Dog Star / A Creative Arts Guide






Image above: Vik Muniz

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère after Édouard Manet, from the Pictures of Magazines 2 series, 2012.

Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life. Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, painted in 1882, explores the treachery of nineteenth-century Parisian nightlife through the depiction of a bartender attending to a male patron reflected in the mirror behind her. Muniz plays on Manet’s style, replacing Manet’s visible brushstrokes with the frayed edges of torn paper and lending the work immense visual interest.

“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.


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 content.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

FREE! See paintings by Martin Wong at PPOW in Chelsea (just one month left!)

DOG STAR knows the paintings of Martin Wong will inspire you and deeply affect you.  Go to P.P.O.W. Gallery on West 25th Street before the show closes on January 31.

Do not cheat yourself and rely solely on images on the gallery website.  Martin paints deeply emotional and stirring images that must be appreciated up close and face-to-face with the actual paintings.

Why do we feel this way about Martin's pictures?  Two reasons:  the things Martin paints have a deep sadness to them but also much dignity - these are not people (prisoners, regular folks, street artists) and places (prisons, abandoned city street blocks, East Village tenements) asking for anybody's sympathy or permission to exist.

And, Martin is a very good painter who knows his strengths and avoids art tricks that would make his work artificial or fake (an example of an artist who IS like this:  Julian Schnabel - who has no painterly talent at all and relies on color and collage to express anything at all).

Martin creates a universe that is also entirely his own private world:  every time we look at one of his paintings we notice something fresh and new.  This can only be possible if the artist has embedded - intentionally and unintentionally - little secret messages, signs and symbols.

For Martin this is exactly what he does:  while his lines and colors have enduring impact, he also includes American Sign Language to spell out a message - literally!

Martin Wong, who died in 1999 due to an AIDS related illness, was born in 1946 in Portland, Oregon and moved to New York City in 1978. He received a degree in ceramics, but decided to become a painter when he was thirty years old.

For most of his time in NYC, Martin Wong stayed nestled in the Lower East Side, enmeshed in the fabric of his neighborhood and the people around him. His work has traditionally been described as a document of that time in the 1980's and 1990's, capturing a moment in the history of the city marked by vacant lots, graffiti and a burgeoning club culture.

Martin Wong wanders through an urban landscape and refashions it into something new. His paintings take us inward, through a hidden, alternative landscape of longing and deeply felt subjectivity. Following this logic of desire, a crumbled brick tenement can become laced with the erotic or a painting of a single cactus can carry all the restrained passion of an unmet gaze from a sexy stranger.

Also on view are several rarely seen photo collages on loan from The Fales Library archives as well as drawings and sketches. These photos are remarkable for the fact that they not only exist as source material for some of the larger paintings but also as a rare document of the long walks the artist would take in and around the Lower East Side.

The vacant lots have long since been filled in, but don't let the glass facades fool you. There is always the torn seam or frayed edge... you just need to know where to look.

P.P.O.W. Gallery is EASY TO REACH:
511 West 25th Street (3rd floor)
at 10th Avenue
Chelsea - Manhattan 10001

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Police Recover Toy Guitar Made by Picasso

ROME (AP).- Police say they have recovered
from a Roman businessman Picasso's "Little Guitar"
toy sculpture made for the artist's daughter Paloma.

Carabinieri police say Picasso had given the toy
to his friend, Italian artist Giuseppe Vittorio Parisi.
Parisi lent it to the businessman two years ago
to build a glass showcase for it to be exhibited at the
civic museum on Lake Maggiore.

But police say the unnamed businessman
never returned the work, keeping it in a shoe
box in his home in Pomezia.

Parisi died in January. His widow alerted police
that the "Little Guitar" was still in the hands
of the businessman.

Carabinieri Capt. Gabriele De Pascalis
says the businessman is free on charges of fraud.
The guitar is heading to the museum
as planned.

Great New Theater This Sunday!


January 3rd    7pm-8:30pm

We are throwing open the doors to our rehearsal/training session.  You are invited into this very early stage as we work on creating a new performance piece and an ALATetc aesthetic.

Red Tent Fabrik marks the first phase of development for a full production entitled Children of Abraham, ALATetc's dramatic response to Anita Diamant's The Red Tent, which tells the biblical story of the wives and only daughter of Jacob.

We aim to explore the common roots and rituals of the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Islam, and Christianity) by weaving together different artistic and musical elements from these traditions. The project will be developed largely through ensemble-based physical and vocal improvisation, guided playwrighting, and will feature dynamic movement, polyphonic vocal music, and nonlinear storytelling.

Suggested Donation $15

Photo Vernice Miller as Antigone © Metropole Theater, Denmark  

Brooklyn Arts Exchange

421 5th Ave
at Eighth Street
Park Slope B'klyn  

NY 11215-3315

Michael Jackson - "This Is It" (Directed by Spike Lee)

DOG STAR knows you went to theaters to see "This Is It."  We all went as a group and laughed and cried and cried...

Now, Spike Lee has given us this 5-minute tribute video:

Michael Jackson - This Is It (Directed by Spike Lee) from VJ Bobo on Vimeo.

FREE! New York Festival of Song at Lincoln Center

New York Festival of Song (NYFOS,, who "redefined the song recital with daring and dramatic programming" (The New Yorker), presents its fifth annual program with the Department of Vocal Arts at The Juilliard School on Wednesday January 13, 2010 at 8 PM, Killer B's-American Song From Amy Beach to The Beach Boys. NYFOS@Juilliard celebrates the creative energy and superlative vocal talent of tomorrow's brightest stars, building on NYFOS's distinctive programming and performing style. Alumni of the joint program have already begun to participate in NYFOS's mainstage concerts alongside more seasoned artists, while also taking their place in opera houses and concert halls around the world.

Tickets for the event, at Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater, are free and available beginning Monday, January 4 at The Juilliard School box office (in person only), 155 West 65th Street in Manhattan. Box office hours are 11 AM to 6 PM Monday-Friday: 212-721-6500.

Here for link to more information  

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

FREE! New Year's Day ALTERNATIVE Poetry Reading 2pm-Midnight

DOG STAR knows some of you will want to go to St. Marks Church for their annual poetry marathon.  That one is a benefit and NOT FREE.  

Bowery Poetry Club has a New Year's Day event, too!

This one is FREE and has few more things going for it, too:

Bring used paperbacks for a collection by Books Through Bars - a group that provides books for inmates
Bring canned goods for a collection by Urban Pathways - food and other services for the homeless

Here for event listing at Bowery Poetry Club 

Bowery Poetry Club is EASY TO REACH:

The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery, New York, NY 10012
foot of First Street, between Houston & Bleecker 
F train to Second Ave, or 6 train to Bleecker

Here for Books Through Bars 

Here for Urban Pathways 

FREE! De La Vega Museum in East Village (and support great art!)

DOG STAR stopped by the De La Vega Museum today on St. Marks Place in the East Village.  We brought two friends from Paris - Gaspar and Felix - who wanted to buy some t-shirts for friends back home.  

The artist himself was inside and we spoke for a moment and he helped us find the right sizes.

Here for De La Vega Museum

FREE! See Ellen Fisch's Photographs of Harlem at Jadite Galleries in Midtown

DOG STAR is always curious about the ways photographers see the city.  We're not a photographer but we think often of the "framing" that happens when we look down the street, catch shadow and light across the top of a building and see just the moment when a little kid snatches the ball from his older brother and dashes down the block.

Sue Kwon's show last fall at Clic Gallery was a great view into "her" city, Bruce Davidson had another vision of the city in his shows at Bryce Wolkowitz and Pace/Wildenstern and now Ellen Fisch has a show coming to Jadite Galleries.

Taking Harlem as her subject, Fisch presents a vision of the neighborhood in beautiful black and white photographs.  We can't help but see her interest in architectural details (the subject of an earlier photo series) in the ways she sets her eye on sharp contrasts and the ways the city landscape makes its own form of decorative elements against the sky and concrete.

During the winter vacation, make time to go see Ellen's photos at Jadite Galleries from JANUARY 5-30

EASY TO REACH:  413 West 50th Street at 10th Avenue, Monday-Saturday 12-6pm

Here for Jadite Galleries 

Here for Ellen Fisch's website 

Monday, December 28, 2009

FREE! THIS SATURDAY! "Transformation" at Brooklyn Museum

DOG STAR spreads the word about this fantastic opportunity nearly every month:  Brooklyn Museum's FIRST SATURDAY free programming after 5pm until 11pm.

This Saturday, January 2, features a live band CORDERO, a bilingual Spanish indie rock band from Brooklyn.

Other FREE events for all ages include live drawing workshop, dance party with a DJ and a free movie "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

Brooklyn Museum is EASY TO REACH:

2/3 to Eastern Parkway - when you exit the station the museum is directly in front of you - impossible to miss!

Here for more details on the FREE PROGRAMS this SATURDAY! 

FREE! Wild Things! See Jody Morlock's paintings and prints at Clic Gallery

DOG STAR finds Jody Morlock's work to be a window on an unusual world filled with strange creatures and wild things.  Go on over to Clic Gallery and discover it for yourself!

On the Clic Gallery website a slideshow shows the art in this new show called DIG, although we still think its should be called "Wild Things."

Clic Gallery is EASY TO REACH and admission is always free for everyone!

Clic Gallery
255 Centre Street at Corner of Broome Street
Any subway to Canal Street and walk two blocks north to Broome

Here for more images of work by Jody Morlock 

Here for Jody Morlock's own website 

Here for Clic Gallery 

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Achilles: As a wee pup (2007) and end of 2009

The New York Times: The Decade We Had

Published: December 26, 2009
The New York Times


The Decade We Had

As the 2000s fade to memory, what moments and events will be remembered as the portents of America's future? Op-Ed editors asked 10 noted writers to answer that question, one year at a time.

2000: What Came First

The year 2000 caused the year 2001 and all it wrought.

2001: Towers of Strength

The attacks of 9/11 revealed America's fortitude.

2002: Our Town

Enron's failure left Houston pole-axed.

2003: After the Flood

The war ushered in a new era of volatility and virulence.

2004: Trials of the Decade

Abu Ghraib and the Padila case raised the question of ethical torture.

2005: Nothing Ever Happens

There were new beginnings and sad endings, and few close calls.

2006: Out of Body, Out of Mind

From Meh to whoa with the Wii.

2007: Foodie Nation

A “personality with a sauté pan” and blogs about food became important.

2008: Titles of the Times

Barack Obama changed the American narrative.

2009: The End

The depression recalibrated American values.

Poetry Marathon on New Year's Day! Plan ahead and enjoy a great start to the new year!

Follow the Poetry Project on Facebook

DOG STAR strongly urges everyone to mark your calendars for the 36th annual New Years' Day poetry reading at St. Mark's Poetry Project.

Held on Friday, January 1 at 2pm, this reading features a hundred or so poets from around the world.  It is a wonderful time and a great way to start the new year!

It gets packed with poets and poetry lovers and it would be great if teens showed up to add their voices and their ears!

If the $15 admission is steep, go anyway and offer $10 and say, "I am just a high school student.  Won't you let me in?"

EASY TO REACH:  St. Mark's Church at Second Avenue & 10th Street, East Village, Manhattan, #6 train to Astor Place, walk two blocks east

Here for a cool poem by Kenneth Koch on the Poetry project website 

Here for Poetry Project website 

36th Annual New Year’s Day Marathon Benefit Reading

Poets and performers this year include Ammiel Alcalay, Bruce Andrews & Sally Silvers, Penny Arcade, Arthur’s Landing, Ari Banias, Jim Berhle, Charles Bernstein, Anselm Berrigan, Edmund Berrigan, Ana Bozicevic, Donna Brook, Michael Brownstein, Franklin Bruno, Tyler Burba, Peter Bushyeager, Reuben Butchart, Callers, Yoshiko Chuma, Church Of Betty, Michael Cirelli, Todd Colby, John Coletti, CAConrad, Brenda Coultas, Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle, Mónica de la TorreMina Pam Dick, Steve Dalachinsky, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Maggie Dubris, Douglas Dunn, Marcella Durand, Steve Earle, Will Edmiston, Joe Elliot, Christine Elmo, Laura Elrick, Maggie Estep, Avram Fefer, Jess Fiorini, Corrine Fitzpatick, Foamola, David Freeman, Ed Friedman, Greg Fuchs, Joanna Furhman, Cliff Fyman, Kelly Ginger, Pepi Ginsberg, John Giorno, John Godfrey, Toby Goodshank, Nada Gordon & Gary Sullivan, Stephanie Gray, Ted Greenwald, Tim Griffin, Miguel Gutierrez, John S. Hall, Janet Hamill, Robert Hershon, Tony Hoffman, Lisa Jarnot, Paolo Javier, Patricia Spears Jones, Pierre Joris, Adeena Karasick, Erica Kaufman, Lenny Kaye, John Kelly, Aaron Kiely, David Kirschenbaum, Bill Kushner & Merle Lister, Susan Landers, Joan Larkin, Dorothea Lasky, Denizé Lauture, Joel Lewis, Brendan Lorber, Michael Lydon, Kim Lyons, Dan Machlin & Serena Jost, Filip Marinovich, Chris Martin, Gillian McCain, Legs McNeil, Tracey McTague, Taylor Mead, Jonas Mekas, Sharon Mesmer, David Mills, Rebecca Moore, Tracie Morris, Will Morris, Eileen Myles, Elinor Nauen, Murat Nemat-Nejat, Jim Neu, Geoffrey Olsen, Dael Orlandersmith, Richard O’Russa, Yuko Otomo, Gary Parrish, Simon Pettet, Nicole Peyrafitte & Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Kristin Prevallet, Brett Price, Arlo Quint, Elizabeth Reddin, Evelyn Reilly, Ariana Reines, Citizen Reno, Bob Rosenthal, Douglas Rothschild, Tom Savage, Michael Scharf, David Shapiro, Frank Sherlock, Elliott Sharp, Nathaniel Siegel, Christopher Stackhouse, Stacy Szymaszek, Anne Tardos, Susie Timmons, Edwin Torres, Rodrigo Toscano, Tony Towle, David Vogen, Nicole Wallace, Lewis Warsh, Phyllis Wat, Simone White, Emily XYZ & more t.b.a.

Common Says Rap Turning Away from Bling

DOG STAR knows the rap game is changing.  Not that DOG STAR is in the game, but we know things change and now is the time.

Rapper Common has his own ideas about rap turning away from bling.  Here for more...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The New York Times claims teens are cutting back on spending! Is this really true?

The New York Times - December 26, 2009

Recession? Teenagers Get It, and Are Cutting Back

          After a year of observing their parents pinch pennies and fret about the economy, the nation’s teenagers may be coming to grips with reality.
          Sales are down sharply in recent months at nearly every major retail chain catering to teenagers, and interviews with teenagers suggest that the reasons go beyond their own difficulty finding part-time jobs.
         “I think my sister and I, throughout this year we’ve kind of lost an interest in getting gifts and things like that,” said Morgan Porpora, 16, who in the past had a list of things she wanted for Christmas. “I guess we’ve noticed the economy and we just kind of even feel bad I guess asking for a lot.”

FREE! Jazz concert at New York Public Library at Lincoln Center

Dixieland Jazz Concert

Date: Tuesday, December 29   Time: 12:00 PM
Dixieland jazz concert presented by the Gotham Jazzmen.
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
40 Lincoln Center Plaza
(212) 870-1630

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Magnum Merry Christmas

Magnum Photo  - the legendary photo agency - has many seasonal pictures in their archives.  We pulled these off James Danziger's blog (here for the blog ) and he identified three of the photographers: the one with the priests throwing snow is by Leonard Fried; the one with the inflatable Christmas displays is by Martin Parr and the one with the two men about to embrace is a special moment of reunion after the fall of the Berlin Wall captured by Ian Barry.

Here for Magnum Photo

Merry Christmas Dog Star Readers!

DOG STAR uses this day to catch up with family and friends.  Ask yourself:  Am I doing enough to keep in touch?  To reach out?

Above we feature a recent print by the Starn Twins.  This print was recently sold on the 20X200 website - one of our favorites to see new artwork!

Here for more on the Starn Twins  

Here for link to 20 X 200 (ignore the sales pitch and browse to see great new art!)  

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cheap After X-Mas Family Fun! Kwanzaa Spirits at American Museum of Natural History

DOG STAR knows Kwanzaa celebrations can be a lot of fun!

Join in the fun at Kwanzaa Spirits 2009, a celebration of the seven principles of Kwanzaa for the entire family. A water libation ceremony begins the day’s events, which include performances by the dynamic dance group Balance Dance Theatre, led by Obediah Wright with special guest artists. In addition, visitors will enjoy a Kwanzaa marketplace and culinary delights for the entire family.

This annual celebration at the American Museum of Natural History is a great event for families with children.  Teens with younger siblings or cousins have an opportunity to participate in an indoor activity away from the house during the winter vacation.

Kwanzaa is a unique American celebration drawing on African-American traditions and heritage.  It has always been intended to complement the traditional seasonal holidays and not replace them.  Find out more about Kwanzaa here... 

In the photo above notice the band on stage at left and over everyone's head is the giant whale in the Ocean Hall of the Natural History Museum.

The Kwanzaa Spirits event includes live music, a market, food / drinks for sale and a candle lighting ceremony that is an integral part of the Kwanzaa holiday.

Suggested admission is $12.00 but Dog Star readers know better:  you wait in the ticket line with everyone else and when you reach the cashier, hand one dollar and say "Two, please."  that will cover you and your younger guest.  You will say, "No I do not want the planetarium or IMAX movie."  That costs extra and you will want to keep it cheap.  It is the holidays.

Sunday, December 27 12-5pm

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

CHEAP TICKETS! See "De Novo" at TBG Theater for $8 students / $15 adults

DOG STAR heard about this show when it played at John Jay College earlier this season but didn't make it to any performance.

Those who did go to the show report to DOG STAR that it is a powerful and moving one-hour theater experience that seeks to put a bright light on the immigration (in)justice of a Guatamalan teenager, Edgar Chocoy,  held in detention and then deported only to be murdered by MS-13!

Now, we have just one weekend to see the show at TBG Theater in Midtown Manhattan!

Houses on the Moon Theater Co. presents
De Novo Part 1: Li'l Silent
Saturday, January 09, 2010 through Monday, January 11, 2010

From the ticket website:

Houses on the Moon Theater Co. Presents the gripping true story of fourteen year old Edgar Chocoy, who fled Guatemala to escape the largest gang in Central America, only to wind up in U.S. immigration custody.

This documentary play crafted entirely from immigration court transcripts, interviews and letters, provides a rare glimpse into the lives of undocumented youth, many thousands of whom make the harrowing journey across the border and through the U.S. system of justice each year. Curated and directed by Jeffrey Solomon.

Photo above is Edgar Chocoy.

Here for ticket website! 

Here for Houses on the Moon
website with photos of the show 

Here for link to a story on a Fort Collins, Colorado website when
show was first staged at a local college 

312 West 36th Street - 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10018
Btwn 8th & 9th Ave
Subway - A, C, E to 34th Street
Buses - M20

Since we can't help ourselves:  "De novo" is a Latin term for "beginning again" - see Wikipedia details here!  

FREE! After-Christmas Party at BAM: Charanga Soleil—Holiday Fiesta/Fête

DOG STAR is excited about this free show at BAM!    This after-Christmas fiesta promises to be a crowded party and lots of dancing!

Brooklyn Academy of Music's BAM Cafe (just up the escalators inside the main lobby of the opera house on Ashland) is just big enough for a dance party.

Saturday, December 26 - 9pm

Brooklyn-based all-star dance band Charanga Soleil boasts some of the most seasoned performers in today's world music scene, featuring an irresistible mix of classic Cuban son, Congolese rumba-soukous , and Haitian compas, in fresh arrangements sure to keep the dance floor full.

Here for BAM event website