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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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

Friday, April 30, 2010

Lady Gaga's "Telephone" in Two Recent Parodies

Calling all photographers! Join the New York Times Photo Fest this Weekend!

hi - this message is really for DOGSTAR - DogStar would you please please please post this on your site - I think it would be a great way to get the word out!!! thanks!

Hundreds of photographers are getting ready to take a picture at one moment on Sunday, May 2. Here's how you can join the project.

Lens: Photographers Prepare for a Moment in May

Painting Painting: Artist Literally Paints ON Her Subjects for Gallery Show!

All images © Alexa Meade. - Click on any image to see a larger view!

DOG STAR finds Alexa Meade's version of "portrait painting" to be fun and inetresting - reminds us of a time when live action and performance art were very popular in museums and galleries.  We first saw this post on the blog Accidental Mysteries (here) and have edited a copy below:

ALEXA MEADE IS ON TO AN INTERESTING CONCEPT. By “blurring” the edges between the real world and what has been traditionally a 2-dimensional painting, Alexa Meade has created “virtual paintings,” a sort of reverse trompe l’oeil (pronounced tromp loy, French term for a style of painting that "tricks the eye" as when fake marble pillars are painted on a wall) work of art. 

Instead of painting her subjects, Meade is actually painting on her subjects. What occurs is part performance art and a work of art that is to be viewed as you see it here—a photograph. What do you think?

See more of Alexa Meade's work here!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cave Canem site features "Home for Black Poetry" and Upcoming FREE Poetry Readings

DOG STAR is a real poetry fan and glad to share this web site for Black poets and Black poetry.  Cave Canem also sponsors fellowships, workshops and readings.  Just after poet Lucille Clifton died, the site posted this poem by DeLana Decameron to honor Lucille.  

             after Lucille Clifton

By DeLana Dacameron

Frequented in dreams
by fresh-dead loves, so I have seen
with these eyes the eyes of a spirit
who's crossed, seen the body reject
its coffin bed and climb right out
onto the church's plank floor
seen the dove at the bed's foot
calling out all names, or the red eyes
of the flesh, abandoned. Do not say
I should be grateful for perfect eyes
or their ability to see such distances.
Say I should be grateful for sight,
for open and shut.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Watch Saul Willams Perform "Coded Language" on Def Poetry Jam

Discover Alexander McQueen's "Plato's Atlantis" Film of Spring/Summer 2010 Collection

DOG STAR is not known around the office as a fashionista - we are more likely to duck into H&M or Top Shop for the anthropological - you know, to find out, "What are they wearing this week?"

We were surprised, then, to be so drawn to the wildly popular world of fashion shows and especially this one of a recent Alexander McQueen production.

Sadly, McQueen's recent death by suicide means we will no longer have his creative work or his life as a blessing to those who loved and knew him.

Watch how this incredible stage production - really simple in its staging although high-tech and quite creative.

Alexander McQueen - Plato's Atlantis from SHOWstudio on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grace Jones Performance Last Night at London's Royal Albert Hall

DOG STAR knows there are many, many Lady Gaga fans.  Twenty years ago - before there was a Lady Gaga - there was Grace Jones.  Grace is still performing.

Her show last night at Royal Albert Hall in London shows how she out-Gaga's Lady Gaga!

A report from DOG STAR's London office:

Double Picasso Around NYC! Discover one of the most influential artists of the 20th century in three different museum shows!

  • DOG STAR is a devoted Picasso fan and runs, runs (trips, gets up) and runs some more to ALL Picasso shows.  Perhaps at one of these exhibitions the secret of Picasso's talent and genius will be revealed to Dog Star? 

  • More realistically, DOG STAR joined a field trip to see the Themes & Variations show at Museum of Modern Art to discover Picasso's printmaking and techniques. This shwo is strictly about the different ways Picasso employed printmaking in his artmaking.

The Met show has paintings, sculpture and prints and highlights the Met's own collection of Picasso's work.

Picasso: Themes and Variations at Museum of Modern Art

March 28–September 30, 2010
Featuring approximately one hundred works, this exhibition explores Picasso’s creative process through the medium of printmaking, tracing his development from the early years of the twentieth century, with depictions of itinerant circus performers in the Blue and Rose periods, to his discovery of Cubism. It follows his evolving artistic vision through decades of experimentation in etching, lithography, and linoleum cut, demonstrating how each technique inspired new directions in his work. The exhibition focuses on specific themes, showing how Picasso’s imagery went through a constant process of metamorphosis. Printmaking, in particular, allows this fundamental aspect of his art to become vividly clear, since various stages in building a composition can be documented. One series of lithographs shows Picasso progressing, step-by-step, from a realistic depiction of a bull to one that is completely abstracted into schematic lines. Other series reveal changing interpretations of the women in Picasso’s life, as they become the subject of his art and a catalytic force behind his creativity. 

Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art 
April 27, 2010–August 1, 2010

Special Exhibition Galleries, 2nd floor

This landmark exhibition is the first to focus exclusively on works by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) in the Museum’s collection. It features 250 works, including the Museum’s complete holdings of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and ceramics by Picasso—never before seen in their entirety—as well as a selection of the artist’s prints. The Museum’s collection reflects the full breadth of the artist’s multi–sided genius as it asserted itself over the course of his long and influential career. Notable for its remarkable constellation of early figure paintings, which include the commanding At the Lapin Agile (1905) and the iconic portrait of Gertrude Stein(1906), the Museum’s collection also stands apart for its exceptional cache of drawings, which remain relatively little known, despite their importance and number. The key subjects that variously sustained Picasso’s interest—the pensive harlequins of his Blue and Rose periods, the faceted figures and tabletop still lifes of his cubist years, the monumental heads and classicizing bathers of the 1920s, the raging bulls and dreaming nudes of the 1930s, and the rakish cavaliers and musketeers of his final years—are amply represented by works ranging in date from a dashing self-portrait of 1900 (Self–Portrait "Yo") to the fanciful Standing Nude and Seated Musketeer painted nearly seventy years later.

Here for Metropolitan Museum

Monday, April 26, 2010

FREE! Brooklyn's Poet Laureate Tina Chang Hosts Reading at Barnes & Noble in Park Slope

DOG STAR knows many young poets and this event is a great platform to get out the word!  Spoken word demands a lot of practice to fine tune delivery, volume and pacing of the poetry.  Consider joining this event as a participant - or just go to enjoy the poetry in the audience.

Ken Siegelman's Brooklyn Poetry Outreach Hosted by Tina Chang

Please join Brooklyn Poetry Outreach for an evening of open mic poetry hosted by Brooklyn Poet Laureate Tina Chang.

The featured poet is Hilde Stone.
Thursday April 29, 2010 6:30 PM

Barnes & Noble Store in Park Slope

267 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215, 718-832-9066

Special Instructions
Sign-up begins at 6:00 pm.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Discover Craig David's Cover of Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody"

Craig David - Use Somebody (Kings of Leon Cover) from Logic Will Break Your Heart on Vimeo.

FREE! This Wednesday! Screening of "Precious" and Meet Sapphire at Pace University!

DOG STAR is excited about this FREE opportunity to see the film "Precious" and to hear from its creator/writer, Sapphire!  Arrive by 5:15pm for best seats!

From Push to Precious: An Evening of Conversation with Sapphire

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 (New rescheduled date!!!)
6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace University, 3 Spruce Street

Push is the gut-wrenching novel that sears the soul as its readers navigate the life of Claireece "Precious" Jones.  Adapted for the screen, the book was turned into the film Precious, nominated for six 2010 Academy Awards!

The Office of Student Development and Campus Activities and the Office of Multicultural Affairs, along with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Black Student Union, Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority invite you to join critically acclaimed author, Sapphire for a  discussion and book-signing —as well as a screening of Precious. A reception will follow the discussion and book signing.

Screening:  6 PM - 8 PM

Sapphire:  8 PM - 9 PM

The program is free and open to the public. 

For further information, contact David Clark at 212 346 1590 / or Denise Belén Santiago at 212 346 1546 /

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Watch great short film "The Sandpit" by Sam O'Hare - It's a miniature NYC!

DOG STAR stunned friends at a quiet party recently when we showed this video. Some had never seen tilt-shift photography before - the effect is like a tiny version of the city captured in one day!

Tilt-shift photography projects have been gaining popularity of late, but this short film titled “The Sandpit” by Sam O’Hare uses the technique to its finest. 

The film used 35,000 photographs, shot over five days in New York to produce, with music composed by Human and co-written by Rosi Golan and Alex Wong.

Sam O'Hare explains how he made the film here

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.

Friday, April 23, 2010

FREE! Open Mic for HS students at Greenlight Bookstore in Ft. Greene - Take C train to Lafayette Street or any train to Atlantic

Friday, April 30, 7:00 PM
Youth Open Mic for High School and College Performance Poets
Hosted by Mo Beasley

Mo BeasleyHigh school and college students are invited to show off their slammin' poetic skills at Greenlight Bookstore's first ever open mic night!

Host Mo Beasleyis an award-winning Brooklyn performance poet, spoken word artist, published playwright, educator, and recording artist. He has featured at legendary stages from the Blue Note to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and teaches performance poetry to high school students. Beasley will MC this evening's open mic, which is open ONLY to performances by poets from 9th grade to college seniors, though all ages are invited to attend. Signup for the open mic begins at 7:00 PM, and performances will begin at 7:30.

RSVP on Facebook(optional)

FREE! New plays in reading workshops FREE at The Public Theater

DOG STAR sees many, many shows at The Public and we know that once you've been inside, you'll return again!

A long tradition of theater comes out of this place - founded by Joseph Papp in the 1960s - and presents new plays by writers who need an audience to really find out what works an, what's funny, what's not funny and where to do a re-write!

One way to do this is to stage a reading fo the play with actors, sometimes sitting in chairs and reading through the script.  A director has staged the reading to maximize the actor's gestures, the delivery of the dialogue and to present an interpretation (or staging) of the script's language.  In other words, do not expect a whole production but do expect surprises and maybe the next big thing!

In a few weeks they'll present NEW WORK NOW! - click here for the link, call or visit for your FREE tickets to the shows that sound like they'll be fun for you!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

DOG STAR presents some real dog stars - Click on any photo to see it larger!

Maximus (left) and Achilles

Legend (standing) and Achilles (sitting)
Legend is the nephew of Achilles (his sister, Lady Kira, is the mother of Legend!)

Maximus (left) and Moses

Moses (left) and Achilles

Legend (left) and Achilles

Check out this Pedigree ad - Dogs in slow motion catching treats!

DOG STAR has two dogs - Dobermans Maximus and Achilles - but we would post this incredibly creative yet simple video anyway.  

Pedigree Dogs ad shot 1000 FPS using the Phantom camera.  It's dogs in slow-mo catching treats. What could be better. From TBWA Toronto.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

FREE! This Saturday! Discover Matisse and Picasso's link to African and Islamic Art

DOG STAR is a big fan of Picasso and Matisse so this event will be exciting to hear a few words about their interest in African art, especially masks.

Saturday, April 24, 4:00PM

Brooklyn Public Library - Central Library, Dweck Center

Picasso, Matisse and Africa

Museum of Modern Art lecturer Larissa Bailiff details the influence of African art on the work of Pablo Picasso and of North African Islamic art on the paintings of Henri Matisse, as well as the relationship between these two artists.

Bailiff is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, specializing in 19th Century European Art, and has taught undergraduate and graduate art history courses at Pratt and FIT.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

FREE! Meet Broadway stars and creators of new show "Enron" at Barnes & Noble

DOG STAR will see ENRON soon and this new show - imported from the London theater scene - will surely be full of surprises.  We expect biting comment, too, on the American way of doing business.

On Thursday, April 22 at 5pm, Enron stars Norbert Leo Butz and Stephen Kunken will join playwright Lucy Prebble and director Rupert Goold in conversation with Tom Santopietro, to talk about the play, which begins Broadway performances this month.

Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Center - 66th Street & Broadway

Monday, April 19, 2010

Have you seen THE COVE? Oscar-winner for best documentary sends alarming message about dolphin slaughter in Japan but also world wide threat to all endangered species

DOG STAR works with Ms. Frydkowski to raise awareness among teens about animal rights issues, abuse and environmental challenges facing all our generations.

Nearly forty years ago, Ric O'Barry helped create the television show "Flipper" and helped start and spread the world-wide business of marine animal entertainment.  As a young man then, he caught dolphins in Florida's Biscayne Bay to sell to aquariums and to use on his shows.

He is a different man today.  He is older and wiser.  In tis Oscar-wining documentary THE COVE, he is joined by committed activists to expose the annual dolphin slaughter in Japan.

Nothing prepares you for the incredible pain and suffering you will witness in the film.  It is now out on DVD and must be seen by all DOG STAR readers and your friends!  Spread the word!

Here for Save the Japan Dolphins

At the end of the film, David Bowie is heard singing his song "Heroes," which includes the lyrics below.  Scroll down to see a performance of Bowie performing the song.

I, I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim
Though nothing,
nothing will keep us together
We can beat them, for ever and ever
Oh we can be Heroes,
just for one day

The Cove Trailer on YouTube

In closing credits of The Cove, David Bowie is heard singing his song "Heroes"

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Christian the Lion Reunited with Human Rescuers After Return to the Wild (Fake or Not It's Still a Cool Story!)

Creative Coffee Report in the NY Times Today: Southeast Asian Market Sells Dung from Coffee-Eating Cat-like Creatures

DOG STAR knows this story will sound like something from "The Onion" - that terribly funny newspaper that satirizes everything.  Unfortunately, for lots of reasons, this one is too true:  harvesters collect the droppings (dung! shit!) from a nocturnal creature that enjoys feasting on coffee cherries at night.

The coffee cherries ferment in the creature's stomach (the creature is the cat-like civet) and this fermenting removes the bitter aftertaste found in coffee.  These are then, presumably, roasted and ground for coffee.  Seriously.

The best part?  Finding out someone thinks it is cool to spend $200 a pound on coffee-flavored shit from an animal.  The worst part?  It is so popular that people have started caging civets and feeding them coffee cherries overtime to increase poop production.  Caffeinated civets probably prefer to run wild through the trees, wouldn't you agree?

In the photo above a caged civet peers out through its cage and a collection basket of coffee-filled poop is ready for collection.

The story starts out with a description of a really strange and unsusual funeral tradition...makes you want to read it, right?

Here for the full New York Times story

CLOSES MAY 9! See early photo pioneer Eugene Atget at ICP in Midtown

DOG STAR likes to tell people that we discovered Eugene Atget (prounced at-JAY) but of course that isn't true. What we mean is that among photo fans in the DOG STAR offices, we were the first to bring this photo pioneer to everyone else's attention.

In truth it is Berenice Abbot who discovered Eugene Atget and promoted his work in the United States.  In fact, exhibitions of his prints had a huge influence on photographers Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander and Abbot herself.

Before and during World War I, Atget packed up his 50 lb load of camera equipment and walked the streets of Paris until he had exhausted himself.  In 1920, he wrote a letter to the French government and declared, "Finally, I own Paris."  What he meant, of course, is that eh had photographed ALL of Paris - from the fancy mansions to the dirty alleyways.

While Berenice Abbot worked as Man Ray's assistant in Paris she met Atget before he died in 1927.  He left behind 25,000 prints and 850 negative plates.

Now, the International Center of Photography will present 31 vintage ("old") prints from their collection.

They begin a new exhibition series with three other shows opening at the same time.  Stop by and take a look.  If you're a big fan of Paris like we are you'll want to know about Eugene Atget!

International Center of Photography is EASY TO REACH:
1133 Avenue of the Americas (6th Ave) at 43rd Street
Fridays after 5pm FREE admission!

Here for International Center of Photography 

Here for Eugene Atget on Wikipedia 

Here for Berenice Abbot on Wikipedia 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Experience Culture Shock at Japan Society: Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters / Japanese Prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

DOG STAR is excited about this show featuring woodblock prints from 19th century master Utagawa Kuniyoshi.  All manga fans will run to this show to see the origins and progression of Japanese illustration through the years.

Kuniyoshi's vivid scenes from history and legend, wildly popular 150 years ago, are a major influence on the work of today's manga and anime artists.  This exhibition features over 130 dramatic depictions of giant spiders, skeletons, and toads; Chinese ruffians; women warriors; haggard ghosts; and desperate samurai combat.  On view until June 13!

Here to view an online gallery of the exhibition

Japan Society is EASY TO REACH
333 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017

Between First and Second Avenues, a short walk from Grand Central Terminal.
By subway: #4/5/6, 7 and S at Grand Central Station; #6 at 51st Street and Lexington Avenue; and the E and V at Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street.  Public parking available nearby.
    By bus: M15 to 47th Street, M101 or M102 north on Third Avenue to 47th Street, or crosstown M27, M50 or M42.

    Admission:  $12
    students & seniors $10;
    Japan Society members and children under 16 FREE.
    Admission is FREE to all on Friday nights , 6-9 PM.
    Gallery Hours:
    Tuesday through Thursday 11 AM - 6 PM
    Friday 11 AM - 9 PM
    Saturday & Sunday 11 AM - 5 PM
    The gallery is closed on Mondays.

    Here for Japan Society

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Transit Museum: First time or Fifth Visit? See what's happening in our Transit Museum gallery spaces!

    DOG STAR re-discovered the FREE Transit Museum Annex inside Grand Central recently and their little renovation job is beautiful.  They have re-opened with a small and fascinating show on how the work on the South Street f/ Ferry Terminal station resulted in all kinds of knowledge and artifacts about early New York history.

    The Transit Museum in Dowtown has a wonderful show of photos of an out-of-service subway line called the Myrtle Avenue L or Elevated line.  Great peek into more recent New York history!

    Here for Transit Museum website

    New York Transit Museum, Brooklyn Heights, Art Gallery Space
    At midnight on October 3, 1969 the last train on the Myrtle Avenue El departed Borough Hall. After 80 years of service the line would be demolished. Photographer Theresa King, who rode the train daily in her childhood, spent the day documenting the trains, stations, passengers, and views from the elevated platform. Forty years later this photo essay, shot in a single day, provides a glimpse into the past and preserves a memory of growing up in Brooklyn.
    New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal
    The new South Ferry subway station is enhancing New York's future and helping uncover its past. An area rich in city history, it has served as a military battery, fort, and barracks and was home to Native Americans, the Dutch and British and colonial Americans who developed it as a center of city commerce. Before constructing the station an extensive archeological dig was conducted on the site, and two 18th century city landmarks - four sections of the Battery Wall and portions of Whitehall Slip - were uncovered, along with 50,000 artifacts. This exhibit will feature these exciting discoveries and unravel the stories they tell about New York life long ago.
    New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex & Store at Grand Central Terminal
    HoursMonday – Friday: 8 AM to 8 PM
    Saturday – Sunday: 10 AM to 6 PM
    Closed: major holidays and for special events
    Phone(212) 878-0106

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Watch Out for Naked Men Perched on NYC Buildings Around Madison Square Park

    DOG STAR first heard about this art installation when people started calling the police:  "There is a man on the edge of the roof - he looks like he is about to jump!"

    Antony Gormley has brought his naked male sculptures to New York's rooftops and in your face in Madison Square Park on 23rd Street.

    British artist Antony Gormley conquers New York’s Flatiron District with his legion of naked men inhabiting pathways and sidewalks in and around Madison Square Park and perched on ledges and rooftops of buildings from 14th to 34th streets on Manhattan’s East Side.
    Cast from the artist’s own lean body in iron and fiberglass, the 31 anatomically correct statues, which make up the installation Event Horizon, literally swarm the park. Finding them is a bit like playing the game “Where’s Waldo” yet once spotted they bring to mind the angels watching over Berlin in Wim Wenders’ film Wings Of Desire.
    Winner of the 1994 Turner Prize, Gormley is celebrated in the UK for his spectacular public art works. His massive Angel of the North sculpture extends its wings high on a hill in Gateshead, while 100 life-size, cast iron figures in Another Place stretch out into the sea on Crosby Beach.
    Event Horizon, which marks Gormley’s U.S. public art debut, was first installed in 2007 on bridges, rooftops and streets along the South Bank of London’s Thames River.
    The New York installation, which is supported by its own website with a map, photos, and a video of Gormley discussing the project while scouting locations around Madison Square Park, remains on view through August 15.