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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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

Saturday, July 31, 2010


DOG STAR is excited to announce that John Legend will appear in a free concert in Coney Island on Thursday, August 5th at 7:30 pm!

We STRONGLY RECOMMEND arriving at the concert site by 6:30 to avoid crowds and get a good spot close to the stage.  

The concert site is in a park on Surf Avenue on the street side of the boardwalk (as opposed to the ocean side).  

CONCERT ALERT! Have you checked the FREE CONCERT schedules lately?

Above:  Maximus waits for a summer concert to begin!

DOG STAR knows you won't
want to miss this summer's
hottest free concerts around
the city!

Martin Luther King Concert Series
Monday nights - all summer - Wingate High School in Crown Heights
Entrance on Brooklyn Avenue (between Rutland and Winthrop)

Seaside Summer Concert Series
Thursday nights - all summer - Coney Island
(West 5th Street & Surf Avenue)

Central Park Summerstage
Varied dates - all summer - Rumsey Playfield
Enter Central Park at 69th/72nd Street & 5th Avenue

Celebrate Brooklyn!
Varied dates - all summer - Prospect Park Bandshell
Enter from 9th Street and Prospect Park West

NBC Today Show
Varied dates - all summer - Rockefeller Plaza
Enter from 5th or 6th Avenue and 47th street
You must arrive by 6:00am to have any chance
of getting inside concert area

Good Morning America
Varied dates - all summer - Rumsey Playfield
Enter Central Park at 69th/72nd Street & 5th Avenue
You must arrive by 6:00am to have any chance of getting inside concert area

BAM R&B Concert Series
Thursdays at NOON - Metrotech Center - Jay Street/Downtown Brooklyn
Lawn between Metrotech office buildings opposite Marriott Hotel

Friday, July 30, 2010

More press for Alberto Vargas at Clic Gallery!

Photo by Alberto Vargas

DOG STAR is excited to share the news that more press is covering Alberto Vargas and his Clic Gallery debut.

Here is what Animal New York wrote:  The 15-strong group show features shots by 18-year-old Alberto Vargas, Montauk surf legend Tony Caramanico’s mixed media, and Paul Solberg’s photos of CBGB skate punk run-off.

Wall Street Journal:  “You can tell the difference just by the timing [between] the people who take photos who are skateboarders and the people who aren’t,” said Alberto Vargas, an 18-year-old New Yorker who belongs to the former group. We are sitting in Coleman Playground underneath the Manhattan Bridge, watching skaters attempt tricks in the midday heat. We yell back and forth over the subway roar overhead as Vargas talks about capturing tricks at the right moment.

Some of the press refers to him as a Queens high school student.  Flavorpill wrote:  And Alberto Vargas, a “crazy talented” 17-year-old was discovered by a gallerist while in high school in Queens.

We know he graduated from a Manhattan high school - Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers

Here for DNA Info website

Here for Time Out review

Here for Animal New York

Here for Wall Street Journal story

Here for Clic Gallery

Get to Downtown Brooklyn for FREE Noon Concert by Mykal Rose!

DOG STAR says if you're not working - and you are not in summer school (LOL!) then make sure you get to downtown Brooklyn to see Mykal Rose for this incredible free concert!

This is for NEXT THURSDAY!

Mykal Rose of Black Uhuru

Part of BAM's Rhythm & Blues Festival at MetroTech

Thu, Aug 5 at 12noon

A true reggae legend, Jamaican-born singer Mykal Rose came to fame as the leader of the seminal band Black Uhuru, whose album 
Anthem won the first-ever Grammy Award for reggae music and helped to catalyze the roots movement worldwide. His distinctive vocals inspired the “Waterhouse” style, and his solo work—filled with bravely topical lyrics and influences from far beyond reggae’s borders—continues to define the genre. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

FREE! Have you been to Bryant Park this summer for FREE movies on the lawn?

August 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

FREE! Plan now to see ARETHA FRANKLIN in TWO CONCERTS in Brooklyn

DOG STAR will be at one of these shows (probably Coney Island's Seaside location) to see the legendary Aretha Franklin in a free concert.

Arrive by 6pm for these shows to get a seat and to avoid the crowds!

The Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series is celebrating its spectacular 28th season with a star-studded line-up of gospel, classic soul, contemporary, Caribbean and R&B artists. The free concerts are Monday nights at Wingate Field, entrances on Brooklyn Avenue (Rutland Road and Winthrop Street).

The Seaside Summer Concert Series, now in its 32nd year, is the largest free outdoor music series in New York. Throughout the years, the Thursday-night series has attracted top-name classic rock, pop, oldies, contemporary and Latin performers to Asser Levy/Seaside Park, at West 5th Avenue and Surf Avenue in Coney Island/Brighton Beach.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

FREE! Discover Hipsters, Hustlers, and Handball Players: Leon Levinstein's New York Photographs, 1950–1980

DOG STAR is excited every time a new black/white photography show comes up!  It gives the DOG STAR offices another chance to debate the merits and beauty of b/w vs. color photography.

One of the most exciting genres is street photography (we also love Sue Kwon, Helen Levitt and Elliott Erwitt!) and now the Met will show some of their collection of Leon Levinstein!

Metropolitan Museum - Fifth Avenue & 82nd Street


Hipsters, Hustlers, and Handball Players: Leon Levinstein's New York Photographs, 1950–1980
June 8, 2010–October 17, 2010
The Howard Gilman Gallery

Leon Levinstein (American, 1910–1988), an unheralded master of street photography, is best known for his candid and unsentimental black-and-white figure studies made in New York City neighborhoods from Times Square and the Lower East Side to Coney Island.

This exhibition, drawn exclusively from the Metropolitan's collection, will feature some forty photographs that reflect the artist's fearless approach to the medium. Levinstein's graphic virtuosity—seen in raw, expressive gestures and seemingly monumental bodies—is balanced by his unusual compassion for his offbeat subjects from the demimonde.

Here for Metropolitan Museum website!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dog Star Reader & Photographer ALBERTO VARGAS featured in today's Wall Street Journal for upcoming show at Clic Gallery

Art Exhibit Aims

to Capture Thrill

of Skating and Surfing

Alberto Vargas
“Matt Rzeszutko”: a photo that’s part of the exhibit at “SURF/SKATE,” a new show at Clic in New York.
“You can tell the difference just by the timing [between] the people who take photos who are skateboarders and the people who aren’t,” said Alberto Vargas, an 18-year-old New Yorker who belongs to the former group. We are sitting in Coleman Playground underneath the Manhattan Bridge, watching skaters attempt tricks in the midday heat. We yell back and forth over the subway roar overhead as Vargas talks about capturing tricks at the right moment.
The young photographer is one of the artists whose work is featured “SURF/SKATE,” a new show of photography and painting at Clic Gallery in SoHo that documents the titular lifestyles. The artists in this show are surfers and skaters themselves, and diverse in medium and experience. Montauk surf legend Tony Caramanico’s collages are on display, here, as are paintings by Peter Wise and Drew Carolan’s photographs of punk kids and skaters captured outside CBGB.
Also on display are limited editions of Supreme skateboard decks designed by Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst, exhibited together for the first time. (For prospective buyers considering actual utility, a Hirst-designed skate deck will set you back a few thousand, but Clic owner Christane Celle said that some of the other decks start in the $70 range.)
This is Vargas’s first gallery show; the opportunity came about when he met Celle after dropping by a different photography show at Clic last year, upon a teacher’s suggestion. They kept in touch. Vargas said he wasn’t familiar with the other artists’ work until he recently looked them up online. “It’s shocking, it’s a real honor,” he said, of having his photographs displayed in the same gallery as work by the more established artists. “I can’t believe it,” he says with some awe and humility. “I’m getting starstruck by myself.”
The idea for a summer-y surf and skate show was inspired by Celle’s two teenage sons.
“One is a good skateboarder; the other less,” she said. Both boys surf and Celle has spent her life surrounded by water and beach culture. She grew up in Cannes and before New York, lived in St. Barts, where she started the clothing and accessories company Calypso.
Several of the featured artists in the show are Celle’s friends and acquaintances. She is married to Antoine Verglas, a fashion and editorial photographer. Caramanico taught her then-six-year-old son to surf in Montauk. She met Carolan, a former assistant to Richard Avedon, in the 1980s, when she was working as a fashion stylist in New York.
“I don’t surf,” Celle admits. “In Montauk, it’s too cold! I’m not too brave.”

Rashaad Newsome talks about the re-mixing he did for his video installation at P.S. 1

DOG STAR knows a handful of devoted hip hop fans and we all find this incredibly interesting as a way to "unpack" and take a closer look at how hip hop music gets made.
 In the video above, Rashaad Newsome talks about his captivating video installation The Conductor (Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi) (2008), currently on view at MoMA PS1 as part of the the Greater New York 2010 exhibition.In this work (the first in a six-part series), Newsome combines clips culled from rap music videos with selections from the composer Carl Orff’s classical masterpiece Carmina Burana, a piece of music that has itself been widely sampled in pop culture.
The music-video footage has been edited to isolate and remix shots of the rap artists’ hand gestures so they appear to be conducting Orff’s orchestra, a juxtaposition that allows Newsome to playfully break down boundaries between seemingly opposed cultural forms.
In Newsome’s videos, collages, and performances, distinctions between and expectations about high and low culture are upended and reconfigured. 
Using what he calls “the equalizing force of sampling”—a process borrowed from hip-hop—Newsome adopts the role of composer in his work, appropriating and reframing imagery, sounds, and gestures from a variety of pop-cultural sources associated with predominately black subcultures, such as vogueing, so-called “ghetto” expressions, “bling” jewelry, and rap music videos.

Read DRAKE Profile in The New York Times

IN March the young hip-hop star Drake was in town for a harried few days, polishing up the final details on his debut album, “Thank Me Later,” and filming the video for the first single, “Over,” before heading out on his first proper headlining tour. On his last night, his team was holed up at the studio in the basement of the Sunset Marquis hotel, accessible only by special elevator.
Earlier in the day Jay-Z had sent him an encouraging e-mail message that paraphrased one of his own lyrics: “Things are going good/But good can turn to better.” Taking a break to eat before settling in for an all-night session at the studio, Drake checked his phone and laughed. He was texting with someone he was pretty certain was Halle BerryLeBron James, a close friend, thought he’d be a great match for Ms. Berry’s cousin, and Ms. Berry seemed to be feeling him out.
For most of his teenage years Drake, tall, broad and handsome, was still known as Aubrey Graham (Drake is his middle name) and played the basketball star Jimmy Brooks on the popular Canadian teenage drama “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” In the last 18 months, though, he’s become the most important and innovative new figure in hip-hop, and an unlikely one at that. Biracial Jewish-Canadian former child actors don’t have a track record of success in the American rap industry.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Real strength never impairs beauty or harmony, but it often bestows it; and in everything imposingly beautiful, strength has much to do with the magic.
Herman Melville (1819-1891)

Mixed Company: Cat Adopts Rabbit!

Andy Warhol: The Last Decade (of his life) at Brooklyn Museum

DOG STAR is excited about this show since it gives teens the chance to discover '80s culture through early celebrity portraits (Warhol had a cable show and interviewed celebs) as well a chance to see collabos with other artists.

The Swiss dealer Bruno Bischofberger commissioned a set of collaborationsfrom three leading artists of the 1980s, each from a different generation.

To begin, each artist was given a set of canvases, which were then circulated to the others so they could add their contributions. In this painting we see Warhol’s yellow, screenprinted flower in the center overpainted with Clemente’s faces, and finally a layer of Basquiat’s white screened designs, which give the painting its title.

Brooklyn Museum is EASY TO REACH and only costs $1 for teens (that's because it is a "suggested donation" and we suggest $1.00!):

2/3 train to Eastern Parkway station in Brooklyn - museum is right outside the station - it's easy!

Slideshow of images in THE LAST DECADE

Friday, July 23, 2010

SAVE THE DATE! FREE John Legend Concert in Coney Island on Thursday, August 5

DOG STAR is excited to announce that John Legend will appear in a free concert in Coney Island on Thursday, August 5th at 7:30 pm!

We STRONGLY RECOMMEND arriving at the concert site by 6:30 to avoid crowds and get a good spot close to the stage.  

The concert site is in a park on Surf Avenue on the street side of the boardwalk (as opposed to the ocean side).  

Any train to Coney Island will get you there - but get off at West 8th and walk back to West 5th & Surf Avenue!

Here for John Legend website

Here for link to concert website!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

FREE! Check out summer group show at Mixed Greens in theme of "shelter" with cool installations for hot days!

DOG STAR likes the idea of this how:  re-thinking how we see shelter and places we call home.  These artists have come up with some pretty cool ways to express fresh ideas about housing, portable shelter and how we inhabit public space.

Artists: Zachary Buchner, Kevin Cyr, Matthew de Leon, Jonathan Durham, Jonathan Ehrenberg, Kate Gilmore, Angelina Gualdoni, Eric Heist, Nicholas Johnston, Dimitri Kozyrev, Fawn Krieger, Caitlin Masley, Jaclyn Mednicov, Ryan Sarah Murphy, Lisa Ross, Nicolas Rule, Suzanne Song

Mixed Greens is excited to present the group exhibition Gimme Shelter. While shelter is traditionally defined as a structure that provides protection, these seventeen artists present a more complex, multifaceted understanding of the concept. More specifically, the works in this show investigate the delicate balance of perception: whether a space is inviting or uninhabitable, comforting or crumbling, being constructed or consumed.

Flooded McDonalds! Watch clip of video by Danish artist SUPERFLEX

DOG STAR knows that globalization has had a serious impact on the global economy, environment and human refugee populations.

While we witness corporate multinationals demolish the environment in both the Gulf of Mexico and in the Niger Delta (oil spills there have been happening for over 50 years!), this video is a fresh and provocative look at another corporate titan.

While the video is entirely fictional - the artists re-created a McDonalds in a studio - we thought of several references:  Hurricane Katrina flooding, anti-corporate backlash and anti-capitalist revenge fantasy!

Here to watch video of Flooded McDonalds

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Discover an incredible roof-top adventure at the Met Museum! FREE for teens!

DOG STAR took a field trip to the Met this morning with our class "Seeing & Writing."

DOG STAR knows many readers will run to this exciting new show at the Metropolitan Museum.  Why?  This is a unique experience on the Met's roof to climb 40-50 feet into the sky over Central Park on bamboo walkways.

How often do you get to do that?  Uh, never!

Scroll to the bottom of this post for details on HOW TO GET TICKETS!

Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú
April 27, 2010–October 31, 2010 (weather permitting)
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, Metropolitan Museum
82nd Street & 5th Avenue


American artists Mike and Doug Starn (born 1961) have been invited by The Metropolitan Museum of Art to create a site–specific installation for The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, opening to the public on April 27.

The identical twin brothers will present Big Bambú, a monumental bamboo structure ultimately measuring 100 feet long by 50 feet wide by 50 feet high in the form of a cresting wave that will bridge realms of sculpture, architecture, and performance.

Visitors are meant to witness the creation and evolving incarnations of Big Bambú as it is constructed throughout the spring, summer, and fall by the artists and a team of rock climbers.

Set against Central Park and its urban backdrop, Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú will suggest the complexity and energy of an ever–changing living organism.

Care to Climb?
All visitors will be allowed on the main level of the roof, but walking the elevated pathways of “Big Bambú” is more complicated. For that you will need to know about:
TIMED TICKETS One per person, available only first come first served, with museum admission, in the Uris Center for Education, at the 81st Street entrance. Morning tour tickets are released at 9:30 a.m.; afternoon tours at noon. On Fridays and Saturdays, evening tours are available, and tickets will be released at 3:30 p.m. Bring a photo ID and be prepared to sign a waiver.
THE WEATHER Because the bamboo can be slippery, the installation may be closed because of rain (or even rain the night before). Call (212) 396-5300 on the day you plan to attend to check.
THE RULES Visitors have to wear closed, rubber-soled shoes and be able to walk unassisted. (No wheelchairs, walkers or canes, unless the canes have a wrist strap and are used to aid the visually impaired.) Children must be at least 10 and over four feet tall; adults must accompany those younger than 13. Also, no personal items (including handbags, cellphones and cameras) will be allowed; lockers will be provided.