Dog Star / A Creative Arts Guide
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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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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!
Saturday, December 31, 2011
In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the International Center of Photography is collaborating with the National September 11 Memorial Museum on Remembering 9/11, a major exhibition of photography and video that addresses the issues of memory and recovery from disaster and explores how New Yorkers and volunteers from across the U.S. responded to this inconceivable tragedy.
Harper's Bazaar: A Decade of Style
In the ten years since Glenda Bailey became Editor in Chief of Harper's Bazaar, she and Creative Director Stephen Gan have carried on the magazine's tradition of publishing high-impact photography. This exhibition distills that decade into a
choice group of nearly thirty images by some of the most important photographers working today, including Peter Lindbergh, Jean-Paul Goude, David Bailey, William Klein, Patrick Demarchelier, Sølve Sundsbø, Tim Walker, Mario Sorrenti, Hiro, Melvin Sokolsky, and Karl Lagerfeld. Among the artists represented are Nan Goldin, Ralph Gibson, and Chuck Close.
Signs of Life: Photographs by Peter Sekaer
The Danish documentary photographer Peter Sekaer (1901–1950) was one of the key contributors to U.S. government
photographic projects during the Great Depression. Sekaer photographed alongside Walker Evans in the American South during the Farm Security Administration years, and photographs by the two are sometimes indistinguishable.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
In this painting - one of Tooker's most famous - we see a semi-realistic representation of the underground subway platforms (perhaps at 14th Street) that serve as the "middle plane" between the upper world (outside) and the subterranean world (subconscious? dream world?) of the subway tracks and trains. The "cool" colors don't give away immediately that there is terror, paranoia, suspicion and potential danger present so strongly in nearly every corner of the painting. This is a brightly lit subway station the better to be able to see ALL the figures and their eyes watching each other, watching the woman at center and watching us back (the viewer) and - us watching them. And, yet, there is something slightly OFF about this "realistic image" in the way the figures and landscape have a "surreal" look and effect on the viewer. We can easily begin with the woman at center in the red dress (color can always be taken for symbolic meaning - anger, hatred, blood, murder, violence, passion) and we have to say we usually avoid looking at her, perhaps because everyone else is staring at her and she looks visibly afraid of being there (in the center of all the attention). Many people have written about how Tooker's paintings (and this one in particular) show the modern sense of alienation and isolation between people who have no more business with each other (as a community) and have only business that makes them consumers (buyers and sellers) in social transactions limited to he exchange of goods and money. At this very moment captured in Tooker's painting, we wonder: What is everyone so afraid of getting caught doing or seeing? What would happen if they walked up to each other and simply said, "Hello," and offered their hand. Or a hug. Sadly, we think Tooker's painting is just as relevant TODAY in 2011 as it was in 1950: The terrifying lack of emotional and social interaction between the people in this painting is typically reflected in the subway platforms in our city every day. For us this painting helps to remind us of something very important: I never want to become someone like the people shown in this painting.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Renaissance Portraiture and Costume: Celebrate and Create!
Friday, January 27, 2012 - 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday Sketching (Ages 11-18)
Saturdays, 1:00–4:00 p.m.
Ancient Near East—December 10
Heroic Africans: Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures
September 21, 2011–January 29, 2012
This major international loan exhibition challenges conventional perceptions of African art. Bringing together more than one hundred masterpieces drawn from collections in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Portugal, France, and the United States, it considers eight landmark sculptural traditions from West and Central Africa created between the twelfth and early twentieth centuries in terms of the individual subjects who lie at the origins of the representations. Analysis of each of these considers the historical circumstances and cultural values that inform the artistic landmarks presented. The works featured are among the only tangible links that survive, relating to generations of leaders that shaped Africa's past before colonialism, among the Akan of Ghana, ancient Ife civilization and the Kingdom of Benin of Nigeria, Bangwa and Kom chiefdoms of the Cameroon Grassfields, the Chokwe of Angola and Zambia, and the Luluwa, Hemba, and Kuba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Harnessing materials ranging from humble clay, ubiquitous wood, precious ivory, and costly metal alloys, sculptors from these regions captured evocative, idealized, and enduring likenesses of their individual patrons whose identities were otherwise recorded in ephemeral oral traditions. Read more about the exhibition here. Shown above in this post: Commemorative figure (detail), 19th–early 20th century. Hemba peoples, Niembo group; Sayi region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Private collection.
Call me to your side
The lights they bind me
They take my sight
Grace my senses again?
The lights they blind me
Soon he descends
There is nothing I can do
You belong to him tonight
There is nothing I can do
The truth is revealed
Gates fly open
You chance to be healed
Will I be with you my friend?
The lights they blind me
Soon he descends
There is nothing I can do
You belong to him tonight
There is nothing I can do
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
FREE! Bring your family for the holidays! Enjoy the Met Museum's incredible Christmas Tree in the Medieval Art Gallery (You must see this in person to get the full effect!)
Arturo O'Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra from Litchfield Performing Arts on Vimeo.
Monday, December 26, 2011
American life was dramatically transformed in the years following the Great War, as urbanization, industrialization, mechanization, and rampant materialism altered the environment and the way people lived. American artists responded to this dizzying modern world with works that embraced a new brand of idealized realism to evoke a seemingly perfect modern world. The twenties saw a vigorous renewal of figurative art that melded uninhibited body-consciousness with classical ideals. Wheareas images of the modern body were abundant, artists represented American places and things as distilled and largely uninhabited arrangements of pristine forms. Encompassing a wide array of artists, Youth and Beauty celebrates this striking and original modern art and questions its relation to the riotous decade from which it emerged.
The first section of the exhibition’s two primary thematic sections is Body Language: Liberation and Restraint in Twenties Figuration, which investigates the realist portrait, naturally erotic figure subjects, and heroic types. Throughout the twenties, motion pictures, advertising, “healthy body culture,” and the theories of Sigmund Freud all contributed to an era of physical liberation, sensuality, and a near obsession with bodily perfection. Many artists celebrated the modern physical ideal in nude subjects that pictured the newly exposed body freed from conventional restrictions and empowered through fitness or liberating forms of dance. Artists also responded to the rising influence of urban black culture with representations of the idealized black body. Although startlingly direct, these images are also restrained in a way that suggests an uneasiness with the accelerated energy and action of modern life. Works that celebrate this controlled modern physicality include George Wesley Bellows 1924 Two Women, in which a nude and a fully clad figure are juxtaposed in a domestic setting; and Thomas Hart Benton’s 1922 Self-Portrait with Rita, which portrays the bare-chested artist beside his wife, who sports a daring body-revealing swimsuit. Works such as Alfred Stieglitz’s Rebecca Salisbury Strand, a voluptuous nude subject for which the wife of photographer Paul Strand served as a model, display a direct and frank sensuality. John Steuart Curry’s 1928 Bathers, a scene of robust male nudes cooling themselves in a water tank, channels heroic proportions and Renaissance ideals to foreground healthy physicality in an age of rampant automation and urbanization.
The new realism was also apparent in portraits that portray natural beauty with decisive clarity and assertive immediacy. Often cast in the format of the newly popular “close-up,” twenties portraiture emerged from a culture in which advertising prompted rigorous self-scrutiny and current theories of psychology suggested complexly layered personalities. The portraits on view will include Luigi Lucioni’s magnetic 1928 likeness of the young artist Paul Cadmus; Imogen Cunningham’s intimate photograph of the seminal writer Sherwood Anderson; and Romaine Brooks’s stark 1924 portrait of Una, Lady Troubridge, lover of the English novelist Radclyffe Hall.
The exhibition’s second half, Silent Pictures: Reckoning with a New World, explores subjects as diverse as still life and industrial and natural landscapes while highlighting their shared qualities of compositional refinement and muted expression. Painters and photographers depicted the ready-made geometries of industrial towers, stacks, and tanks, and the webs of struts and beams, with little reference to their utilitarian actualities or to human activity. In his masterful 1927 composition My Egypt, Charles Demuth transformed the functional architecture of a massive grain elevator complex into a transcendent composition swept by fan like rays. Charles Sheeler paid homage to modern engineering in his pristine 1927 photograph Ford Plant, River Rouge, Blast Furnace and Dust Catcher, commissioned by Ford’s advertisers. In George Ault’s 1926 Brooklyn Ice House, the artist’s reductive treatment of the industrial buildings and playful description of a black smoke plume result in a compelling combination of the modern and the naive.
Challenged by the sensory assault of the modern urban-industrial world around them, artists also portrayed American landscape settings as precisely distilled and largely uninhabited. Intent on maintaining their own individuality in a new era of mass-production and mass-market advertising, they described the features of more remote American places with a marked intensity and austerity. In Edward Hopper’s 1927 Lighthouse Hill, the forms of architecture and landscape are stripped of incidental details and cast in a transcendent raking light. Georgia O’Keeffe’s 1927 Lake George Barns (one of seven works by the artist in the exhibition), offers a similar hybrid realism, as does Ansel Adams’s 1929 photograph of the sculptural Church at Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico.
In their still-life compositions, American artists of the twenties applied a modernist penchant for essential form to exacting arrangements of insistently simple things. Objects as disparate as flowers, soup cans, razors, eggs, and cocktail shakers, appear in compositions that suggest the new tensions between the traditional and the modern in art and in life. Twenties images such as Peter Blume’s Vegetable Dinner, in which one modern woman enjoys a cigarette while her counterpart peels some humble vegetables, prompts consideration of the individual’s relationship to the larger material world. Imogen Cunningham’s 1929 photograph Calla Lilies embodies a precise, natural perfection akin to modern body ideals, while Gerald Murphy’s 1924 Razor employs a hard-edged billboard aesthetic to foreground the required accessories of the well groomed modern man.
Artist in this post from top to bottom: Gerald Murphy, Aaron Douglas, George Cadmus, George Ault - All of these paintings are included in the exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum!
Brooklyn Museum is EASY TO REACH and PAY JUST $1 ANYTIME YOU GO! TAKE 2/3 TRAIN TO EASTERN PARKWAY AND MUSEUM IS RIGHT UPSTAIRS!
Sunday, December 25, 2011
FREE! Go See Gingerbread Houses at Le Parker Meridien Lobby - Bring your family and then go see Rock Center Xmas tree!
by the scale of what we're able
to desire? Everything,
the choir insists,
inside these wrappings
burns another, brighter life,
by song: hear how
it cascades, in overlapping,
lapidary waves of praise? Still time.
Still time to change.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Subway: E, M to Fifth Avenue - 53rd Street; B, D, F 47th-50th Streets - Rockefeller Center
Friday, December 23, 2011
Jerome Liebling in 1949 on the streets of Harlem. The boy looks nervous and confident at the same time and has assumed a kind of superhero pose for the photographer with his caped jacket. Here's what the museum says about the show: In 1936 a group of young, idealistic photographers, most of them Jewish, first-generation Americans, formed an organization in Manhattan called the Photo League. Their solidarity centered on a belief in the expressive power of the documentary photograph and on a progressive alliance in the 1930s of socialist ideas and art. The Radical Camera presents the contested path of the documentary photograph during a tumultuous period that spanned the New Deal reforms of the Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. The Jewish Museum is EASY TO REACH - you don't have to be Jewish to go there! - at 5th Avenue & 92nd Street. Go on Saturdays @ 11am when it's FREE for everybody!
Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: Rock classic Landslide by Stevie Nicks (Can I handle the seasons of my life?)
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Dog Star makes a point of stopping by the 4th floor each time we're at MoMA (more here) to see this Rousseau picture (pronounced roo-sew) - one of our favorites in their permanent collection. here's what their guide book says about the picture: As a musician, the gypsy in this painting is an artist; as a traveler, she has no clear social place. Lost in the self-absorption that is deep, dreaming sleep, she is dangerously vulnerable—yet the lion is calmed and entranced. The Sleeping Gypsy is formally exacting—its contours precise, its color crystalline, its lines, surfaces, and accents carefully rhymed. Rousseau plays delicately with light on the lion’s body. A letter of his describes the painting’s subject: “A wandering Negress, a mandolin player, lies with her jar beside her (a vase with drinking water), overcome by fatigue in a deep sleep. A lion chances to pass by, picks up her scent yet does not devour her. There is a moonlight effect, very poetic. The scene is set in a completely arid desert. The gypsy is dressed in oriental costume.” A sometime douanier (toll collector) for the city of Paris, Rousseau was a self-taught painter, whose work seemed entirely unsophisticated to most of its early viewers. Much in his art, however, found modernist echoes: the flattened shapes and perspectives, the freedom of color and style, the subordination of realistic description to imagination and invention. As a consequence, critics and artists appreciated Rousseau long before the general public did. MoMA IS ALWASY FREE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AND OPEN UNTIL 10pm ON FRIDAY NIGHTS!