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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New doc shows 10,000 year-old cave drawings in South of France - CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS by Werner Herzog

DOG STAR says it's easy to disregard Chauvet (pronounced sho-vay) as lame pictures on a wall somewhere, but it means so much more to us as human beings. This art represents the point where we stopped being simple animals and started thinking abstractly, symbolically, creatively.  This isn't art. This is something far more important.

European Shopping bags (Part 2 of 5)

FREE! Join the Fun in the Bronx and Show Some Love for Our Puerto Rican Neighbors at Annual Street Festival on Saturday, June 4!

More information here!

FREE! Brooklyn Museum's First Saturday!

DOG STAR readers enjoy a free party and this monthly event never disappoints. Brooklyn Museum is free after 5pm and all kinds of activities are planned for early evening folks with families (small children) to late evening dance party with a DJ on the upper floor.  The photo is a scene of the dance floor - it is packed with teenagers and twenty-somethings!  Easy to reach: 2/3 train to Eastern Parkway - museum is right upstairs when you exit the station.
Saturday, June 4 from 5pm-11pm - FREE

Guess the Year! Taxi Edition: Can you guess the year this photo was taken?

More pictures and the answer here!

Monday, May 30, 2011

FREE! Go see Blitz the Ambassador at the Brooklyn Museum this Saturday, June 4

Find out more about Free First Saturdays at Brooklyn Museum here

Sunday Arts from PBS

Watch the full episode. See more SundayArts.

Vote now for NO CONTROL in Nike-sponsored STEP IT UP Contest

DOG STAR wants to spread the word about the STEP IT UP contest between New York City youth dance crews to promote positive messages among young people (more here).  One of our favorites is NO CONTROL from Brooklyn and you can vote for them on the contest web site!  These are friends and crew-mates of break dancer extra-ordinaire Roberto Mejia, although he doesn't appear to be in this promo.  The Department of Youth and Community Development and Nike have partnered to bring to life the Step it Up dance/step campaign. A city-wide initiative that uses sport-arts as catalysts for social change, the campaign will elevate and mobilize young people through the art of dance/step all while empowering teams to engage their communities around causes like education, anti-violence, homeless prevention, inequality, health, HIV/AIDS and the environment.

FREE! THIS SUNDAY! World Science Festival Fair in Washington Square Park (Great for families with kids!)

2011 World Science Festival Street Fair
Sunday, June 5, 2011
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM 
The Washington Square Park area will be transformed into a science wonderland when the World Science Festival Youth and Family Street Fair (here for more) returns to New York City on Sunday, June 5, 2011. This year’s extravaganza will feature a non-stop program of interactive exhibits, experiments, games, and shows designed to entertain and inspire. Join us for a full day of free family fun!

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: We're bumpin' to Simply Red's "Money's Too Tight (to Mention)"

DOG STAR says 1980s British group Simply Red (lead singer Mick Hucknall has red hair!) had a hit single with this tune, but theirs is just a cover version. "Money's Too Tight (To Mention)" was first released by an American group called The Valentine Brothers in 1982 and was quickly overlooked. When Simply Red's version came out in 1985 it was the band's first single and first hit and it launched an incredible career that only ended in 2010. The lyrics of the song, regardless of the fact that the band was British, are about the stagnated US economy and high inflation of the early 80's, both problems that "Reaganomics" tried to fix by cutting government spending, taxes and regulations. Sounds familiar, right?  Maybe the time is right for another version of this oldie-but-goodie.

Watch Australian artist MEGGS Work on Mural Projects in Hawai’i for Jasper Wong’s POW WOW Event

DOG STAR is definitely not down with the product placement and brand logo promos that appear nearly everywhere in street art and hip hop culture.  We're going to leave out the sneaker sponsor's name (we don't carry ads anyway!)  and present new episodes of the sneaker sponsor's mini-series on artist Meggs follows the Australian to the sunny shores of Hawai’i and his participation in last month’s POW WOW event. Featuring some nice cinematography involving the artist’s painting process, Meggs speaks about his surroundings and the overall vibe that has come to represent founder Jasper Wong’s POW WOW event. | Meggs | Part 01 from NB 574 on Vimeo. | Meggs | Part 2 from NB 574 on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

FREE! OPEN NOW! Go see Miss Van's Fresh & Wild Ballerinas at Jonathan LeVine Gallery In Chelsea (Bring your friends!)

DOG STAR is planning a Chelsea gallery tour soon and we are definitely going to see Bailarinas at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery. As you can infer from the title of the show, this new body of work from Miss Van will feature her masked and costumed poupees dressed as ballerinas. This will be her first show in six years in New York, so fans of the French-born, Barcelona-based artist who first made her name in the streets best make their way over lest they have to wait another six years for her next show.  Only on view until June 25.  EASY TO REACH 529 West 20th Street 9th floor (between 10th & 11th Avenue).  If you go see this show, be sure to stop by The High Line Park (here) since there is an entrance to this elevated park just two blocks south at 18th Street!

Dog Star Selects Artist Scott Campbell's “Noblesse Oblige” Exhibition (Some weird ways to use U.S. currency, huh?)

DOG STAR isn't surprised to learn that Scott Campbell began as a tattoo artist - and continues to design and make tattoos for clients - and has extended his artists expression into other areas.  Here are pics from artist Scott Campbell’s “Noblesse Oblige” - a recent show at OHWOW Los Angeles.

Comedy Series from Australia SUMMER HEIGHTS HIGH (You already know about this show, though, right?)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: Jadakiss and Emanny - Hold You Down

DOG STAR thinks the beat is hot but look for scenes in front of famous Long Island City building called FIVE POINTS with all the graf work on it.  Sadly, the building is slated to be torn down so go see it soon!

The New York Times Magazine Looks At The Lives Of Conjoined Twins Tatiana And Krista Hogan

This weeks New York Times magazine takes a look at the lives of four year old conjoined twins Tatiana and Krista Hogan.  Pretty interesting write up:
In any other set of twins, the natural conclusion about the two events — Krista’s drinking, Tatiana’s reaction — would be that they were coincidental: a gulp, a twinge, random simultaneous happenstance. But Krista and Tatiana are not like most other sets of twins. They are connected at their heads, where their skulls merge under a mass of shaggy brown bangs. The girls run and play and go down their backyard slide, but whatever they do, they do together, their heads forever inclined toward each other’s, their neck muscles strong and sinuous from a never-ending workout.
Twins joined at the head — the medical term is craniopagus — are one in 2.5 million, of which only a fraction survive. The way the girls’ brains formed beneath the surface of their fused skulls, however, makes them beyond rare: their neural anatomy is unique, at least in the annals of recorded scientific literature. Their brain images reveal what looks like an attenuated line stretching between the two organs, a piece of anatomy their neurosurgeon, Douglas Cochrane of British Columbia Children’s Hospital, has called a thalamic bridge, because he believes it links the thalamus of one girl to the thalamus of her sister. The thalamus is a kind of switchboard, a two-lobed organ that filters most sensory input and has long been thought to be essential in the neural loops that create consciousness. Because the thalamus functions as a relay station, the girls’ doctors believe it is entirely possible that the sensory input that one girl receives could somehow cross that bridge into the brain of the other. One girl drinks, another girl feels it.

Dog Star Selects the Marriage of Art & Sports: It's Always a Pleasant Surprise When Art Embraces Life in All Its Variety! Pedro Martinez's Image Now Hangs in the National Portrait Gallery!

Former Major league All-Star baseball pitcher Pedro Martinez, left, and his mother Leopoldina Martinez, stand next to his portrait, hanging in the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington in March. All Photos Courtesy of AP Photo/Alex Brandon.

Museum technicians Todd Gardner, left, and Wayne Long, hang a portrait of former Major League All-Star baseball pitcher Pedro Martinez

Former Major league All-Star baseball pitcher Pedro Martinez, left, and artist Susan Miller-Havens, stand next to his portrait.

HOLIDAY MONDAYS! Met Museum IS OPEN this Monday, May 30 (Bring your friends!)

DOG STAR asks WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON MEMORIAL DAY?  This Monday, May 30, the Met Museum (here) is open so go up to the roof for Anthony Caro's sculptures.  Other great shows to see, too.  ALWAYS FREE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS (You walk up to the admissions desk, show your high school I.D. card and say, "One please.")  If you bring family with you, pay a dollar and state how many you need!  It is SUGGESTED contribution and we suggest ONE DOLLAR!  Really, it works!

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: We're bumpin' to Antony's SUBLIME Cover of Beyonce's CRAZY IN LOVE

I look and stare so deep in your eyes
I touch on you more and more every time
When you leave I'm begging you not to go
Call your name two or three times in a row

Such a funny thing for me to try to explain
How I'm feeling and my pride is the one to blame
'Cause I know I don't understand
Just how your love you're doing no one else can

Got me looking so crazy right now, your love's
Got me looking so crazy right now
(In love)
Got me looking so crazy right now, your touch
Got me looking so crazy right now
(Your touch)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dog Star Selects Hush's "Twin" Mural in Los Angeles

Hush "Twin" Opening at New Image Art from G7D on Vimeo.

DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW! Nilaja Sun in "No Child" at Barrow Street Theater Shows One Woman's Efforts to Bring Theater to a NYC Classroom

DOG STAR can't believe it has been over five years since we last saw Nilaja Sun's one-woman show called "No Child..."  Now, we are happy to report that devoted Dog Star readers can see the show it is returning to the Barrow Street Theater in June for a limited run!  While the show was playing back then, we ran into Ms. Sun on the street, recognized her immediately, approached her as she walked towards her and quietly said her name, "Nilaja Sun.  You are so wonderful.  Thank you for the gift of your show."  She smiled and replied, "You say my name so beautifully.  I'm glad you like the show.  You're welcome."  We sent everybody we knew to go and see the show then and we say DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW now!

No Child... is a tour-de-force exploration of the New York City public school system, in which Sun fearlessly transforms with rapid-fire precision into the teachers, students, parents administrators, janitors and security guards who inhabit our schools and shape the future of America, making this play one of the most acclaimed theatrical events in recent years.


June 5 - June 25
Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30pm
Sunday at 2:30pm & 7:30PM

Beginning June 26
Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30PM
Sunday at 2:30PM  

$25 (reg $40) when you use code NCBST 


1. ONLINE:  Click HERE and use code NCBST
2. PHONE:  Call 212-868-4444 and mention code NCBST
3. IN PERSON: bring the code NCBST to the Barrow Street Theatre Box Office, located at 27 Barrow Street,
open 1pm daily
(on the corner of Seventh Avenue, 1 block south of Christopher Street)

Offer expires on 06/18/2011.  Subject to availability.  All sales are final, there are no refunds or exchanges.  Offer may be revoked at any time.   

QUOTE OF THE DAY / Happy Birthday Rachel Carson (America's Early Environmental Activist!)

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts." - Rachel Carson

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Natalie Merchant's "Carnival" has a powerful message for all of us

The True Cost of the Royal Family Explained

Dog Star Picks FIVE CHELSEA GALLERY SHOWS YOU MUST NOT MISS! - All Gallery Shows are FREE so grab your friends and then go to the elevated park nearby called The High Line!

1.  Louise Bourgeois at Cheim & Reid (here) - WHY?  One of our favorite artists of all time and we are very excited to see this show!  Louise created artwork in any media that she thinks matched the "truth" or impulse. This means the work may be in stone, a painting or broken doors. This show features her work in fabrics and it's not going to be a quilt show - look forward to wild patterns made from kitchen towels, scraps of fabric and pieces of clothing. WHERE / WHEN?  Opens May 12-June 25, 547 West 25th Street, Tuesday-Saturday, 10-6pm, At right: Sample of work by Louise Bourgeois from the exhibit

2.  Keith Haring at Gladstone (here) - WHY?  Keith is always a pleasure to see in a gallery since reproductions (in calendars and cards) do not show off the colors, scale and terrific sense of humor of this imaginative artist.  Sadly, Keith died of AIDS at age 31 in 1990 so any work you see is very valuable and memories of a vanished soul.  WHERE / WHEN?  On view until July 1, 530 West 21st Street, Tuesday-Saturday, 10-6pm, At right: Sample of work by Keith Haring

3.  Pablo Picasso at Gagosian (here) - WHY?  After last summer's Picasso show at the Met, we are excited to get MORE Picasso - and even better pictures. This show is very limited in subject: work created during his relationship with his young girlfriend, then wife, Marie-Therese - highly romantic, erotic and super special!  WHERE / WHEN?  Opens April 14-June 21, 522 West 21st Street, Monday-Saturday, 10-6pm, At right: Sample of work by Picasso from the exhibit

4.  Kara Walker at SikkemaJenkins (here) - WHY?  You just aren't ready for this show!  She takes on all kinds of images of blackness and uses the N-word in all kinds of ways (literally and metaphorically).  Most famous for her black paper cut outs of sexually-charged scenes of Antebellum South, Walker has moved on to animation, watercolors and portraits of all kinds.  You will be amazed at how much intelligence, insight and creativity is packed into Walker's artwork.  WHERE / WHEN?  On view until June 11, 530 West 22nd Street, Tuesday-Saturday, 10-6pm

5.  Jacob Lawrence at D.C. Moore (hereWHY? Jacob Lawrence (here) is most famous for his Migration series which represents scenes of African-American life related to the Great Migration from southern states to northern cities. While gallery owner Edith Halpert  tried to get Abby Rockefeller (who founded the Museum of Modern Art) to buy all the paintings, they ended being purchased by two museums (and the series of 32 or so panels was split up), MoMA and the Phillips Collection in D.C.  MoMA currently has their half of the paintings on view in the contemporary art gallery (we saw them this past week, here).  Lawrence is the first African-American artist to be included in the museum's permanent collection.  Now, we also get the chance to see Lawrence's beautiful and imaginative "Builders" series depicting various tradesmen at work (carpenters, bricklayers and so on).  WHERE / WHEN?  D.C. Moore is EASY TO REACH at 535 West 22nd Street (between 10th & 11th Avenues), 2nd floor, open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm.  Jacob Lawrence is on view until June 4!

Discover Frank Gehry's New Apartment Tower on the NYC Skyline - Move over Empire State Building, you have a tough new rival for best looking in the city!

DOG STAR has featured Frank Gehry's new tower before and now that it's finished with apartments for rent we are curious about the inside.  We see this building every day and frequently stand right next to it and look UP for the crazy perspective (more photos and building website here).  This promotional video places the Gehry building in the same league as the Chrysler and Empire State buildings as being an icon of the New York City skyline.  We agree. It's one of the most exciting buildings to be built in our city ion the last 20 years.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: We're in the mosh pit with Game Rebellion's BLOOD (This Brooklyn-based Afro Punk group is about to blow up!)

Dog Star Says THANK YOU SUBSCRIBERS (And discover Greg Simkins!)

DOG STAR wants you to know we appreciate your attention to our little blog.  We think of our devoted readers (who get our daily morning email updates) as the special audience willing to hear what we want to share.  Let us know what you've liked on the blog, what posts surprised you or made you laugh.  Let us know, too, what kinds of things you would like to see covered.  If you see this blog from a non-U.S. computer, will you let us know something about you?  We get about half our hits each day from outside the United States and it's always a curiosity how you found our site.  If you really like Dog Star, will you tell your friends on Facebook and spread the link?  Again, thanks as we head into our THIRD summer of exciting posts on the creative arts in New York City and around the world!

In this post is a painting by Greg Simkins (more here)

Belgian Street Artist EPHAMERON Creates Coney Island Mural

Source: Crest Hardware Art Show

White people victims of racism?

From Gothamist (which has a pretty gross picture we would rather NOT re-post!):  White people think that they receive the brunt of racial discrimination in contemporary America, according to anew study out of Tufts and Harvard. The Perspectives on Psychological Science paper, which is based on a nation-wide sample of 208 blacks and 209 whites, argues that "whites see racism as a zero-sum game that they are now losing."
Participants in the study were asked to rate the extent to which they felt blacks and whites were the targets of discrimination in each decade from the 1950s to the 2000s on a one-to-10 scale. While they agreed that the '50s were not a good time to be black in America, by the time they got to the aughts (the 2000s) opinions varied dramatically. Both races saw a decline in racism against blacks over the years, but white folk apparently believe it has gone down much faster than blacks do. On average, whites rated anti-white bias as more prevalent in the aughts than anti-black bias by more than a full point on the 10-point scale. And 11 percent of whites went so far as to give anti-white bias in the past decade the maximum rating of 10 compared to only two percent of whites who rated anti-black bias a 10.
"It's a pretty surprising finding when you think of the wide range of disparities that still exist in society, most of which show black Americans with worse outcomes than whites in areas such as income, home ownership, health and employment," co-author and Tufts Associate Professor of Psychology Samuel Sommers said of the study.
The paper's authors point out that this change in public opinion could have clear implications for future public policy debates and behavioral science research, noting that "claims of so-called reverse racism, while not new, have been at the core of an increasing number of high-profile Supreme Court cases."

European Shopping Bags (Part 1 of 5)

HAVE YOU SEEN IT YET? Dog Star Selects GLENN LIGON: AMERICA at the Whitney Museum (Bring your friends!)

DOG STAR remembers seeing Glenn's text/image pieces in the Whitney Museum's now-famous "Black Male" show that investigated and exposed the black male body as a subject for art, subjugation and admiration.  While Glenn is a black, gay male artist, he is most concerned in his work with ideas of "otherness" - how people feel alienated and displaced emotionally, politically and psychologically by their circumstances and political conditions.  Felling like the "other" is a broad universally human feeling:  immigrants, teens, young mothers, black male teens who drop out, young felons, political opponents who face silencing...all these and many other kinds of people share the unique quality of not quite fitting in at some time or another.  Blackness, of course, is a permanent condition and Glenn's work also addresses the struggles and joys of being the "other" in ways most other Conceptual artists (except Adrian Piper or Kara Walker) don't as well as he does.  His work shines for its intellectual honesty and engaging visual expression.  This new exhibit at the Whitney Museum is open until June 5.  Always free for high school students with I.D. cards:  75th Street & Madison Avenue.

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: We're bumpin' to Kanye West's "Diamonds from Sierra Leone" (Watch for Charles Bridge in Prague with statues of saints on both sides - pedestrian only!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

CLOSES SOON! Glen Ligon at the Whitney Museum for Art by a Living Black Artist!

DOG STAR remembers seeing Glenn's text/image pieces in the Whitney Museum's now-famous "Black Male" show that investigated and exposed the black male body as a subject for art, subjugation and admiration.  While Glenn is a black, gay male artist, he is most concerned in his work with ideas of "otherness" - how people feel alienated and displaced emotionally, politically and psychologically by their circumstances and political conditions.  Felling like the "other" is a broad universally human feeling:  immigrants, teens, young mothers, black male teens who drop out, young felons, political opponents who face silencing...all these and many other kinds of people share the unique quality of not quite fitting in at some time or another.  Blackness, of course, is a permanent condition and Glenn's work also addresses the struggles and joys of being the "other" in ways most other Conceptual artists (except Adrian Piper or Kara Walker) don't do as well as he does.  His work shines for its intellectual honesty and engaging visual expression.  This new exhibit at the Whitney Museum is open until June 5.  Always free for high school students with I.D. cards:  75th Street & Madison Avenue.

Lil Wayne Presents Un-Creative, Ugly Hip Hop Video for the Masses

DOG STAR says WOW there's just an endless stream of hip hop garbage produced for teens to eat and swallow (pause that!).  In this magnum opus by Young Money money-maker Lil Wayne, he promotes what's worthless and dangerous for young people today:
1.  Glorifies gun violence including a wheelchair with spinning rims. Typically these rims are seen on SUVs but if you happened to get shot from gun violence by, perhaps a rival gang member, then certainly this would be the way to rep your colors, so to speak.  New Orleans slang for guns, Rick Ross repeats "I got a chopper in the car," and has nothing else to do in the video.  Oh, he does sit in the wheelchair which might be an unfortunate predictive move on his part!
2.  Targets women with misogynistic lyrics (But if she get greedy, I’ma starve her to death).  Although Wayne doesn't give up much air time to his female dancers, he has the obligatory "hip hop music video ho" as pointed out in Byron Hurt's documentary on misogyny in hip hop (here).
3.  Exaggerates narcissistic self-importance (If I die today, remember me like John Lennon) - this one is especially insidious because so many young men walk around, and sit in classrooms, needlessly defiant and oppositional towards anyone.  We say "needlessly" because it isn't as if these defiant black males have their civil rights taken from them in school!  Lil Wayne's conduct glorifies and encourages this kind of "kill 'em and keep movin" attitude.