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!

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

DISARM @ Cotton Hustle



Meet the artists at the opening for DISARM at Cotton Hustle in Sunset Park (Third Avenue and 50th Street in Brooklyn, take the R train to 53rd Street)

Go here for more information.


Dog Star Selects VILLA CAPRA ("Rotonda" by Andrea Palladio)

In 1565 a priest, Paolo Almerico, on his retirement from the Vatican (as referendario apostolico of Pope Pius IV and afterwards Pius V), decided to return to his home town of Vicenza in the Venetian countryside and build a country house. This house, later known as 'La Rotonda', was to be one of Palladio's best-known legacies to the architectural world. Villa Capra may have inspired a thousand subsequent buildings, but the villa was itself inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Chinese Folk Kites (Part 1 of 2)








Folk kites in the National Arts Museum of China. Silk and bamboo. 
1. “Red Dragonfly “ Fei Baoling 
2. "Green Shrimp" Leng Shixiang 
3. “Red Cicada” Li Huachen 
4. “Yan Emperor” Wang Qu’nian 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Video of a Teenage Kanye West

This video of a pre-College Dropout—and even pre-college enrollment—Kanye West was recently excavated from the archives of an iconic record store. A then-unknown Kanye performed at the 1996 opening of Fat Beats' 6th Avenue location, but his verse was stuck on an old 8mm tape until this week.

Radio host DJ Eclipse, formerly the manager of Fat Beats' New York store, sent the vintage Yeezy footage to Complex with this note:

"Yesterday I started converting old Hi8 video tapes to DVD and came across some interesting footage from that day ... [W]hat took me by surprise was the appearance of this 19-year-old kid who at that time nobody knew. At least in NYC."

Kanye was just 19 at the time, a recent high school graduate about to start painting classes at the The American Academy of Art. The art school thing didn't really stick, but the rapping did, and the rest is beautiful dark twisted history. If you couldn't tell this was the '90s just by looking, the Alanis Morissette punchline would be a dead giveaway.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Basquiat's BEAT BOP (1983)

In 1983, Basquiat designed the cover art and produced a record for graffiti artist Rammellzee titled Beat Bop. 


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cyclist Lands on His Feet After High-Flying Car Collision

The cyclist in the video above was riding through a London suburb "to gain some fitness," he writes on YouTube, when a car going the opposite direction suddenly turned right into the bike lane. The head-on collision that ensued is the stuff of bike-riding nightmares.

"Oh, fuck off!" the helmet cam-wearing rider yells seconds before he's thrown into the air. After a chaotic second or two he lands on the car's hood, and slides safely to his feet on the road, without so much as a stumble.

He left the incident with only bruising, and writes that the video helped him secure an insurance claim from the driver. From YouTube:
I'm not quite sure how I wasn't seen. I'm over 6ft and was wearing a bright blue jacket. If I was seen then it's a very bad judgement in my speed.
After a very uncomfortable trip to the hospital in a neck brace and spinal board and various x-rays I escaped with just bruising. So I consider myself lucky.
At the time the driver was apologetic and was informed by the police that I was recording my ride and seemed to admit fault. But when it came to my insurance claim against her she disputed it. Safe to say the video has saved me a lot of hassle and 3 weeks later the cheque has already arrived from the insurance company.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: The Smiths - There is A Light That Never Goes Out



Take me out tonight
Where there's music and there's people
And they're young and alive
Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
Because I haven't got one
Anymore

Take me out tonight
Because I want to see people and I
Want to see life
Driving in your car
Oh, please don't drop me home
Because it's not my home, it's their
Home, and I'm welcome no more

And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten-ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well, the pleasure - the privilege is mine

Take me out tonight
Take me anywhere, I don't care
I don't care, I don't care
And in the darkened underpass
I thought Oh God, my chance has come at last
(But then a strange fear gripped me and I
Just couldn't ask)

Take me out tonight
Oh, take me anywhere, I don't care
I don't care, I don't care
Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
Because I haven't got one, da ...
Oh, I haven't got one

And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten-ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well, the pleasure - the privilege is mine

Oh, There Is A Light And It Never Goes Out
There Is A Light And It Never Goes Out


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Top 100 Favorite British Slang Words and Phrases


1. Tosser – Idiot
2. Cock-up – Screw up
3. Bloody – Damn
4. Give You A Bell – Call you
5. Blimey! – My Goodness
6. Wanker – Idiot
7. Gutted – Devastated
8. Bespoke – Custom Made
9. Chuffed – Proud
10. Fancy – Like
11. Sod Off – Piss off
12. Lost the Plot – Gone Crazy
13. Fortnight – Two Weeks
14. Sorted – Arranged
15. Hoover – Vaccum
16. Kip – Sleep or nap
17. Bee’s Knees – Awesome
18. Know Your Onions – Knowledgeable
19. Dodgy – Suspicious
20. Wonky – Not right
21. Wicked – Cool!
22. Whinge – Whine
23. Tad – Little bit
24. Tenner – £10
25. Fiver – £5
26. Skive – Lazy or avoid doing something
27. Toff – Upper Class Person
28. Punter – Customer/Prostitute’s Client
29. Scouser – Someone from Liverpool
30. Quid – £
31. Taking the Piss – Screwing around32. Pissed – Drunk
33. Loo – Toilet
34. Nicked – Stolen
35. Nutter – Crazy Person
36. Knackered – Tired
37. Gobsmacked – Amazed
38. Dog’s Bollocks – Awesome
39. Chap – Male or friend
40. Bugger – Jerk
41. Bog Roll – Toilet Paper
42. Bob’s Your Uncle – There you go!
43. Anti-Clockwise – We Say Counter Clockwise
44. C of E – Church of England
45. Pants – Panties
46. Throw a Spanner in the Works – Screw up
47. Zed – We say ZZZZZZZ
48. Absobloodylootely – YES!
49. Nosh – Food
50. One Off – One time only
51. Shambles – Mess
52. Arse-over-tit – Fall over
53. Brilliant! – Great!
54. Dog’s Dinner – Dressed Nicely
55. Up for it – Willing to have sex
56. On the Pull – Looking for sex
57. Made Redundant – Fired from a job
58. Easy Peasy – Easy
59. See a Man About a Dog – Do a deal or take a dump
60. Up the Duff – Pregnant
61. DIY – Do It Yourself home improvements
62. Chat Up – Flirt
63. Fit – Hot
64. Arse – Ass
65. Strawberry Creams – Breasts
66. Shag – Screw
67. Gentleman Sausage – Penis
68. Twigs & Berries – Genitalia
69. Fanny – Vagina
70. Bollocks – Balls
71. Ponce – Poser
72. Don’t Get Your Knickers in a Twist – Don’t Get worked up
73. The Telly – Television
74. Bangers – Sausage
75. Chips – French Fries
76. Daft Cow – Idiot
77. Do – Party
78. Uni – College/University
79. Starkers – Naked
80. Smeg – From Red Dwarf
81. Bits ‘n Bobs – Various things
82. Anorak – A person weirdly interested in something
83. Shambles – bad shape/plan gone wrong
84. I’m Off to Bedfordshire – Going to bed
85. Her Majesty’s Pleasure – To be in prison
86. Horses for Courses – Won’t work for someone else
87. John Thomas – Penis
88. Plastered – Drunk
89. Meat and Two Veg – Genitalia
90. Knob Head – Idiot/Dickhead
91. Knob – Penis
92. Chav – White trash
93. It`s monkeys outside – it is very cold
94. Stag Night – Bachelor Party
95. Ace – Cool!
96. Plonker – Idiot
97. Dobber – Penis
98. BellEnd – Penis
99. Blighty – Britain
100. Rubbish – Garbage or ‘That’s crap!’

Friday, July 17, 2015

10 Principles About Life to Look at Every Day (Elephant Journal)

 Dog Star re-posts from Elephant Journal:

 

1. Bad situations in life are only temporary.

“If you are going through hell, keep going.” ~ Winston Churchill
Life is messy—bad things happen to good people. We all face hardships, but what makes us human is the ability to bounce back. We can become more resilient than we did before. Some things happen that we have no control over.
You can find strength in situations that you never thought possible if you just keep moving forward.

2. Be open and compassionate.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~ Albert Einstein
Sometime events occur in your life that cause you to close. You assume every situation is going to occur the same way: if you were hurt once, you will be hurt again. This is not true. It’s better to forgive than to hold a grudge.

 3. Things aren’t going to always workout the way you plan.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few. ” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
Don’t approach life with expectations of how things should or shouldn’t be. So many conflicts in life occur because someone is attached to a plan on how things should or shouldn’t work.
It’s alright to have goals, aspirations and dreams, but you don’t have to be set on a particular outcome. Sometimes the worst tragedies in people’s life turn out to be the best.

 4. People’s opinions of you are not who you are.

 “If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” ~ Paulo Coelho
Some people might say terrible things to you—who cares!? They might make a comment on your work, or your blog post. There’s no reason you need internalize it. Some people aren’t conscious of the things they say to people. So just be compassionate towards them.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Something to Declare - Your Passport to Global Culture: Mid-Century Jewish Temple Design



Kneses Tifereth Israel is a classic example of 1950s synagogue design that reflects the growth in American Jewish life in the post-war era when more than 500 synagogues were built throughout the United States. 

Philip Johnson (1906-2005) was one of the leading American voices for Modernism, first as head of the Museum of Modern Art's architecture and design department in the 1930s, and subsequently as a leading architect. Kneses Tifereth Israel was his only synagogue design. He undertook the commission for no fee as a public atonement to the Jewish people for his pro-fascist activities in the 1930s. 

In its adoption of a Modernist style, the Port Chester congregation reflected the movement at the time to develop new themes and forms appropriate to the contemporary synagogue.




Johnson designed the Torah ark (of English oak decorated with bronze Hebrew letters made by Ibram Lassaw) and other furnishings including a number of bimah chairs of English oak. The letters affixed to front of the ark doors compose four Biblical acrostics, which translate: "God is one and His name is One / The Fear of the Lord is the Prerequisite to Wisdom / Shun Evil and do Good / For This is the Whole Man." The numerical value of the letters adds up to 613. In 2006, when Kneses Tifereth Israel decided to renovate the sanctuary, the Lassaw and Johnson suite (with the exception of the menorah sculpted by Lassaw) was sold to The Jewish Museum.


The group of objects in photo above - the wall screen, the Torah ark and the chairs - are on permanent view at The Jewish Museum - always free on Saturdays.


Ibram Lassaw (American, b. Egypt, 1913-2003) was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1913 to Russian Jewish parents, and came to the United States in 1921. Lassaw is best known for his open-space welded sculptures in bronze, nickel silver, and other alloys. He worked on the Federal Arts Project of the Public Works Administration and served in the army during World War II. A founder of the American Abstract Artists in 1936, he is most closely associated with Abstract Expressionist sculptors Seymour Lipton, Herbert Ferber, and David Hare. Among post-war artists, Lassaw was the one to maintain the most consistent theoretical basis for his art, drawing on such intellectual sources as Taoist and Zen teachings and the psychology of Jung.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Planet of Snail

I was listing to a podcast between two comics and one of them mentioned a documentary that was new to me, "Planet of Snail."  When she said, "It will make you weep" I knew I had to look for it - go here for the website.






The Secret to Happiness Is 10 Specific Behaviors

1. Let Go Of The Need For Specific Outcomes
Not everything in life goes exactly how we plan. There are setbacks. Stuff happens. We mess up. Over-obsessing and basing happiness on specific outcomes leads to misery. My wife and I have been trying to get pregnant for almost three years. It’s been tough. We’ve had to learn to be happy, rain or shine.
Jeremy Piven, the famous actor, was recently interviewed by Success Magazine. During the interview, he mentioned that, as an actor, the only way to work is to go out and audition for specific roles.
The challenge most actors/actresses face is that they get in their own way. It doesn’t matter how much homework they’ve done. If they’re too tied to a specific result, they can’t be present in the moment. They can’t truly perform their art. They come off as desperate. They get in their own way. Their performance isn’t what it could have been.
Jeremy said that when he quit worrying about a specific result, he was able to be present during his auditions. He was able to be completely who he wanted to be. He wasn’t trying to be what he thought others wanted him to be. He performed his art.
If he didn’t get the gig, either they didn’t get it or it just wasn’t the right fit. So he moves on to the next. In this way, he’s able to get the jobs he’s supposed to have. He’s not just trying to get anything he can get.
2. Define Your Own Success And Happiness
“Be everything to everybody and you’ll be nothing for yourself.”—John Rushton
No two human beings are the same. So why should we have one standard of success? Seeking society’s standard of success is an endless rat-race. There will always be someone better than you. You’ll never have the time to do everything.
Instead, you recognize that every decision has opportunity cost. When you choose one thing, you simultaneously don’t choose several others. And that’s okay. Actually, it’s beautiful because we get to choose our ultimate ideal. We must define success, wealth, and happiness in our own terms because if we don’t, society will for us—and we will always fall short. We’ll always be left wanting. We’ll always be stuck comparing ourselves and competing with other people. Our lives will be an endless race for the next best thing. We’ll never experience contentment.
3. Commit 100 Percent To The Things That Make You Happy
“Many of us have convinced ourselves that we are able to break our own personal rules “just this once.” In our minds, we can justify these small choices. None of those things, when they first happen, feels like a life-changing decision. The marginal costs are almost always low. But each of those decisions can roll up into a much bigger picture, turning you into the kind of person you never wanted to be.”—Clayton Christensen
People are really good at self-sabotage. We consistently behave in ways that contradict our goals and ideals. This is incongruence. As Mahatma Gandhi has said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” The smaller the gap between what you should do, and what you actually do—the happier you will be.
Hence, Clayton Christensen says 100 percent commitment is easier than 98 percent commitment. When you fully commit to something, the decision has been made. Consequently, regarding that thing, all future decisions have been made.
Unless you’re committed 100 percent, you will always be a victim to external circumstances. By relying on willpower, you’ll crumble more often than you think. Research has found that people over-inflate their own performance. Chances are, you probably think you’re doing better at your resolves than you really are.
But once you’re 100 percent committed, you no longer need to rely on willpower. Your decision has already been made regardless of the circumstances. Saying “No” to anything outside our highest ideals becomes extremely easy. This is living proactively rather than reactively.
4. Be Grateful For What You Already Have
“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.”—Sarah Ban Breathnach
Happiness is as simple as gratitude. Psychological research has found that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:
Physical
  • Stronger immune systems
  • Less bothered by aches and pains
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Exercise more and take better care of their health
  • Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
Psychological
  • Higher levels of positive emotions
  • More alert, alive, and awake
  • More joy and pleasure
  • More optimism and happiness
Social
  • More helpful, generous, and compassionate
  • More forgiving
  • More outgoing
  • Feel less lonely and isolated
Despite these benefits, most people ungratefully focus on what they don’t have. As a culture, we have become wasteful and undisciplined consumers. The grass is always greener on the other side. A constant pursuit of having more of the newest and best.
How could you possibly find happiness when you relentlessly want more and never find properly appreciate what you have?
It’s time for you to learn how to be more grateful. Your happiness depends on it. Dr. Emmons, one of the world’s leading experts on gratitude recommends 10 ways to become more grateful:
Keep a gratitude journal
Set aside time on a daily basis to recollection moments of gratitude connected with commonplace events, your personal characteristics, or important people in your life. This allows you to weave gratitude into your normal, everyday life. This will help you move from trying to be grateful occasionally to becoming a grateful person. The goal is to move from doing to being.
Remember the hard and challenging things you’ve gone through
When you ponder and reflect on the challenges you’ve passed through, you’ll more fully embrace where you currently are.
Ask yourself these three questions
You can reflect on any aspect of your life and deeply consider these three questions:
  • “What have I received from __?”
  • “What have I given to __?”
  • “What troubles and difficulty have I caused?”
These questions will allow you to look at the people or things in your life from a different perspective. They will allow you to not take them for granted and to realize how grateful you are.
Learn prayers of gratitude
In many spiritual traditions, prayers of gratitude are considered to be the most powerful form of prayer. These prayers turn the individual to their highest source of power. It allows them to realize the divine grace that has so generously been bestowed. It also allows the person to seek for higher and better ways of living.
Come to your senses
Literally, connecting more deeply with our body allows us to see it for what it is: a brilliant and miraculous gift. Being more fully present as we touch, see, smell, taste, and hear facilitates appreciation for being human and alive. In this way, gratitude intensifies our lived experience.
Use visual reminders
The two main impediments to gratitude are forgetfulness and a lack of mindful awareness. Consequently, putting visual reminders in common places triggers thoughts of gratitude. Dr. Emmons has found that the best visual reminders are people.
Make a personal vow to practice gratitude
Research shows that making an oath to perform a behavior increases the likelihood that the action will be executed. Consequently, you should make a personal and public declaration that you are going to be more grateful. Write it down. Share it on social media. Tell your friends and closest people.
Watch your language
Grateful people use words that ungrateful people don’t use. They often use words like gifts, givers, blessings, blessed, fortune, fortunate, and abundance. Use these words in your vocabulary more and you’ll recognize more things to be grateful for. Additionally, in your language, don’t focus on how inherently good you are. Rather, speak of how good things and other people have been for you. This will allow you to realize the abundance around you. The universe and everyone in it is your advocate.
Go through the motions
Grateful motions include smiling, saying thank you, and writing letters of gratitude. When you do these things, you trigger the emotion of gratitude in your life. Say thank you more often. Say you love people more often. Smile at random strangers as you pass them by. Not only will it make you feel better, it is contagious. People are mirrors. They’ll feel good and smile back. This will create a change reaction of positivity throughout the world. The ripple effects are endless.
Think outside the box
Dr. Emmons recommends creatively looking for new situations and things to be grateful for. What in your life have you not spent time being grateful for? What could you include in your life that will generate an inflow of gratitude? Mix it up. Don’t think gratitude can only come from a narrow set of sources.


Read more at http://observer.com/2015/07/the-secret-to-happiness-is-ten-specific-behaviors/#ixzz3f9lAgHdy 

Dog Star Selects Sculptor Fabio Viale - Kouros (Marble)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Chaos Cinema: A Breakdown of How 21st-Century Action Films Became Incoherent

Dog Star re-posts this from OPEN CULTURE:

If you read Open Culture, you probably love watching movies. I’d wager, however, that you don’t love watching action movies. I don’t mean that you operate at an intellectual level far above any such paltry entertainments; I mean that the craft of action filmmaking has itself declined. 

You’ve surely felt that today’s big-budget spectacles of chase, fight, and explosion — Transformers, the Jason Bourne films, last few Bonds, the latest Batman trilogy — don’t thrill you as did those of decades past — Hard Boiled, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Wild Bunch, Die Hard — but perhaps you can’t pin down quite why. Have action movies changed, you may wonder, or have I? 

German-born, UCLA-based film scholar Matthias Stork argues for the former, breaking down the corruption of modern action filmmaking in his video essay Chaos Cinema. ”Throughout the first century of moviemaking, the default style of commercial cinema was classical,” he begins. “It was meticulous and patient. In theory, at least, every composition and camera move had a meaning, a purpose, and movies did not cut without good reason.” 

No longer. Where action filmmakers once “prided themselves on keeping the viewer well-oriented” in time and space, they now throw disparate images together haphazardly, enslaved to ”rapid editing, close framings, bipolar lens lengths, and promiscuous camera movement,” trading “visual intelligibility for sensory overload,” leaving it to the soundtrack to provide a semblance of continuity. 

Stork examines the qualities and effects of this new style of “chaos cinema” in three parts.

The first covers the visual disintegration of action sequences themselves; the second covers the deficiency’s penetration even into scenes of dialogue and music and the emergence of the “shaky-cam”; the third summarizes and engages responses to the first two parts. 

Whether or not mainstream commercial filmmaking will ever cure itself and return to convincing, coherent action rather than the impressionistic ”general idea of action,” we now have a fascinating diagnosis of the disease. (For further discussion of Chaos Cinema, consider listening to Stork’s appearance on Battleship Pretension, a favorite film podcast of mine.)








Monday, June 29, 2015

Abandoned Paintings by Bence Hajdu

 Dog Star says this is an odd project in which the artist removes people from famous pictures.


Now look at the original called original of leonardo da vinci's 'the last supper', 1495-1498



hungarian new-media artist bence hajdu has re-imagined well-known paintings such as claude lorrain's 'seaport with the embarkation of st. ursula' by erasing people and characters so that only the artwork's architecture remains. the work is an outcome of hajdu's interest in examining the pure drawn perspectives of the classic paintings, revealing an unusual atmosphere only becoming palpable after removing the figures. hajdu says of the work: 'I am a student at the university of fine arts, hungary. at one of the descriptive geometry classes we had a task to find and draw the perspective and horizon lines of renaissance and other pictures with significant perspective space. I thought it is not that interesting to just draw lines, so I decided to erase all the characters from them and examine how the painter really created the perspective space and how it actually looks. I saw this could be something exciting and continued thinking and working on it. after a while I found myself interested in the new atmosphere and the new thoughts the retouched pieces generated without their main subjects.' when comparing the re-interpreted jacques louis david's 'oath of the horatii' with the original, the spirit of the artwork is completely transformed - removing the tension and chaos of battle leaves a scene much more still, tranquil and even bleak. the audience is left with a new perspective and understanding of the artwork only attained through hajdu's depiction, shifting the once entrenched energy of the famous artworks.
Other then interesting for art classes I find these photo-shops superfluous. We must not forget that the artist never intended to draw a scene without humans in it. If these old masters had the intention to make an architectural drawing there would definitely be another outcome.










Sunday, June 28, 2015

KINKY BOOTS: Marriage Equality Curtain Call Speech

Have you seen this?
Billy Porter acknowledges the Supreme Court ruling at the curtain call Friday night.

JUST BE
WHO YOU WANNA BE
NEVER LET THEM TELL YOU WHO YOU OUGHT TO BE
JUST BE
WITH DIGNITY
CELEBRATE YOURSELF TRIUMPHANTLY

SUMMER READING: "The Star Side of Bird Hill" by Naomi Jackson


Once in a while, you’ll stumble onto a book like this, one so poetic in its descriptions and so alive with lovable, frustrating, painfully real characters, that your emotional response to it becomes almost physical.
In Jackson’s wrenching debut, 16-year-old Dionne and 10-year-old Phaedra Braithwaite are sent to spend the summer of1989 in Barbados with their grandmother, Hyacinth, while their mother, Avril, a former nurse for AIDS patients, stays behind in Brooklyn to recover from a serious bout of depression. As Dionne falls in with a fast crowd—no surprise, since her mother’s illness has forced her to grow up too quickly—sweet, daydreaming Phaedra keeps close to their strange new home, helping Hyacinth with her work as a midwife and practitioner of obeah, a spiritual custom on the island. When a faraway tragedy hits the family like a muffled bomb, the girls’ long-absent father, Errol, comes to collect them, forcing them to choose between lives old and new.

Grace Jones - I'm Not Perfect But I'm Perfect For You

Saturday, June 27, 2015

When They Come for You



When They Come for You

via Huffington Post

By Chris Kluwe
former NFL player, Minnesota Vikings

"Why do you speak out in support of the gay community?"

I've been asked this question multiple times, at multiple events, and every time I give the same answer: "Because it's the right thing to do. Treat others the way you´d like to be treated."

A simple lesson, one we all learn in kindergarten, yet one that so many people seem to forget as they go through life; as they become more preoccupied with greed, narcissism, hate, and selfishness.

Such an easy equation, and yet so difficult for those lacking empathy to solve, unable to put themselves in another person´s shoes, failing to comprehend the complete dickishness of their actions (actions they would not want perpetrated upon themselves), convinced of their own smug superiority as they try to control someone else´s life.

Why do I speak out in support of the gay community?

Because the words, "We should round them all up and send them to an island to die," are absolutely abhorrent to any rational-minded person and should never be uttered by one member of the human race about another.

Why do I speak out in support of the gay community?

Because the actions of bullying, intolerance, and bigotry, actions that have driven (and will continue to drive) young children and adults to suicide, are actions any creature with an ounce of empathy within their soul ought condemn as the twisted depravity they truly are.

Why do I speak out in support of the gay community?

Because I wish to live in freedom, and every time I contemplate that freedom, I am reminded of a poem by Martin Niemoller:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

I speak for freedom, even though it is a freedom I currently have. I speak for equality, even though I am currently equal. I speak for justice, even though it is a justice I currently do not need. I speak for gay rights and the rights of every person, no matter their religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual predisposition, or social or economic status, to live free of the chains of oppression and hate, the barbs of ignorance and small minded fear, because that is the life I want to live - a life where I can make my own choices. A life where I can be who I am, not what someone else decides I should be.

TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED. If we do not make this the cornerstone of our society, if we do not understand that infringing on the freedom of consenting adults to live their lives (in whatever fashion that happens to be) is infringing on the freedom of us all, then we will eventually join other society, culture, and civilization that has ever existed, on the trash heap of history marked "Failure" -- brought there by conflicts those civilizations bred into being, conflicts between those lacking empathy and those desirous of freedom.

Why do I speak out in support of gay rights, of all rights to equality?

Because if I don´t, then who will be left to speak for me?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Get Wet (Life Questions that Get Tougher & Tougher)

Get Wet


  • SHALLOW:
  • 1. FAVORITE COLOR
  • 2. HEIGHT
  • 3. EYE COLOR
  • 4. HAIR COLOR
  • 5. AGE
  • 6. PIERCINGS?
  • 7. TATTOOS?
  • 8. FAVORITE ANIMAL/PET
  • 9. FAVORITE SCENT
  • 10. WHAT TIME IS IT?
  • WADING:
  • 11. FAVORITE TIME OF DAY
  • 12.FIRST PET
  • 13. SIBLINGS
  • 14. FIRST CAR
  • 15. ON A DAY LIKE TODAY YOU WOULD...?
  • 16. THE LAST BOOK YOU READ
  • 17. THE LAST TEXT MESSAGE YOU SENT/RECEIVED
  • 18. ARE YOU USUALLY HOT OR COLD
  • 19. PICK ONE THING TO YOUR LEFT, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU
  • 20. DAY OR NIGHT AND WHY
  • KNEE DEEP:
  • 21. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU TOLD SOMEONE YOU LOVED THEM?
  • 22. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME SOMEONE TOLD YOU THEY LOVED YOU
  • 23. WHO IS YOUR BEST FRIEND AND HOW DID YOU MEET
  • 24. WOULD YOU RATHER...
  • 25. DO YOU GET SICK OFTEN
  • 26. DO YOU LIVE ALONE OR WITH OTHER PEOPLE
  • 27. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU SAW YOUR FAMILY
  • 28. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE IN THE NEXT YEAR
  • 29. DO YOU BELIEVE IN TRUE LOVE
  • 30. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN HURT BY SOMEONE YOU THOUGHT CARED ABOUT YOU
  • TO THE WAIST:
  • 31. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU GOT HURT
  • 32. HAVE YOU EVER HURT YOURSELF
  • 33. WHAT WAS THE LAST FIGHT YOU HAD ABOUT
  • 34. HAS ANYONE TOLD YOU THEY HATED YOU
  • 35. HAVE YOU SEEN ANYONE DIE
  • 36. WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF
  • 37. WOULD YOU SKIP THE BAD PARTS OF YOUR LIFE TO BE SUCCESSFUL
  • 38. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
  • 39. HAVE YOU LEFT BEHIND/ WERE YOU LEFT BEHIND IN A FRIENDSHIP
  • 40. WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT ___ OR ___
  • NECK DEEP:
  • 41. WHO WOULD YOU WANT TO MEET AGAIN IN YOUR LIFE
  • 42. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR CAREER PATH
  • 43. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU REGRET FROM YOUR PAST
  • 44. HOW MUCH TIME IS LEFT AT THE END OF YOUR DAY
  • 45. WHAT WAS YOUR LAST DREAM ABOUT
  • 46. HAVE YOU EVER HATED SOMEONE AND WHY
  • 47. TALK ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE FAMILY MEMBER
  • 48. WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WANT TO CONFESS
  • 49. HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO TAKE AWAY YOUR PROBLEMS INSTEAD OF DEAL WITH THEM
  • 50. WHO WOULD YOU SAVE- YOURSELF OR A STRANGER?
  • HEAD UNDER WATER:
  • 51. HAVE YOU BEEN IN LOVE
  • 52. TALK ABOUT SOMEONE IN YOUR LIFE WHO HAS DIED
  • 53. DESCRIBE YOUR FIRST ____
  • 54. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE BEAUTIFUL
  • 55. HAVE YOU EVER HAD TO RECOVER AFTER SOMETHING
  • 56. WHAT DO YOU HATE ABOUT ____
  • 57. TOP TEN LIFE VALUES
  • 58. HOW DO YOU FALL ASLEEP
  • 59. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU SMILED AND THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED
  • 60. WOULD YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING FOR ____
  • DROWNING:
  • 61. ASK YOUR OWN QUESTION

Discover Renoir the Painter in Pictures and a Movie

August Renoir (pronounced ren-war as in car) is one of the most important French painters of the 19th and early 20th century.  He is called an Impressionist painter (more here).

During World War I he lived on the southern coast of France (known as the Côte d'Azur- pronounced coat dah zoar) in his own private world of maids, models, servants and children.  His middle son Jean Renoir became a famous film director,  The painter died in 1919.  These last months of his life are the subject of a beautiful French film RENOIR.  Scroll down to see the trailer for the film.  Many Renoir paintings hang at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (here) which is ALWAYS FREE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.



The Farm at Les Collettes, Cagnes (not on view at The Met)


Young Girl Bathing (ON VIEW at The Met - Gallery 961)