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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

FREE! Last weeks to see Tim Burton show at Museum of Modern Art

Photo above:  Johnny Depp and Tim Burton at the DOG STAR offices a few months ago!

DOG STAR knows there are many, many Tim Burton fans out there who STILL HAVE NOT SEEN THE SHOW at Museum of Modern Art.  Your last chance is here:  the show closes April 26!


Here for the great and fun interactive website for the show:  TIM BURTON

Katharine Brannan-Williams, a teen reviewer for High 5 wrote:
Getting off the escalators on the third floor of the Museum of Modern Art, the difference in mood of this exhibition compared to the permanent collection is quite evident.  In front of you is a statue of a huge creature with its mouth open; to enter the Tim Burton exhibition, you walk through the jaws of this colorful monster.  Here for more of this review

Here for Museum of Modern Art

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

FREE! Discover Surrealism in America: A fantastic new show at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery on West 57th Street!

DOG STAR knows most people think of Salvador Dali, Max Ernst and even De Chirico when they hear "surrealism."  But the surreal approach to painting also has a deep history in modern American painting.

Fortunately, Michael Rosenfeld presents an opportunity to discover surrealism in America in this fantastic new show with a wide variety of surrealistic themes.

The four paintings at the top of this post are listed below - click on the painter's name for a link to a Wikipedia entry for more!

Pavel Tchelitchew Boys Fighting in Wheat, 1939-41 

Willem de Kooning Untitled, c.1941 

Federico Castellon Veronica's Veil, 1937 

Jared French The Sea, 1946

Unconscious Unbound: Surrealism in America 

March 13-May 29, 2010 

As material by many of these artists becomes increasingly rare, having found its way into private and permanent museum collections, Unconscious Unbound: Surrealism in America offers a special opportunity to view the works of celebrated practitioners of American surrealism alongside those by artists not typically labeled surrealist, but whose beginnings are rooted in the movement.

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery is EASY TO REACH

24 West 57th Street
between 5th & 6th Avenue, 7th floor

Hours:  Tuesday through Saturday, 10-6pm

Here for Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

Monday, March 29, 2010

Go see multimedia video and performance "Diary of a Teenage Girl" at 3LD Tech Center in Lower Mnahattan

DOG STAR is raving about this spectacular show highly suitable for mature teens (no younger brothers or sisters, please!) who want to discover how video, original animation, graphic novels and actors come together to tell the true life story of a teen growing up in the 1970s.

High 5 Tickets (here) has a limited number of $5 tickets to select performances so try to get a group of friends together to see the show (High 5 offers 6 tickets for $25!).  Regular tickets price is $25.00.

Adapted by Marielle Heller from Phoebe Gloeckner's graphic novel of the same name, The Diary of a Teenage Girl is a story about female sexuality and unabashed optimism.

Told from the point of view of fifteen-year old Minnie, Diary tells the story of her growing up in the chaos of the 1970s, in the haze that is San Francisco. Minnie is incredibly bright and self-reflective.

She is gut-wrenchingly honest, and curious about the world around her. And she has just begun an affair with her mother's boyfriend, Monroe. Ouch.

Please Note: This production is rated R for frank depictions of substance abuse and sexuality. We suggest that it may not be appropriate for teens under 16. Furthermore, this theater does not allow for late seating. Arrive at least ten minutes before curtain in order to claim your seats.

Here for the show website! 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Discover David Bowie & His 1970s Song "Young Americans"

DOG STAR heard this track at a party last weekend and knows that a few DOG STAR readers will appreciate Bowie - music from another era.

Here are the lyrics first:

They pulled in just behind the bridge
He lays her down, he frowns
"Gee my life's a funny thing, am I still too young?"
He kissed her then and there
She took his ring, took his babies
It took him minutes, took her nowhere
Heaven knows, she'd have taken anything, but
All night
She wants the young American
Young American, young American, she wants the young American
All right
She wants the young American
Scanning life through the picture window
She finds the slinky vagabond
He coughs as he passes her Ford Mustang, but
Heaven forbid, she'll take anything
But the freak, and his type, all for nothing
He misses a step and cuts his hand, but
Showing nothing, he swoops like a song
She cries "Where have all Papa's heroes gone?"
All the way from Washington
Her bread-winner begs off the bathroom floor
"We live for just these twenty years
Do we have to die for the fifty more?"
All night
He wants the young American
Young American, young American, he wants the young American
All right
He wants the young American
Do you remember, your President Nixon?
Do you remember, the bills you have to pay
Or even yesterday?
Have you have been an un-American?
Just you and your idol singing falsetto 'bout
Leather, leather everywhere, and
Not a myth left from the ghetto
Well, well, well, would you carry a razor
In case, just in case of depression?
Sit on your hands on a bus of survivors
Blushing at all the afro-Sheilas
Ain't that close to love?
Well, ain't that poster love?
Well, it ain't that Barbie doll
Her heart's been broken just like you have
All night
You want the young American
Young American, young American, you want the young American
All right
You want the young American
You ain't a pimp and you ain't a hustler
A pimp's got a Cadi and a lady got a Chrysler
Black's got respect, and white's got his soul train
Mama's got cramps, and look at your hands ache
(I heard the news today, oh boy)
I got a suite and you got defeat
Ain't there a man you can say no more?
And, ain't there a woman I can sock on the jaw?
And, ain't there a child I can hold without judging?
Ain't there a pen that will write before they die?
Ain't you proud that you've still got faces?
Ain't there one damn song that can make me
break down and cry?
CHORUS (I) (repeat 3 times)
All night
I want the young American
Young American, young American, I want the young American
All right
I want the young American 

From 1974 on Dick Cavett Show in NYC:

Concert footage in 1983 "Serious Moonlight" Tour:

Here for David Bowie's website

Saturday, March 27, 2010

FREE! Open now! Do not miss Monumental Sculpture by Alexander Calder at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea

DOG STAR has always been a fan of Alexander Calder - especially after seeing his wire portraits at the Whitney Museum last year and around the city three years ago.

In a career that spanned most of the 20th century, the engineer-turned-artist Alexander Calder studied the science of motion through art. “Just as one can compose colors, or forms, so one can compose motions,” he once wrote.

He was inspired by the universe as he imagined it, a balanced system based on the circle and the sphere.

Now, Gagosian Gallery presents a major show of Monumental Sculpture in Chelsea!  Here for Gagosian Gallery

More on Alexander Calder on Wikipedia

Here is a video of Calder making one of his wire sculptures - it has no sound but D.I.Y. fans will like the vintage from film to digital:

Alexander Calder, Berlin 1929 und 1967
Uploaded by leofourastie.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Met Museum Guards Produce Own Show & Magazine Called "Swipe"!

DOG STAR always wondered:  what do all these museum guards think about the art they see all day?  We imagine the Van Goghs and the Picassos start to take on the feel of wallpaper from walking past day-after-day.  Then again, some may be infinitely lifted in spirits by being in constant contact with the masters.

Well, some of the Met's museum guards are (surprise!) artists themselves.  And they have published a magazine of their original artwork and will present a gallery show.

Here for NY1 video on SWIPE Magazine

Here for New York Times article "From Guards to Gauguins"

Here for SWIPE Magazine

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lady Gaga & Beyonce in "Telephone" Mini-movie

DOG STAR knows many of our readers have seen this already.  One reader asked, "How do they afford to do such an expensive video and make any money?"  We ask, "Did you miss all the OBVIOUS product placement?"

We recently posted on all the pop art references in Rihanna's video for "Rude Boy" and know there is even more to unpack in this "Telephone" video.

For starters, it is entirely "borrowing" from Russ Meyer films such as "Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill" as well as B-movie female prison films.

Meyer is known primarily for writing and directing a series of successful low-budget sexploitation films that featured campy humor, sly satire, and large-breasted actresses.

Check out creepy and weird Otto Dix paintings at Neue Galerie!

DOG STAR remembers an Otto Dix painting is research on the film "cabaret" which takes place in pre-WW II Germany.  The scene, as in many of Dix's paintings, showed a party with shady characters and sexual tension.

Now, for DOG STAR readers looking for something completely fresh and still vampire free (sorry, Cassandra, Patrick and other Twilight fans!) will enjoy a visit to Planet Otto Dix!

OTTO DIX at Neue Galerie

March 11-August 30, 2010

This spring, Neue Galerie New York presents “Otto Dix,” the first solo museum exhibition of works by this major German artist ever held in North America. 
More than almost any other German painter, Otto Dix (1891-1969) and his works have profoundly influenced the popular notion of the Weimar Republic.
His paintings were among the most graphic visual representatives of  that period, exposing with unsparing and wicked wit the instability and contradictions of the time.
The exhibition includes more than 100 masterpieces by Otto Dix, and addresses four themes. The first is Dix’s traumatic experiences as a soldier in World War I. The second is portraiture, a genre at which the artist excelled. The third is sexuality, a key theme in the Dix oeuvre. The fourth is religious and allegorical painting.
The show includes the work that Dix is best know for—paintings from the so-called “golden Weimar years”—but to contextualize them, it also includes Dix’s work from the early 1920s, as well as his later work, produced as veiled protest against the Third Reich.
Neue Galerie is EASY TO REACH: 4 /5 /6 train to 86th Street and museum is on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 86th Street

Here for Neue Galerie

Here for more on Otto Dix on Wikipedia

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Check out "Debris" at PPOW Gallery in Chelsea

DOG STAR re-discovered PPOW Gallery recently when we visited for the terrific Martin Wong show.

This three-person group show on recycled materials (or "debris") is sure to appeal to both the D.I.Y. crowd and those looking for something fresh in a Chelsea gallery.

Here for PPOW Gallery

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


A five-day intensive theater lab for young actors, directors and other theater artists.
Monday March 29 through Friday April 2 10 AM–4PM

Act, direct, design, paint, draw, and compose your way to a new understanding of two Shakespearean Classics: The Merchant of Venice and The Winter’s Tale. Shakespeare Spring Break, is for young people ages 13 to 17. It uses creative arts to engender a deep and personal connection to each play.


August 2–14, 2010
A summer acting conservatory serving New York’s new generation of Shakespearean actors. Includes an intense regimen of training in voice, movement, acting, text, stage combat, clown and more. Study with the faculty of the acclaimed Shakespeare Lab professional training program and special guests from The Public’s family of artists. A Midsummer Day's camp is a chance for young actors aged 13-18 to perform on stage at The Public Theater.

For more info on the program and tuition call Ian Hersey at 212.539.8656 or email

Monday, March 22, 2010

Upcoming Housing Works Bookstore Events

Sunday, March 21, 2010

SKIN FRUIT - Jeff Koons curated Show at New Museum on Bowery in SoHo

DOG STAR read that recent New York Times profile on Jeff Koons, too, and thought, "Well, we've got a weird one here!"  It's not like artists are expected to be normal or anything but it was precisely his weird normalcy that made him so strange.

Read the profile here!

So...Jeff has been pretty busy since New Museum engaged him to select works from a famous private art collection and curate a show in their spaces.  This new show - called "Skin Fruit" after one of the works - is a wild mix of well-known contemporary artists (Matthew Barney, Jenny Holzer, Robert Gober) and unusual pieces by new names.


Here for Skin Fruit at New Museum

Saturday, March 20, 2010

FREE! Do not miss David Smith at Gagosian Gallery

DOG STAR caught that small David Smith show at MoMA last year and was reminded of how simple and beautiful and artful his sculptural constructions can be.

Gagosian Gallery presents a limited show of David Smith's sculptures at their space on 555 West 24th Street.

Sometimes when I start a sculpture, I begin with only a realized part, the rest is travel to be unfolded much in the order of a dream. The conflict for realization is what makes art not its certainty, nor its technique or material.
--David Smith

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of monumental sculptures by David Smith made between 1962-1964.

Sculpture and art fans looking to expand the eye and enrich your perspective will make this a must some Saturday afternoon or a quick trip after school (except on Mondays when they're closed!)

View Larger Map

Here for Gagosian Gallery

Here for more on David Smith at Wikipedia

Here for David Smith Estate website

Friday, March 19, 2010

VERY FUNNY! Racism at the Bus Stop (Reckless Tortuga)

Shakespeare All Over Town! Many productions of the Bard - ask for student discounts!

DOG STAR noticed a few productions of Shakespeare's plays happening around NYC.  Anybody who wants to explore for the first time or the tenth will enjoy checking out one of these shows.  Shakespeare is ALWAYS best when the play is up on stage - merely reading it is often difficult and not a joy (sorry, Ms. Alcala!).

If any of these shows interest DOG STAR readers, ask for a student discount!  Most will make a deal to see the show!  Some of the theaters already offer student tickets!

Love is My Sin is based on Shakespeare's sonnets at the Duke Theater on 42nd Street (here).  The Duke offers $10 student tickets for most of their shows with a special code (you'll find it on the website when you click on the link).  This production is directed by Peter Brook - one of the most famous artists working in theater in the world.

As You Like It presented by Aquilla Theater (here) - One night only March 31st at Skirball Center at NYU

The Tempest at The Access Theater (here)

The Taming of the Shrew at The American Actors Theater (here) in Midtown

And, although not Shakespeare, this comedia de l'arte production The Servant of Two Masters is one Bard fans might enjoy.  DOG STAR was in a production of it in high school, even!  At The Access Theater (here)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

FREE! Open now! See R. Crumb's graphic interpretation of The Book of Genesis in Hundreds of Drawings

DOG STAR remembers R. Crumb's comic books and enjoyed a walk through the David Zwirner Gallery for an illustrated tour of The Book of Genesis.

Crumb's project is not a disrespectful take on the sacred Bible text.  He is highly respectful and finds fresh ways to show various scenes and well-known stories from the Bible.

Comic and graphic novel fans will want to check it out for the HIGH QUALITY art and the curious will find it a rewarding hour at the gallery!

David Zwirner presents "The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis", the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. These drawings – 207 extraordinary individual works of pen and ink on paper – were produced for his now landmark The Book of Genesis Illustrated.

Five years in the making and released to instant critical acclaim, the eagerly awaited book topped many bestseller lists, including #1 on the New York Times Graphic Books list. On exhibition through 24 April, 2010.

From Creation to the death of Joseph, Crumb chronicles all fifty chapters of Genesis in an astonishing tapestry of masterly detail and storytelling, rendered frame by frame in meticulous comic book fashion.

With a literal interpretation primarily assembled from translations of Robert Alter and the King James Bible, Crumb reintroduces us to the bountiful tree lined garden of Adam and Eve, the massive ark of Noah with beasts of every kind, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by brimstone and fire that rained from the heavens, and the Egypt of the Pharaoh, where Joseph’s embalmed body is carried in a coffin, in a scene as elegiac as any in Genesis.

Using clues from the text and peeling away the theological and scholarly versions that have often obscured the Bible’s most dramatic stories, Crumb fleshes out a parade of Biblical originals: from the serpent in Eden, as a humanoid reptile; to Abraham’s wife Sarah, more fetching than most woman at 90; to God himself, patriarchal and white-bearded.

rCumb’s first exhibition at David Zwirner was in May 2007, soon after the artist joined the gallery, and featured close to sixty figurative works spanning from 1965 to 2005.

Robert Crumb (born 1943, Philadelphia) began drawing comics as a young boy. In the late 1960s he emerged as the leading figure in the underground comic movement.

Since then, his influence has been immeasurable, from the first issue of Zap Comix in 1968; to his most recognized comic, Keep on Truckin’, which became a widely distributed fixture of pop culture in the late 1970s; from the adventures of his notorious characters Devil Girl, Fritz the Cat, and Mr. Natural; to being the subject of Terry Zwigoff’s 1995 documentary, Crumb.

The artist currently lives in the south of France with his wife, Aline Kominsky Crumb, the American comic book artist known for her autobiographical stories.

Crumb was recently the focus of a touring solo exhibition, R. Crumb’s Underground, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California (2007), which then traveled to the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (both 2008), the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, and the Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, California (both 2009). Crumb has had one-man exhibitions at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2005) and the Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany (2004).

The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis was recently on view at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, California, and following David Zwirner it will travel to the Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon (June - September 2010). 

Here for David Zwirner Gallery

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

FREE! This Weekend! Meet writers at Dweck Center in Brooklyn!

DOG STAR knows readers like to meet writers and hear their voices and stories live and in person.  These two events are great opportunities to discover great writers in a beautiful setting!

Dweck Center is a new performance space with plenty of seating in the ground floor of the central library of Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza.

Saturday, March 20, 4:00PM
Cosmopolis: Immigrant Writers in NYC: Andre Aciman

Egyptian-born Aciman reads from his new novel Eight White Nights, a story about the fears, longings and tensions that accompany new romance. Aciman is the author of the novel Call Me by Your Name, of the memoir Out of Egypt and of False Papers: Essays on Exile and Memory. He has co-authored and edited The Proust Project and Letters of Transit. WNYC's Leonard Lopate hosts.
Sunday, March 21, 1:30PM
Author Talk with Tayari Jones

Jones is the author of The Untelling, a novel about personal history and individual and familial myth-making, and Leaving Atlanta, a coming of age story set during the city's infamous child murders of 1979-81.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

FREE! Open Now! See South African artist William Kentridge at MoMA

DOG STAR finds William Kentridge to be unique today:  he does old-fashion things like actually draw his work by hand and explores deeply personal and political issues in thoughtful ways.  Nothing slick and no sugar filling here!

Museum of Modern Art presents "William Kentridge:  Five Themes" until May 17, 2010.


Here for more on the show at MoMA

Watch a Kentridge animation called "Automatic Writing"

Monday, March 15, 2010

New Korean film "Mother" blends genres in comedy / murder mystery / family drama

DOG STAR readers who appreciate the little film gem in addition to the giant Hollywood blockbuster will rush to IFC Film Center to see Bong's "Mother."

Bong’s follow up to the international sensation The Host starts as a comedic portrait of an insanely doting mother, but takes a sharp turn when the woman’s simple minded son is railroaded into prison for the murder of a schoolgirl.  Convinced that he’s been falsely convicted, she throws herself body and soul into proving his innocence.

TimeOut London review:

"A thoughtful, challenging Hitchcockian thriller… Gorgeously photographed, flawlessly acted and structured like a steel trap, MOTHER is one of the year’s best."

IFC Film Center is EASY TO REACH:  Trains to West 4th Street station in the Village, theater is above the station on Sixth Avenue 

Here for IFC Film Center  

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rihanna's Video "Rude Boy" Makes Multiple Pop Art References

DOG STAR found this recent Rihanna on James Danziger's blog (here) with the comment, "It was fun to turn on the t.v. and find a pop video that makes so many references to contemporary art. See how many you can count."

We wish James had included a bit more about what he identifies in the video - James is a long-time art dealer and gallery owner and his knowledge of art is light years ahead of little 'ol DOG STAR.  

BEFORE you watch the video, here's a tip sheet from DOG STAR office mates:

Robert Rauschenberg (collage effects, 
Andy Warhol (day-glo 80s colors, disembodied mouth)
Keith Haring (portion of video with white lines and graphic waves on the back wall and on Rihanna's body, animated characters and figures)
Roy Lichtenstein (comic book forms, graphic style and words like BOOM)
Stephen Sprouse (day-glo 80s colors)
Jasper Johns (general collage effects)
Jean-Michel Basquiat (African references; lion, crown, collage effects)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

OPENS Today! Make it a day trip to see great art! Botero, Dubuffet, Miro & Basquiat all at Nassau County Museum of Art - just 30 minutes on Long Island Railroad

DOG STAR likes an adventure and day trips to culture spots can be fun if you have the right crew with you!

Nassau County Museum of Art opens a wild show of work by Spanish artist Joan Miro, American (Puerto Rican / Haitian) Jean-Michel Basquiat and French artist Dubuffet.

Consider this day trip to Nassau County to see great art!

Here for Nassau County Museum of Art