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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

FREE! Poetry Reading with A Dog Star favorite Sharon Olds

DOG STAR recently posted two Sharon Olds poems for Valentine's Day:  "Sex Without Love," and "True Love."  Sharon will read with two other poets on Thursday, March 4th, 7:00pm

This reading is sponsored by New York University's Creative Writing Program.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Discover artist Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination

DOG STAR has been a fan of Joseph Cornell for a long time,  Although there is no local exhibit coming up soon, we want to share this artist with you!

Cornell grew up in Queens and lived his whole life in his family's home on Utopia Parkway.  In the house's basement he kept a tidy and extremely well-organized private world:  his art studio and all the tiny pieces in labeled bins and boxes that went into making his boxes.

Cornell created elaborate, small boxes containing images of constellations, movie stars, ballerinas and found text from brochures, advertisements and magazines.  He made the small wooden boxes and hand-painted them before placing all the elements together.

He mostly made them for himself and also made small games for his disabled brother.

The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts created an interactive website when the held a show last year.

Cornell's work is especially wonderful for those interested in pre-digital, hand-made art!

Here for interactive website on Joseph Cornell

Friday, February 26, 2010

Discover great blogs out of Delaware & U.K.

DOG STAR obsessively reads many, many other blogs and finds gems to share with DOG STAR readers.  (Although recent surveys announced blogging dead among teens who have migrated to Twitter and Facebook, many adults run clean, non-sexual blogs that have great appeal for teens!)

One of our favorites is SOUNDTRACK TO MY DAY run by a guy named Howard out of Delaware.  He features music he likes and posts videos, music news and comments on favorite songs and bands.


It was on Howard's blog that we found his photos of a recent trip to New York City - where DOG STAR offices are located, of course - Howard's photos are above at the top of this post.  We especially like the fire escape and the early morning bread delivery!

Howard posted his pics in response to another blog in the U.K. called "The State of the Nation UK."  Stephen Chapman runs the blog and he has an informal and monthly photo contest to submit pictures called "5 on the Fifith."

Welcome to "5 on the fifth", a monthly posting that benefits from audience
participation. You take 5 photographs on the 5th of the month
(or the days leading up to the 5th) - post a comment here with your name,
location and link to the site containing your photos and I will update the
blog entry with your information. Remember to mention my blog on your
own blog, so that your visitors get to see the other contributions. You can
take 5 random pictures or follow my suggested theme, which this month is: City life


Thursday, February 25, 2010

FREE! Open now! Keith Haring show to commemorate 20th anniversary of his death at Tony Shafrazi in Chelsea

DOG STAR knows there are many, many artists who have been lost to the AIDS epidemic. One of the most-loved and oft-missed is Keith Haring, who died on February 16, 1990 at the age of 31.

Now, Tony Shafrazi Gallery with the Keith Haring Foundation presents a show to honor and remember Keith and his fresh, original voice in American art and culture.

The show at Tony Shafrazi will be open until April 3!  EASY TO REACH:  Any train to West 23rd Street then walk to 544 West 26th Street (heading west toward toward the Hudson River, the gallery is one the left-hand side).  Open Tuesday through Saturday 10am-6pm.

Keith Haring was one of the first to make the leap from "street artist" to bona fide (legitimate) "gallery artist" along with Jean-Michel Basquiat.  What this meant was that a gallery agreed to represent Keith, show his work, and, most importantly, organize shows and sell to collectors.  Keith was spending his days and nights doing chalk line graffiti in the NYC subways.

Keith Haring also painted several friends including dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones as shown in the photo above by Tseng Kwong Chi.  A series of these photos is now on view on the next block at the Paul Kasmin Gallery 511 West 27th Street.  Tseng Kwong Chi also died of AIDS at age 39 one month after Keith died.

The Keith Haring Foundation website is the best source for bio, images, interviews and their own online store called Pop Shop.

Below we've included the trailer for the documentary "The Universe of Keith Haring" which we highly recommend for new and older fans of his work!

Here for Tony Shafrazi Gallery in Chelsea

Here for Keith Haring Foundation

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wave Hill in Winter Photos by Dog Star & Friends

Photo credits: The last four photos were taken by Claudio Tarallo and posted here with kind permission.

DOG STAR organizes an informal photo club and we took a field trip recently during the school's winter break.

DOG STAR took these pics with a simple Canon digital point & shoot at Wave Hill in the Bronx. We have posted about Wave Hill before.  DOG STAR office mates wanted to go up and see what the grounds look like after all the snow.  Let us know what you think!

Here for Wave Hill website

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Discover Jonah Samson's creative photos of tiny scenes with an odd touch!

DOG STAR knows Jonah Samson's photo series called "Pleasantville" and happily discovered his recent project NOIR through his Facebook page.

Click on any photo below to see it larger and check out Jonah's website for more "Pleasantville" and the NOIR series.

Here for Jonah Samson

Monday, February 22, 2010

Shocking ads from the 50s & 60s show how far we have come in America

Babies drinking soda?

Men who think it's a woman's job to do the cooking?

Santa smoking?

A man with his foot on the neck of a woman-as-exotic-rug?

DOG STAR is hesitant to share these ads.  Some of these ads from the 1950s and 60s are so wrong, we almost feel bad showing them. Still, we think it is good to see just how far we have come in one lifetime. As for the ads that denigrate women, to think there are still women today who think “equal rights” for women are bad— or that heroes like Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinhem were somehow not patriotic Americans.

As for the tobacco companies, they have been censured and fined but they will still look for creative ways to sell their death sticks—if not for Americans, then to the rest of the world.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Discover great street art by Aakash Nihalani!

DOG STAR finds Aakash's tape sculptures to be a fresh and clever take on conventional graf art.

See the website for more images, paintings and street scenes.

Here for Aakash Nihalani 

Discover great street art by Aakash Nihalani!

Aakash Nihalani, graffiti, street art

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Life During Wartime: Online cartoon series by Josh Brown


DOG STAR watched an interview recently with Josh Brown and he described a project he's been working on since the start of the Iraq war in 2003.

Called "Life During Wartime," he draws a weekly one-panel comic as a running commentary on living in the United States during wartime.  Published exclusively in the web, this weekly comic is a fascinating view into how an artist becomes politically engaged with what's happening around us.

Here for link to Life During Wartime 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

NY Magazine Interview w/ Shaquille O'Neal Shows Off Curator Talents

Art Curator Shaq Is His Own Masterpiece

Despite holding down a demanding day job, Cleveland Cavaliers center Shaquille O’Neal has published two memoirs, cut six records, acted in seven movies, starred in a reality show, served as a reserve police officer, and studied for a doctorate in “human resource development.” Now he’s curating “Size DOES Matter,” an exhibition opening February 19 at the Flag Art Foundation in Chelsea. Shaq made 66 selections for the show—which features works ranging from the ginormous (Andreas Gursky’s billboard-size photograph Madonna I) to the microscopic (a Shaq portrait by Willard Wigan)—out of over 200 images that founder Glenn Fuhrman and director Stephanie Roach showed him over dinner after a game.

How did you make your choices?

Art is a process of delivering or arranging elements that appeal to the emotions of a person looking at it. It’s what you feel. I picked those things because they were beautiful. The thing about size—if it’s big or small you have to look at it. Because I’m so big you have to look at me. I think of myself as a monument. But sometimes I like to feel small.

Do you ever get time to visit museums?

I used to go a lot with my kids. Donald Trump is a great friend, and he has four or five Picassos on his plane. And that’s where I would look at them. One time, I was at a museum and tried touching a Picasso. You break it, you buy it, they said. I was told it would cost $2 million.

Have you ever tried painting?

No, but I’ve met a lot of artists who wanted to paint me. LeRoy Neiman was one. He did it from a photograph. He made 20,000 copies, and we sold them all. Now I’m working with the greatest artist in the world, Peter Max.

Do you buy art?

I have six kids, and if they ripped something, I’d be devastated. Maybe when they grow up, I’ll buy. I’d like Ron Mueck [whose Untitled: Big Man appears in the show] to do a sculpture of me. I would like to make it twenty feet tall and put it in the middle of a residential neighborhood—make it two stories high and in the head I’d have my office.

You like people looking at you.

Yeah. When I go to New York I like to stand in the street and see what happens. When you look at a painting and try to figure it out—you look at me [the same way]. Everything in the world is art.

Including basketball?

To me, it’s ballet, hip-hop, and kung fu. The ballet is grace, the hip-hop is cool, and the kung fu is kill the opponent.

FREE! Opening today: Size DOES Matter Curated by Shaquille O'Neal

The FLAG Art Foundation is pleased to present “Size DOES Matter”, curated by basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal. This exciting exhibition, on view from February 18, 2010 - May 27, 2010, includes works from international artists exploring the myriad ways that scale affects the perception of contemporary art.

Weighing 320 pounds and standing 7'1" atop his size 22 shoes, Shaq is one of the most dominant players ever to play in the NBA. Throughout his career, O'Neal has capitalized on his size and strength to overpower opponents for points and rebounds earning him nicknames such as Diesel and Superman. Now Shaq takes the opportunity to reflect on his size with an exhibition boasting works from microscopic to giant pieces that have the ability to dwarf and exaggerate everyone -- even Shaq himself.

Artists have readily utilized the element of size. Large and small objects require different approaches, elicit unique responses from their viewer, and reflect the varying purposes in which works of art were meant to serve. This dynamic exhibition will include a variety of mediums that play with scale as a key component in the composition of the artwork. Every work in the show was selected by Shaq himself or is being newly made at his request.

Here for more information 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

FREE! Opens today! The Jazz Loft Project by W. Eugene Smith at NYPL for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center / Don't miss this one!

The Jazz Loft Project

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery (Map and directions)
February 17, 2010 - May 22, 2010
In January 1955, celebrated photographer W. Eugene Smith quit his longtime job atLife magazine. In search of greater freedom and artistic license, he accepted a three-week freelance assignment in Pittsburgh that turned into a four-year obsession and, in the end, remained unfinished. In 1957, he moved out of the home he shared with his wife and four children in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, and into a dilapidated, five-story loft building at 821 Sixth Avenue (between 28th and 29th streets) in New York City’s wholesale flower district. The building was a late-night haunt of musicians, including some of the biggest names in jazz—Charles Mingus, Zoot Sims, Bill Evans, and Thelonious Monk among them—and countless fascinating, underground characters. As his epic Pittsburgh project broke down, Smith found solace in the chaotic, somnambulistic world of the loft and its artists.
The exhibition evokes the jazz loft through more than 200 images, several hours of audio, and 16mm film footage of Smith working in the loft. Setting the scene is Smith’s gritty photographs of the loft and his pictures of the flower district below his fourth-floor loft window. Viewed alongside his master prints, Smith’s 5x7-inch work prints further indicate the breadth and depth of the loft story. Listening stations give access to remastered selections from Smith’s reel-to-reel tapes, which caught everything from rousing jam sessions to historic radio and TV broadcasts, loft conversations, and street noise. Concerts and other programming will supplement the exhibition experience.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Child prodigy Kieron Williamson wows art world with incredible watercolors

DOG STAR paints a bit and knows how tough it can be to paint watercolor.  A correspondent in our London office sent over this dispatch about seven year-old Kieron Williamson.

Already making money through gallery sales, this child prodigy has stunned his local community and the international art scene for his incredibly mature paintings.

The picture above just shows Kieron at an easel.  Click on the link to the story in the Daily Mail newspaper online.  Seriously.  He is fantastic!

Here for Daily Mail article

FREE! Open now! See photos of Andy Warhol by Ron Gallela at Clic Gallery in SoHo

DOG STAR knows Ron and this show of Andy Warhol pics will be fantastic - even for the casual fan of Warhol and his Factory days!

mySpace page (here) that presents excerpts from Warhol's diaries with annotations to explain references.  Worth the peek for Warhol fans!

January 1978: Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol, and Bianca Jagger at Elaine's by Ron Galella

Here for Clic Gallery

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dog LOVES Cat for Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day: Two poems by Sharon Olds

True Love

In the middle of the night, when we get up   
after making love, we look at each other in   
complete friendship, we know so fully
what the other has been doing. Bound to each other
like mountaineers coming down from a mountain,
bound with the tie of the delivery room,
we wander down the hall to the bathroom, I can
hardly walk, I wobble through the granular   
shadowless air, I know where you are
with my eyes closed, we are bound to each other
with huge invisible threads, our sexes   
muted, exhausted, crushed, the whole   
body a sex—surely this
is the most blessed time of my life,
our children asleep in their beds, each fate   
like a vein of abiding mineral
not discovered yet. I sit
on the toilet in the night, you are somewhere in the room,   
I open the window and snow has fallen in a   
steep drift, against the pane, I
look up, into it,
a wall of cold crystals, silent
and glistening, I quietly call to you
and you come and hold my hand and I say
I cannot see beyond it. I cannot see beyond it. 

Sex Without Love

How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other's bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth whose mothers are going to
give them away. How do they come to the
come to the come to the God come to the
still waters, and not love
the one who came there with them, light
rising slowly as steam off their joined
skin? These are the true religious,
the purists, the pros, the ones who will not
accept a false Messiah, love the
priest instead of the God. They do not
mistake the lover for their own pleasure,
they are like great runners: they know they are alone
with the road surface, the cold, the wind,
the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio-
vascular health--just factors, like the partner
in the bed, and not the truth, which is the
single body alone in the universe
against its own best time.

Just two weeks left to see photos of supermodels by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

DOG STAR knows Timothy and we enjoy his fashion portraits.  But we first encountered his pictures at the Brooklyn Museum when he presented The Black List - portraits of prominent African-Americans  (here for more!)

Timothy's new portraits of Supermodels at Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea.

Photo above is supermodel Carol Alt.

Supermodels of the 70s and 80s
Exhibition: January 28th- February 27th

The exhibition will feature ten large-format portraits of legendary Supermodels from the 1970s and 1980s taken in 2009 while Greenfield-Sanders was working on a project for Vanity Fair magazine. The 11 x 14" Ilfochrome limited edition prints are of Christie Brinkley, Cheryl Tiegs, Beverly Johnson, Carol Alt, Dayle Haddon, Esme, Karen Bjornson, Kim Alexis, Lisa Taylor and Nancy Donahue.

Timothy writes: "I have always been interested in how we deal with aging in our hopelessly youth oriented society. These beautiful and amazing women, now in their fifties, were once the reigning queens of American beauty, and the ultimate icons of world-wide marketing."

Here for Timothy's website

Here for Steven Kasher Gallery

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Free! Discover Romare Bearden's "The Block" on view now at Met Museum

DOG STAR readers will recognize Romare Bearden from earlier posts.  He is a wonderful artist and we get a rare chance to see his famous collage "The Block" now on view at the Metropolitan Museum.  This piece and related art are not on permanent display so this is a rare chance to see it in the gallery!

Romar Bearden's "The Block" on view at the Metropolitan Museum until March!

The block is loosely based on a real Harlem block:  Lenox Avenue between 132nd & 133rd Street.

This small-focus show from the Museum’s permanent collection features the 1971 mural-size collage The Block by Romare Bearden (American, 1911–1988), as well as a dozen of his preliminary sketches and photographs, which were recently given to the Museum and are being shown for the first time.

As a group, they reveal the artist’s creative process whereby he literally and figuratively "collages" different images and experiences from reality and from his memory and imagination into a tableau that transcends the limitations of a fixed time and place, even as it pays homage to a specific street in Harlem, the New York City neighborhood that inspired so much of Bearden’s work.

A video biography of Romare Bearden

Here for Met Museum info on "The Block"

Here for FANTASTIC interactive Met Museum site for Romare Bearden

Here for Romare Bearden Foundation

Here for more on Romare Bearden on Wikipedia

Friday, February 12, 2010

FREE! Panel discussion & exhbition opening for Social Documentary photography at powerHouse Books in DUMBO


DOG STAR knows the critical importance of photography in documenting human misery and social injustice.  Jacob Riis played an important role in pushing for social reforms with his photographs of the slums and gross poverty of immigrants on the Lower East Side.

Social documentary photography continues to be important - and more necessary than ever before - as global crisis continues to affect so many people.

A recent competition called for photographers whose work seeks to explore and expose social injustice.  This panel discussion and exhibition features the winner, the publication and the photographs of a few of the participants.

Crisis & Opportunity: Documenting the Global Recession
Join, powerHouse Arena, and the Center for Economic and Social Rights for an exhibition, reception and panel discussion

Exhibition February 16-March 15, Gallery is free and open weekdays, 10am-7pm; weekend, 11am-7pm

Location:  37 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, 718.666.3049

Here for powerHouse Arena website

Reception & Panel Discussion Tuesday, February 16, 6:30-9:30

ART IN THE STREETS major graffiti show to open in L.A. in April 2011 (Book to come out to accompany the show!)

DOG STAR is a HUGE graffiti fan and we are excited about
this show and the catalogue (book).  Although we have no
plans to go to L.A. to see the show, we will surely look for
the book.  Written by Jeffrey Deitch, Roger Gastman and
Aaron Rose, “Art In The Streets” is the latest book to come
out of the famed Rizzoli publishing house. Set to release
alongside an exhibition with the same title, the book
surveys the global history of graffiti and associated street
arts. Focusing on the scenes in NYC, L.A. and San Francisco
a wide array of artists are discussed and showcased
including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Blu, Martha Cooper,
Shepard Fairey, Stelios Faitakis, Futura, Phil Frost,
Os Gemeos,Keith Haring, Todd James (REAS), Margaret
Kilgallen, Lady Pink, Barry McGee (Twist), Steve Powers
(ESPO), Lee Quinones, Retna, Kenny Scharf, Swoon,
and Ed Templeton, among many others. Look out for a
release in April 2011.

Here for the story in the L.A. Times

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lady Ga Ga on dollar bills!

 DOG STAR found these dollar bills on the craft sales site Etsy.  We think it's a funny way to show affection and fandom for the pop star (is she already a pop icon?  It happens so fast these days!)  Click on the image to see it larger!  Here for the Etsy listing!

FREE! Skateboards on the reservation: "Ramp it Up" features American Indians and skateboard culture

DOG STAR knows many skate fans and skaters but was surprised to discover the popularity of skateboard culture on American Indian reservations.

This free exhibit at the American Indian Museum at Bowling Green (right where Broadway begins in lower Manhattan) is worth the trip!

Ramp It Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America 
December 11, 2009–June 27, 2010
George Gustav Heye Center, New York

Ramp it Up celebrates the vibrancy, creativity, and controversy of American Indian skate culture. Skateboarding combines demanding physical exertion with design, graphic art, filmmaking, and music to produce a unique and dynamic culture. One of the most popular sports on Indian reservations, skateboarding has inspired American Indian and Native Hawaiian communities to host skateboard competitions and build skate parks to encourage their youth. Native entrepreneurs own skateboard companies and sponsor community-based skate teams. Native artists and filmmakers, inspired by their skating experiences, credit the sport with teaching them a successful work ethic. The exhibition features rare and archival photographs and film of Native skaters as well as skatedecks from Native companies and contemporary artists.

Members of the 4 Wheel Warpony skate team (White Mountain Apache). Photo courtesy of Dustinn Craig (White Mountain Apache/Navajo), 2008.