to see this artist's work, which exerted such a strong impact on modern painting and especially appealed to New York collectors.
WHY GO?  A unique opportunity to see in one place several paintings by the Greek painter ("El Greco") who moved to Toledo, Spain and painted with such power and energy.

LAST WEEKS!  CLOSING SOON!
Cubism: The Leonard Lauder Collection
Metropolitan Museum of Art
October 20, 2014–February 16, 2015
Cubism, the most influential art movement of the early twentieth century, still resonates today. It destroyed traditional illusionism in painting and radically changed the way we see the world. The Leonard A. Lauder Collection, unsurpassed in its holdings of Cubist art, is now a promised gift to the Museum. On the occasion of this exhibition, the Collection will be shown in public for the first time—eighty paintings, collages, drawings, and sculpture by the four preeminent Cubist artists: Georges Braque (French, 1882–1963), Juan Gris (Spanish, 1887–1927), Fernand Léger (French, 1881–1955), and Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973).
WHY GO?  DO NOT MISS THIS EXHIBITION -  It will be a very long time before you see this collection together again.  It will show the best of the best by these four Cubist artists.

Also at the Met:
Madame Cézanne - November 19, 2014–March 15, 2015
Madame Cézanne, the first exhibition of the paintings, drawings, and watercolors by Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) of his most painted model, Hortense Fiquet (1850–1922), will open at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on November 19. The exhibition will trace Cézanne’s lifelong attachment to the woman who was his model, his wife, and the mother of his son, Paul. She profoundly inflected his portrait practice for more than two decades, yet despite this long liaison, she was not well received—by either his family or his friends.

Paul Cézanne: Drawings and Watercolors from the Metropolitan Museum’s Collection will be on view from November 18, 2014 through March 15, 2015.
WHY GO?  Cézanne is the "godfather" of European modern art and had a big influence on Picasso, Matisse and the Cubist painters.  Go to enjoy a painter who has one foot int he 19th century and the other foot in the forward-looking modern age of the 20th century.

Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey
Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University
November 15–December 13, 2014 and January 21–March 14, 2015
Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey presents and explores the artist's 1977 cycle of collages and watercolors based on Homer's Odyssey. One of the most esteemed and beloved African American artists of the 20th century, Romare Bearden (1911 – 1988) underscores the epic text in the service of his most significant artistic theme: searching for a way home. Bearden works with and against Homer, translating the ancient stories through a 20th–century visual voice while considering their enduring relevance. Bearden's black characters raise the issue of race, inviting us to consider the Odyssey as a truly global classic.
WHY GO?  DO NOT MISS THIS EXHIBITION -  Bearden is a true American original - an artist with his own vision and style and always engaging.  Go to see his incredible use of collage to create scenes from this mythical tale.

LAST WEEKS!  CLOSING SOON!
Two Exhibitions at The Frick Collection

Frick Collection
El Greco at The Frick Collection
November 4, 2014 to February 1, 2015
To celebrate the 400th anniversary of El Greco’s death, the Frick continues its 2014 focus on the artist, which began with Men in Armor: El Greco and Pulzone Face to Face (August 5–October 26, 2014), with an installation organized in conjunction with El Greco in New York, opening in November at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Frick will unite its three remarkable El Greco paintings — Purification of the Temple and portraits of Vincenzo Anastagi and St. Jerome — showing them together, for the first time, on one wall of the East Gallery.
WHY GO?  Not sure why the Frick didn't loan these El Grecos to the Met for the big show up the block but they have agreed to put their El Grecos on display at the same time.  Think of this as El Greco Part 2 for the Met exhibition.

Masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery
November 5, 2014 to February 1, 2015
In November, The Frick Collection will be the first venue to present a touring group of masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland. The ten paintings to be featured in New York include a Botticelli never before on public view in the United States.
WHY GO?  Because you have never seen these paintings unless you've been to Scotland.


NY Historical Society - Two Exhibitions

New York Historical Society
Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion
September 26, 2014 - April 19, 2015
Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion explores the centuries-long history of trade and immigration between China and the United States—a history that involved New York from its very beginnings—and will raise the question “What does it mean to be an American?” The exhibit narrative extends from the late eighteenth century to the present and includes all regions of the country, thus interpreting the Chinese American saga as a key part of American history.
WHY GO?  An important history that deserves to be told - this museum always does a superb and complete job of presenting all kinds of history and this will be an eye opening and engaging experience.

LAST WEEKS!  CLOSING SOON!
Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage
November 21, 2014 - February 22, 2015
Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage charts a new direction for one of America’s best-known living photographers. Unlike her staged and carefully lit portraits made on assignment for magazines and advertising clients, the photographs in this exhibition were taken simply because Leibovitz was moved by the subject. The images speak in a commonplace language to the photographer’s curiosity about the world she inherited, spanning landscapes both dramatic and quiet, interiors of living rooms and bedrooms, and objects that are talismans of past lives.
WHY GO?  Go to discover what happens when a legendary portrait photographer takes a new path to investigate new subjects and new experiences in her photography.

The Jewish Museum - Two Exhibitions

The Jewish Museum 

LAST WEEKS!  CLOSING SOON!
From the Margins: Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis, 1945–1952
September 12, 2014 - February 1, 2015
Through select paintings by both artists, this exhibition offers a revealing parallel view of two key Abstract Expressionists. Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis, a woman and an African American, each experimented with approaches that joined abstraction and cultural specificity. Their work similarly brims with gesture, image, and incident, yet was often overlooked by critics in their time.
WHY GO?  Finally we have an exhibition that honors the place of both women and African-American men in the story of abstract expressionism.  Most exhibitions of these painters have only the circle of white men who huddled together at the Cedar Tavern.

Helena Rubinstein: Beauty Is Power
October 31, 2014 - March 22, 2015
This is the first museum exhibition to focus on the cosmetics entrepreneur Helena Rubinstein (1872 – 1965). Rubinstein – as businesswoman and arts patron – helped break down the status quo of taste by blurring the boundaries between commerce, art, fashion, beauty, and design. Her innovative business and style challenged conservative taste and helped usher in a modern notion of beauty, democratized and accessible to all. Beauty Is Power will reunite much of Rubinstein’s famed collection, including modern artworks by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Elie Nadelman, and Joan Miró, among others, as well as her iconic collection of African and Oceanic sculpture, miniature period rooms, jewelry, and fashion.
WHY GO?  Go to find out more about a powerful female role model who used his wealth to collect great modern art.

Also at the Brooklyn Museum:
Brooklyn Museum
Judith Scott - October 24, 2014-March 29, 2015
Born in Columbus, Ohio, with Down syndrome, Scott (1943–2005) was also largely deaf and did not speak. Judith Scott’s work is celebrated for its astonishing visual complexity. In a career spanning just seventeen years, Scott developed a unique and idiosyncratic method to produce a body of work of remarkable originality. Often working for weeks or months on individual pieces, she used yarn, thread, fabric, and other fibers to envelop found objects into fastidiously woven, wrapped, and bundled structures.
WHY GO?  Don't miss an opportunity to see the work of an unconventional artist - Scott is not someone we normally think of as being artistic or an artist and yet she creates powerful and strange work.  She demands we respect all kinds of expression from the fullest range of human beings.

LAST WEEKS!  CLOSING SOON!
Guggenheim Museum - Two Exhibitions

Guggenheim Museum
V. S. Gaitonde: Painting as Process, Painting as Life
October 24, 2014–February 11, 2015
Comprising 45 major paintings and works on paper drawn from 30 leading public institutions and private collections across Asia, Europe, and the United States, this is the first retrospective exhibition dedicated to the work of celebrated Indian modern painter Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde (1924–2001).

Wang Jianwei: Time Temple
October 31, 2014–February 16, 2015
Wang Jianwei: Time Temple comprises an intricately designed exhibition space, a film, and a performance art event, exploring the role of time-based art practices in contemporary Chinese art for the first commission of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative at the Guggenheim Museum. Wang Jianwei was born 1958 in Suining, Sichuan Province, Southwest China, and is widely recognized for his bold experiments in new media art.

LAST WEEKS!  CLOSING SOON!
Chris Ofili: Night and Day
New Museum of Contemporary Art
Ocgtober 29, 2014 through February 1, 2015
“Chris Ofili: Night and Day” will span the artist’s influential career, encompassing his work in painting, drawing, and sculpture. Over the past two decades, Ofili has become identified with vibrant, meticulously executed, elaborate artworks that meld figuration, abstraction, and decoration. In his extremely diverse oeuvre, Ofili has taken imagery and inspiration from such disparate, century-spanning sources as the Bible, hip-hop music, Zimbabwean cave paintings, blaxploitation films, and William Blake’s poems.
WHY GO?  Go because this is going to be fun.  Chris has a bad rep but this will show peopel he does more than one kind of artwork.  (Go here to see why he got into trouble - at the link scroll down to New York section.)

New Territories:  
Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America
Museum of Art & Design (MAD)
November 4, 2014 to April 6, 2015
The term “new territories,” as evoked by Italian architect and designer Gaetano Pesce, refers to the state of making in today’s globalized society, a phenomenon that has helped to spur a confluence of art, design and craft. The exhibition New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America will examine this trend in several distinct cities throughout Latin America, where some of the most pertinent new directions in arts and design are emerging today. New Territories explores the collaborations between small manufacturing operations and craftspersons, artists, and designers, and demonstrates how the resulting work addresses not only the issues of commodification and production, but also of urbanization, displacement and sustainability. The exhibition will explore a number of key themes, including: the dialogue between contemporary trends and artistic legacies in Latin American art; the use of repurposed materials in strategies of upcyling; the blending of digital and traditional skills; and the reclamation of personal and public space.
WHY GO?  Don't miss this opportunity to see inventive new forms and materials.


LAST WEEKS!  CLOSING SOON!
Also at the Museum of the City of New York:Assembled Realities: Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao's New York
Museum of the City of New York (MCNY)
October 15, 2014 - February 15, 2015
Assembled Realities: Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao's New York features more than 40 works by this Taiwanese artist, who came to New York at 18 to study photography. Pushing the boundaries of traditional documentary photography, Liao (b. 1977) creates large-scale panoramas by combining multiple exposures of the same location taken over the course of several hours. The resulting composite photographs are often fantastical; complex, hyper-real views that no single shot—or the eye—could capture. Liao has spent the past decade honing his distinctive style, making images of his adopted city from the Grand Concourse to Coney Island, the old Shea Stadium to the 72nd Street Subway.
WHY GO?  Don't miss the old time "Mad Men" artwork and the wild photos.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Discover this Famous French Film THE RULES OF THE GAME


Dog Star is a big fan of this French film from 1939 directed by Jean Renoir.  (He is a son of the famous painter Auguste Renoir.)

A.O. Scott, a film critic for the NY Times, also made a brief clip about why this film is so famous and why it is considered such a great movie - go here to see this clip.

Watch the trailer and then a brief clip in which the director talks about the film and then find the film online and watch it all the way through.




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dog Star Selects Joe Haden ... Love One


Watch this video! Share on your FB wall for something positive, uplifting and NOT from TMZ, World Star Hip Hop or Complex and their nonsense...

Teachers - a great video to show in class on themes of family bonds, heroes and brotherhood.

Browns Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden sits down with Josina Anderson to discuss the special bond he shares with his younger brother, Jacob, and how he saved him from a tragic accident.



Sunday, January 11, 2015

Brother of Paris Cop Killed by Terrorists Speaks Out

via The Guardian:

Paris policeman’s brother: ‘Islam is a religion of love. My brother was killed by terrorists, by false Muslims’ Ahmed Merabet was the first police officer at the scene of the Charlie Hebdo attack. He was shot dead in cold blood. 

Ahmed Merabet, the police officer gunned down in the Charlie Hebdo attack, was killed in an act of barbarity by “false Muslims” his brother said in a moving tribute on Saturday, where he also appealed for unity and tolerance.
Speaking for a group of relatives gathered in Paris, Malek Merabet said the terrorists who ignored his brother’s plea for mercy as he lay wounded on the street may have shared his Algerian roots, but had nothing else in common.
“My brother was Muslim and he was killed by two terrorists, by two false Muslims,” he said. “Islam is a religion of peace and love. As far as my brother’s death is concerned it was a waste. He was very proud of the name Ahmed Merabet, proud to represent the police and of defending the values of the Republic – liberty, equality, fraternity.”

READ MORE AT THE GUARDIAN

Black Fatherhood in Crisis



On GRIO: Iyanla Vanzant intervenes on 6 black men with 87 children, 50 different mothers (go here)

“I think that we cannot underestimate and fail to recognize the impact that our history and this experience has had on the formulation of our DNA and our emotional pathology,” she tells the men. “You’re not a stud in the field making babies for the master of the South. You’re not. You are not, but it’s in your DNA.”

DOG STAR SAYS:  An overly simplistic "read" on the pathology though...Are we expected to accept the idea that these men, one has 34 children with 17 women, and their infidelity, lack of responsibility and selfishness can be traced to...slavery days? I don't buy it. It's also a pretty convenient cop out.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Find the Perfect Word for Your Feelings with This Vocabulary Wheel

from LIFEHACKER:

Sometimes it's hard to explain exactly how you feel. This handy vocabulary wheel helps you narrow down exactly what word best expresses your current emotional state. Whether you're writing or talking about a character, another person, or yourself, it can be easy to use the same words over and over. This wheel diagram from English teacher Kaitlin Robbs helps you find the right word for the right feeling from the inside out. Start out with a basic emotion and then move outward until you have the best synonym for the job. The wheel itself isn't exactly groundbreaking in the world of vocabulary, but it's a nice reference for those that have a hard time being specific about how they or others feel.



Thursday, January 8, 2015

50 Old British Dialect Words to Incorporate into Conversation

50 Old British Dialect Words to Incorporate into Conversation

  1. APTYCOCK: A quick-witted or intelligent young man. (SW England)
  2. BANG-A-BONK: It might not look like it, but this is a verb meaning “to sit lazily on a riverbank.” (Gloucestershire)
  3. BAUCHLE: A name for an old worn out shoe, and in particular one that no longer has a heel—although it was also used figuratively to refer to a pointless or useless person. (Ireland)
  4. CLIMB-TACK: A cat that likes to walk along high shelves or picture rails is a climb-tack. (Yorkshire)
  5. CLOMPH: To walk in shoes which are too large for your feet. (Central England)
  6. CRAMBO-CLINK: Also known as crambo-jink, this is a word for poor quality poetry—or, figuratively, a long-winded and ultimately pointless conversation. (Scots)
  7. CRINKIE-WINKIE: A groundless misgiving, or a poor reason for not doing something. (Scots)
  8. CRUM-A-GRACKLE: Any awkward or difficult situation. (SW England)
  9. CRUMPSY: Short-tempered and irritable. Probably a local variation of “grumpy.” (Central England)
  10. CUDDLE-ME-BUFF: Why call it beer when you can call it cuddle-me-buff? (Yorkshire)
  11. CULF: The loose feathers that come out of a mattress or cushion—and which “adhere to the clothes of any one who has lain upon it,” according to Wright. (Cornwall)
  12. CURECKITYCOO: To coo like a dove—or, figuratively, to flirt and canoodle with someone. (Scots)
  13. DAUNCY: If someone looks noticeably unwell, then they’re dauncy. Originally an Irish and northern English word, this eventually spread into colloquial American English in the 19th century. (Ireland)
  14. DOUP-SCUD: Defined by Wright as “a heavy fall on the buttocks.” (NE Scots)
  15. EEDLE-DODDLE: A person who shows no initiative in a crisis. Also used as an adjective to mean “negligent,” or “muddle-headed.” (Scots)
  16. FAUCHLE: Fumbling things and making mistakes at work because you’re so tired? That’s fauchling. (Scots)
  17. FLENCH: When the weather looks like it’s going to improve but it never does, then it’s flenched. (Scots)
  18. FLOBY-MOBLY: The perfect word for describing the feeling of not being unwell, but still not quite feeling your best. A Scots equivalent was atweesh-an-atween. (Central England)
  19. HANSPER: Pain and stiffness felt in the legs after a long walk. (Scots)
  20. INISITIJITTY: A worthless, ridiculous looking person. (Central England)
  21. JEDDARTY-JIDDARTY: Also spelled jiggerdy-jaggardy. Either way it means entwined or tangled. (NW England)
  22. LENNOCHMORE: A larger-than-average baby. Comes from the Gaelic leanabh mor, meaning “big child.” (Scots)
  23. LIMPSEY: Limp and flaccid, often used in reference to someone just before they faint. (East England)
  24. MUNDLE: As a verb, mundle means to do something clumsily, or to be hampered or interrupted while trying to work. As a noun, a mundle is a cake slice or a wooden spatula—to lick the mundle but burn your tongue means to do something enjoyable, regardless of the consequences. (Central England)
  25. NAWPY: A new pen. (Lincolnshire)
  26. NIPPERKIN: A small gulp or draught of a drink, said to be roughly equal to one-eighth of a pint. (SW England)
  27. OMPERLODGE: To disagree with or contradict someone. (Bedfordshire)
  28. OUTSPECKLE: A laughing stock. (Scots)
  29. PADDY-NODDY: A long and tedious story. (Lincolnshire)
  30. PARWHOBBLE: To monopolize a conversation. (SW England)
  31. PEG-PUFF: Defined as “a young woman with the manners of an old one.” (Northern England)
  32. POLRUMPTIOUS: Raucous. Rude. Disruptive. Polrumptious. (Kent)
  33. QUAALTAGH: The first person you see after you leave your house. Comes from an old Celtic New Year tradition in which the first person you see or speak to on the morning of January 1, the quaaltagh, was interpreted as a sign of what was to come in the year ahead. (Isle of Man)
  34. RAZZLE: To cook something so that the outside of it burns, but the inside of it stays raw. You can also razzle yourself by warming yourself by a fire. (Yorkshire/East England)
  35. SHACKBAGGERLY: An adjective describing anything left “in a loose, disorderly manner.” (Lincolnshire)
  36. SHIVVINESS: The uncomfortable feeling of wearing new underwear. Shiv is an old word for thick, coarse wool or linen. (Yorkshire)
  37. SILLERLESS: Literally “silverless”—or, in other words, completely broke. (Scots)
  38. SLITHERUM: A dawdling, slow-moving person. (East England)
  39. SLIVING: A thin slice of bread or meat, or a splinter of wood. (Yorkshire)
  40. SLOCHET: To walk with your shoes nearly coming off your feet. Or to walk with your shoelaces untied. Or to walk slowly because your shoes are too big. (SW England)
  41. SPINKIE-DEN: A woodland clearing full of flowers. (Scots)
  42. TEWLY-STOMACHED: On its own, tewly means weak or sickly, or overly sensitive or delicate. Someone who is tewly-stomached has a weak stomach, or a poor constitution. (East England)
  43. THALTHAN: Also spelled tholthan, a thalthan is a part-derelict building. (Isle of Man)
  44. TITTY-TOIT: To spruce or tidy up. (Yorkshire)
  45. UNCHANCY: Sometimes used to mean mischievous or unlucky, but also used to describe something potentially dangerous, or, according to Wright, “not safe to meddle with.” (Northern England)
  46. VARGLE: Means either to work in a messy or untidy way, or to perform an unpleasant task. (Scots)
  47. VARTIWELL: The little metal loop that the latch of a gate hooks into? That’s the vartiwell. According to the OED, it probably takes its name from an old French word for the bottom hinge of a gate, vervelle. (Eastern England)
  48. WEATHER-MOUTH: A bright, sunny patch of sky on the horizon flanked by two dense banks of cloud is the weather-mouth. (Scots)
  49. YAWMAGORP: A yawm is a yawn, and a gorp is a mouth. So a yawmagorp is a lounger or idler, or someone who seems constantly to be yawning and stretching wearily. (Yorkshire)
  50. ZWODDER: The last entry in the English Dialect Dictionary describes “a drowsy, stupid state of body or mind.” It’s probably related to another word, swadder, used to mean “to grow weary with drinking.” (SW England)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Dreams That Money Can Buy

Watch Dreams That Money Can Buy, a Surrealist Film by Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder, Fernand Léger & Hans Richter

“Everybody dreams. Everybody travels, sometimes into countries where strange beauty, wisdom, adventure, love expects him.” 

These words, a tad floaty and dreamlike themselves, open 1947′s Dreams That Money Can Buy. “This is a story of dreams mixed with reality,” the narrator intones. 

He can say that again. Directed by Hans Richter, painter, graphic artist, avant-gardist, “film-experimenter,” and energetic member of the Dada movement, the picture takes a storyline that seems mundanely realistic — impecunious poet finds apartment, then must figure out how to pay the rent — and bends it into all manner of surreal shapes. 

And I do, literally, mean surreal, since several of the scenes come from the minds of noted avant-garde and surrealist artists, including, besides Richter himself, painter and photographer Man Ray, conceptualist Marcel Duchamp, sculptor Alexander Calder, and painter-sculptor-filmmaker Fernand Léger. Joe, the film’s protagonist, finds he has a sort of superpower: by looking into the eyes of another, he can see the contents of their mind. He promptly sets up a sort of consultation business where he examines the unconscious thoughts of a client: say, an unambitious banker whose wife lives “like a double-entry column: no virtues, no vices.” 

He then uses the abstract materials of their thoughts to come up with a self-contained, somewhat less abstract dream for them to dream: in the banker’s case, a dream called “Desire,“ which takes the form of a short film by Dadaist painter-sculptor-graphic artist-poet Max Ernst. For Joe’s other, differently neurotic customers, Richter, Man Ray, Duchamp, Calder, and Léger come up with suitable formally and aesthetically distinct dreams. 

While all these artists imbue Dreams That Money Can Buy with their own inimitable sensibilities (or nonsense abilities, as the case may be), I feel as though certain modern filmmakers would have the time of their lives remaking it. Michel Gondry comes to mind.



Monday, January 5, 2015

The Real Story of Winnie & Nelson Mandela

Published on Dec 22, 2013 on Youtube 
Forget all the Hollywood films about Winnie and Nelson Mandela (propaganda) that do not in anyway reveal the true story of white supremacist rule in South Africa and the heroes and sheroes that helped to fight for justice and freedom. For the first time ever see the critically acclaimed 1986 documentary on the lives of Winnie and Nelson Mandela without the frills, mis-education, white washing and mis-information that is always found in hollywood blockbuster movies.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Brooklyn to the Big Time, but First a Stop in Mississippi



A really engaging and fascinating story about how three Brooklyn high school basketball players end up attending a junior college in Mississippi.  They are definitely "fish out of water" but their encounters with "Southern life" are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for personal growth.