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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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, August 31, 2011

Autographed Copy. Really?

Inspiring Clip Of The Week: How Bad Do You Want It? (Success)

Pace Hosts a Talk about 9/11

Please join us for a special symposium, titled "The Other 9/11: Philosophical Reflections," on Friday, September 9, 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., at Pace University's Schimmel Center for the Arts, 3 Spruce Street, New York, NY 10038. This event is free and open to the public.

Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the events of 9/11, The Center for Ethical Thinking at Pace University's department of Philosophy and Religious Studies will be hosting a symposium of New York City thinkers and scholars to share philosophical and ethical reflections on the significance of the terror attack that took place steps away from Pace.

With "The Other 9/11," we hope to provide a different perspective on this event, grounded in philosophical and theoretical thought, invested in ethical consideration, and aiming at an understanding of the wider meaning of this traumatic event.

The speakers at the symposium, local New Yorkers who live and teach here at universities such as New York University, The New School, and Pace, will be exploring a variety of issues that range from personal response to the philosophical significance of an event that was local and immediate, yet instantly turned international, mediated, and represented. Our task as thinkers is to explore both the immediate experience and its subsequent representations. A local event with a global resonance, 9/11 has affected not only the lives of our immediate community but also a variety of communities abroad. The 10th anniversary of this event provides an apt opportunity to think further about these effects and to share these thoughts with the New Yorkers who live here, where it happened.

Drucilla Cornell, Professor of Political Science, Comparative Literature, and Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University
Simon Critchley, Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at The New School
Ruth Johnston, Professor and Director of Film and Screen Studies at Pace University
Avital Ronell, Professor of Comparative Literature, English, and German at New York University; co-director of the NYU Trauma and Violence Transdisciplinary Studies Center
Aseel Sawalha, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Fordham University
Dr. Ilan Safit, Director of the Center for Ethical Thinking and Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies at Pace University, will moderate the panel.

The Center for Ethical Thinking
The Center for Ethical Thinking at Pace University is dedicated to posing and employing ethics as a worldview, a prism through which we view the world and hence construct our reality and our position within it. Through regular symposia, lectures, and discussion, the center seeks to engage Pace's academic community, and also the community at large, in political, cultural, and social questions from an ethical point of view. Previous symposia focused on questions such as education, the environment, and religion.


There must be a limit to the mistakes one person can make, and when I get to the end of them, then I'll be through with them. That's a very comforting thought.
Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

Metropolitan Museum displays Romare Bearden's The Block for centennial tribute to the artist

Dog Star wondered if the Met was going to put The Block on view for Bearden's birthday and now they have re-installed it!  On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Romare Bearden, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (more here) will display Bearden's The Block, a six-panel tableau that portrays one city block of the Harlem neighborhood that nurtured his career. On view at the Metropolitan Museum from August 30, 2011, through January 2, 2012, Romare Bearden (1911-1988): A Centennial Celebration is presented in conjunction with a multi-city centennial tribute to the life and work of this great American artist.  Romare Bearden's embrace of an unusual medium—paper collage—set him apart as an artist. Jazzy, syncopated compositions, made with found materials such as magazine clippings, old photographs, and colored papers elevated the medium to a major art form for storytelling. In The Block (1971), Bearden used the collage medium to present a montage of images in shifting scales and perspectives that alternate between fantasy and reality. It is a world that is at once eminently recognizable and wholly unique.  The Block depicts Lenox Avenue between 132nd and 133rd streets, in New York City's Harlem neighborhood. Bearden created a colorful scene filled with human activity, much of it taking place on the street. Churches, stores, and apartment buildings provide the backdrop for various scenarios, including a funeral, children playing, a homeless man sleeping, and groups of teens and seniors socializing on the sidewalk. What goes on behind closed doors is revealed through windows and cut-aways in the walls that Bearden called "look-ins."  Bearden's images are both simple and complex, and layered with meanings that can be inferred from his references to other art and cultures—Renaissance painting, modern art, African tribal sculpture, and Christian iconography. In 1977 his friend the novelist Ralph Ellison wrote that Bearden's collages created "a place composed of visual puns and artistic allusions…where the sacred and the profane, reality and dream, are ambiguously mingled."
About the Artist
Born in North Carolina on September 2, 1911, Bearden spent much of his youth in New York City, where his parents knew the leading figures of the Harlem Renaissance, including the poet Langston Hughes, the musician Duke Ellington, the artist Aaron Douglas, and the social reformer W.E.B. Du Bois. In the 1930s, Bearden himself became active in several artists' groups in Harlem, and by the 1960s he was a central figure in the cultural life of the community, with a growing national reputation. He helped found the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Spiral group (artists supporting the civil-rights movement), and the Cinqué Gallery, a venue for emerging artists. Respected as an artist, orator, author, and social activist, Bearden also mentored many young people seeking opportunities in the arts.  MET MUSEUM IS ALWAYS FREE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS!

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: We're bumpin' and cryin' to IF I AIN'T GOT YOU by Alicia Keys (Stop frontin' - You know you like this stuff, too!)

Dog Star Selects Disturbingly Realistic Baby Head Masks (Watch the video to see family in masks walk down the street!)

DOG STAR says if you can’t get in touch with your inner child, at least you can put on this disturbingly realistic baby mask that will instantly transform you into a baby. For best results, you should wear it on a topless muscular body in over-crowded places.  Each baby head is individually handcrafted by artist Landon Meier and each is signed, numbered, and comes with a display stand. Currently, there are 3 versions available: disgusted baby, happy baby and cry baby.  Made from a high quality, extra thick latex, one size fits all – so, you won’t have a problem putting it on even on a big head.  You can get one for only $250 + shipping.  Website:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What is it you want to buy?

Dog Star saw this op-ed piece by David Brooks in The New York Times and thinks it has a lot to say to teens about what we value in life.  Be sure to read all of it for the best advice in the world!  We are re-posting the WHOLE article (thanks in advance to The New York Times, lmao) because we think it's that good and worth reading.

The Haimish Line
Recently I did a little reporting from Kenya and Tanzania before taking a safari with my family. We stayed in seven camps. Some were relatively simple, without electricity or running water. Some were relatively luxurious, with regular showers and even pools.

The simple camps were friendly, warm and familial. We got to know the other guests at big, communal dinner tables. At one camp we got to play soccer with the staff on a vast field in the Serengeti before an audience of wildebeests. At another camp, we had impromptu spear-throwing and archery competitions with the kitchen staff. Two of the Maasai guides led my youngest son and me on spontaneous mock hunts — stalking our “prey” on foot through ravines and across streams. I can tell you that this is the definition of heaven for a 12-year-old boy, and for someone with the emotional maturity of one.

The more elegant camps felt colder. At one, each family had its own dinner table, so we didn’t get to know the other guests. The tents were spread farther apart. We also didn’t get to know the staff, who served us mostly as waiters, the way they would at a nice hotel.

I know only one word to describe what the simpler camps had and the more luxurious camps lacked: haimish. It’s a Yiddish word that suggests warmth, domesticity and unpretentious conviviality.

It occurred to me that when we moved from a simple camp to a more luxurious camp, we crossed an invisible Haimish Line. The simpler camps had it, the more comfortable ones did not.

This is a generalized phenomenon, which applies to other aspects of life. Often, as we spend more on something, what we gain in privacy and elegance we lose in spontaneous sociability.

I once visited a university that had a large, lavishly financed Hillel House to serve as a Jewish center on campus. But the students told me they preferred the Chabad House nearby, which was run by the orthodox Lubavitchers. At the Chabad house, the sofas were tattered and the rooms cramped, but, the students said, it was more haimish.

Restaurants and bars can exist on either side of the Haimish Line. At some diners and family restaurants, people are more comfortable leaning back, laughing loud, interrupting more and sweeping one another up in a collective euphoria. They talk more to the servers, and even across tables. At nicer restaurants, the food is better, the atmosphere is more refined, but there is a tighter code about what is permissible.

Hotels can exist on either side of the Haimish Line. You’ll find multiple generations at a Comfort Inn breakfast area, and people are likely to exchange pleasantries over the waffle machine. At a four-star hotel’s breakfast dining room, people are quietly answering e-mail on their phones.

Whole neighborhoods can exist on either side of the Haimish Line. Alan Ehrenhalt once wrote a great book called “The Lost City,” about the old densely packed Chicago neighborhoods where kids ran from home to home, where people hung out on their stoops. When the people in those neighborhoods made more money, they moved out to more thinly spaced suburbs with bigger homes where they were much less likely to know their neighbors.

In the 1990s, millions of Americans moved outward so they could have bigger houses and bigger lots, even if it meant long commutes. Research by Robert Frank of Cornell suggests this is usually a bad trade-off.

People are often bad at knowing how to spend their money — I’ve been at least as bad as everybody else in this regard. Lottery winners, for example, barely benefit from their new fortunes. When we get some extra income, we spend it on privacy, space and refinement. This has some obvious benefits: let’s not forget the nights at the Comfort Inn when we were trying to fall asleep while lacrosse teams partied in the hallways and the rooms next door. But suddenly we look around and we’re on the wrong side of the Haimish Line.

We also live in a highly individualistic culture. When we’re shopping for a vacation we’re primarily thinking about Where. The travel companies offer brochures showing private beaches and phenomenal sights. But when you come back from vacation, you primarily treasure the memories of Who — the people you met from faraway places, and the lives you came in contact with.

I can’t resist concluding this column with some kernels of consumption advice accumulated by the prominent scholars Elizabeth W. Dunn, Daniel T. Gilbert and Timothy D. Wilson. Surveying the vast literature of happiness research, they suggest: Buy experiences instead of things; buy many small pleasures instead of a few big ones; pay now for things you can look forward to and enjoy later.

To which I’d only add: Sometimes it's best to spend carefully so you can stay south of the Haimish Line.

Cool Short Film of Hurricane Irene

Two filmmakers set scenes from Hurricane Irene’s impact on NYC to the tune of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune.

Irene NYC from Buffalo Picture House on Vimeo.

FREE! Dog Star Selects Photo Show "The New Gypsies" by Iain McKell at Clic Gallery in SoHo

The New Gypsies by Iain McKell
Clic Gallery, NYC on view August 29 - October 2 (more here)
Dog Star finds this a strange and intriguing world!  Iain McKell spent ten years traveling with The New Gypsies across the countryside.  He left with beautiful and engaging portraits of a remarkable world decidedly living "off the grid" or so it seems.  The New Gypsies are British horse drawn travelers. They are a group of people seeking an alternative to western capitalist society by living in simplicity, at close contact with nature and moving from place to place on horse-drawn caravans. They are punks in the landscape, born out of the counterculture of the 60s and 70s, as well as the rave culture of the 90s. The New Gypsies do not share a common ethnographical origin, a spirituality, or political stand. They share an ideal that a different way of living is possible.

Labor Day Activities for Monday, September 5

DOG STAR recommends one of these activities for your upcoming Labor Day:

West Indian Day Parade - along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn
If you haven't attended - and have some pre-conceived ideas about what you are sure it will be like - then toss those out and find out for yourself, finally!  DOG STAR, of course, goes for the food and the music - the ear popping thumping of reggae and reggae-rock from large flat bed trucks and the rows and rows of home cooking for sale along Eastern Parkway.  Crews spent the last six months designing and crafting elaborate costumes and parade floats.  Actually the events begin this week with free concerts and promotions.

Metropolitan Museum - Open for Holiday Mondays from 9:30-5:30
Why not take advantage of one last chance to see Anthony Caro's roof terrace sculpture?  Romuald Hazoumé's signature works (shown in picture), including his "jerrican masks," are made from yellow, red, silver, and black plastic and metal containers. In the Republic of Benin, these containers are used primarily for the illegal transportation of oil from neighboring Nigeria.  Many other exhibits on view, too, and it should be pretty empty considering it is a holiday weekend.


Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dog Star Selects SKULLS by Andy Warhol

More on Andy Warhol here (basic story), here (sample images) and here (hometown museum)

Pinball Machine Skate Park in New Zealand

DOG STAR says there have been some pretty outrageous skate parks built over the last decade as skateboarding has made the leap from hoodlum pastime to legitimized sport. This Mountain Dew-sponsored Pinball Machine Skate Park in New Zealand, however, may be the most outlandish to date. Built in only 17 days for an upcoming competition, this park cost almost $500,000 to create and will remain open for only 3 weeks once the contest is over. A true replica of a pinball machine down to the lights, sounds and launcher at the beginning, this park is a dream come true for anyone who has ever been a teenage skater.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Annie Lennox Sings WHY?

Kanye West's MONSTER Offers Hateful Images of Women

DOG STAR says this is just out of control!  Kanye West gives a big F**K YOU to his critics with an incredibly misogynistic video that includes:  references to cannibalism and necrophilia, lynched female bodies, decapitations, Abu Graib prisoner abuse (by no less than Niki Minaj), blasphemy against God, blatant money greed, and self-promotion as the world's biggest douchebag.  Sadly, Jay Z participates, briefly, with a ridiculous verse about punks who betray him.

Kanye West- Monster (ft. Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj) from FEARMUSIK on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

POEM: Walt Whitman's "On the Beach at Night Alone"

On the Beach at Night Alone
by Walt Whitman 

On the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro, singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes, and of the future.

A vast similitude interlocks all,
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets
All distances of place however wide,
All distances of time, all inanimate forms,
All souls, all living bodies, though they be ever so different, or in different worlds,
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes, the fishes, the brutes,
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages,
All identities that have existed, or may exist, on this globe, or any globe,
All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future,
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann'd, 
And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them.

Discover the Magic Johnson of Dutch Painters: Franz Hals at the Met Museum

DOG STAR is not much of a sports fan but we know one or two things about basketball.  We thought twice about the heading of this post because we can't call Franz Hals the BEST Dutch painter.  He is widely considered to be Vermeer (here).  So if Vermeer is the Michael Jordan of Dutch painters then Franz Hals is definitely on the Greatest-of-All-Time Team and we'll call him the "Magic Johnson of Dutch painters."  This small show at the Met (here) includes just the paintings owned by the Met (the most of any museum in North America) and it's divided into two parts:  party and relaxation.  He paints lively scenes of parties, children and families and portraits of rich patrons who would pay mucho bucks to have Hals paint their portrait.  Go see it and find out for yourself!  And always free for high school students or pay just $1!

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: We're bumpin' to Michael Buble's "Just Haven't Met You Yet"

Here for link on YouTube (video embed is blocked)

Friday, August 26, 2011

World Map Of Useless Stereotypes


Considering how foolishly people act and how pleasantly they prattle, perhaps it would be better for the world if they talked more and did less.
W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: We're bumpin' to LIGHT MY FIRE by The Doors (original) and torch singer Shirley Bassey

Coming Soon! 9/11 Peace Story Quilt at the Met Museum

9/11 Peace Story Quilt
August 30, 2011–January 22, 2012

9/11 Peace Story Quilt was designed by Faith Ringgold and constructed in collaboration with New York City students ages eight through nineteen. The quilt poignantly conveys the importance of communication across cultures and religions to achieve the goal of peace. Comprised of three panels, each with twelve squares on the theme of peace, the quilt will be displayed alongside several original works of art that inspired its content.  Faith Ringgold is well known for her story quilts: art that combines painting, quilted fabric, and storytelling. Her work has been exhibited in major museums around the world and can be found in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and The Museum of Modern Art, among others. In addition to writing and illustrating eleven children's books, she has been the recipient of more than seventy-five awards, fellowships, citations, and honors, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship for painting, two National Endowment for the Arts Awards, and seventeen honorary doctorates.  
The quilt was commissioned by InterRelations Collaborative Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering cross-cultural understanding through art among the increasingly diverse student populations in New York City and the tri-state area.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New documentary on exotic animals in America "The Elephant in the Living Room"

Greek Mythology through Art (Theseus Fighting the Minotaur)

In Greek mythology, the Minotaur, as the Greeks imagined him, was a creature with the head of a bull on the body of a man or, as described by Roman poet Ovid, "part man and part bull".  He lived at the center of the Cretan Labyrinth, which was an elaborate maze-like construction built for King Minos of Crete and designed by the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus who were ordered to build it to hold the Minotaur. The Minotaur was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus.  Minotaur was originally a proper noun in reference to this mythical figure. The use of minotaur as a common noun to refer to members of a generic race of bull-headed creatures developed much later, in 20th-century fantasy genre fiction.  In the image below French sculptor Étienne Jules Ramey  (made in the years 1821-27) shows the moment just before Theseus strikes the subdued Mintoaur to his death.  This sculpture is on permanent view in the city park (garden) in Paris called Jardin des Tuileries near the famous Louvre museum.  Ramey would have been expected to be very conservative and traditional in the way he represented this famous scene so he was left with simply to choose the very moment he would show since he was not free otherwise to do anything out of the ordinary as a sculptor.  Of course his work is a great achievement!  Carved entirely from a block of stone!

Summer Film Festivals

Outdoors or indoors, for free or for a fee: Summer film screenings come in all stripes. NYC ARTS brings you a list of some of our favorite summer cinema spots, many of which are indeed free-of-charge.
Coney Island Film Society: Rock & Roll Summer
BrooklynSat, May 14, 2011 – Sat, Sept 17, 2011
Click here to view the Rock & Roll Summer film schedule. Free screenings of rock and roll films take place at the Coney Island Museum all summer from May 14–September 17, 2011. All tickets are $6. Doors open at 8 pm with pre-show entertainment, featuring classic drive-in trailers, short films, old commercials and more, begins at 8:15 pm. The feature begins at 8:30 pm.  More
Intrepid Summer Movie Series 2011
ManhattanFri, May 27, 2011 – Fri, Aug 19, 2011
Click here to view the Intrepid Summer Movie Series schedule. The USS Intrepid celebrates heroes from the movies with its third annual, free Intrepid Summer Movie Series on the flight deck. After the May 27 kick-off, dates are June 24 to August 19. More
HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
ManhattanMon, June 20, 2011 – Mon, Aug 22, 2011
Click here to view the Bryant Park film schedule. For the 19th year, Bryant Park hosts outdoor film screenings at sunset on Monday evenings. Snacks, meals and refreshments are available at Bryant Park food kiosks and restaurants. The lawn opens at 5 pm. More
EPIX Movie Free-For-All
ManhattanThurs, June 30, 2011 – Thurs, Sept 1, 2011
Click here to view the Tompkins Square Park film schedule. This free movie series in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, running on Thursdays from June 30 to September 1, is sponsored by EPIX. More
Outdoor Cinema 2011
QueensWed, July 6, 2011 – Wed, Aug 17, 2011
Click here to view the Outdoor Cinema 2011 film schedule. These free, Wednesday film screenings offer ample grass on which to stake out a claim with a blanket or a chair, performances by local musicians and dancers (at 7 pm) and international films on a large-format screen—all set against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline. More
ManhattanWed, July 6, 2011 – Wed, Aug 17, 2011
Click here to view the RiverFlicks film schedule. RiverFlicks for Grown-Ups returns for another summer. This year, the free outdoor film series is screening blockbuster films from 2010, giving everyone a chance to see last year's hits that they may have missed, or maybe just want to watch again.  More
EPIX Movie Free-For-All
BrooklynWed, July 6, 2011 – Wed, Aug 10, 2011
Click here to view the McCarren Park film schedule. This free movie series in McCarren Park, running on Wednesdays from July 6 to August 10, shows classic hits from the 1990s with two outliers, Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) and Ghost World (2001), thrown in for good measure. More
Syfy Movies with a View
BrooklynThurs, July 7, 2011 – Thurs, Sept 1, 2011
Click here to view the Movies with a View schedule. The 12th season of Brooklyn Bridge Park's movie series takes place this summer on Thursdays at Pier 1's Harbor View lawn. Each screening consists of a New York-themed movie, a short film curated by BAMcinématek, DJs from Brooklyn Radio to kick off the evening and bike valet parking provided by Transportation Alternatives.  More
Movies Under the Stars: Terrorible! Terror Through the Decades
ManhattanWed, July 13, 2011 – Wed, Aug 17, 2011
Click here to view the Movies Under the Stars schedule. Riverside Park's Pier 1 at 70th Street plays host to a chronological (and free) series of horror films spanning the 1930s-90s. Movie goers can bring a picnic, if desired. The outdoor screenings begin at sunset. More

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's too late tonight...

Have you been to the Met Museum lately?

DOG STAR asks WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS WEEK?  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!

Monday, August 22, 2011

King Memorial Opens in Washington, D.C.

Dog Star is pleased to spread the news that the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial has opened on the Mall today in Washington, D.C.  A story in the Washington Post (more here) includes a terrific short video that gives a real sense of this giant multi-part memorial.  First there is the three part stone sculpture (King's image seen below is the middle piece cut from the center of a very large boulder) and then there is a 425 foot long granite wall inscribed with quotes from the "I Have a Dream" speech (here).  Finally, there is a fountain on one side of the granite wall.  Food for thought:  Why is it a bad idea (and send the wrong message) that the granite was quarried in China and the carvers were Chinese workers (as opposed to finding the stone in the United States and hiring American stone carvers to complete it)?

Dog Star's View Tonight from the Kitchen Window

Tracey Thorne's SWIMMING

Dog Star Selects Indian Writer / Journalist Arundhati Roy

As a young girl, Arundhati Roy once raided her teacher’s garden in her native village in Kerala, the lush tropical state in the south of India. She dug up the carrots, removed the edible orange roots, then carefully replanted the green tops in the soil. It took four days for the greenery to wither and the crime to be discovered. The culprit was never identified.  Roy tells this story on a sweltering night in May in New Delhi, at the India launch of her new book, Broken Republic. She argues that India’s much-touted democratic institutions now resemble the post-raid carrots in the teacher’s garden: the green tops, or external forms, are present and visible, but the substance, or essence, is missing.  Sitting with the Booker Prize-winning novelist and political activist the next morning, in her tasteful, spacious apartment, I ask her what triggered the garden raid. Was it payback for an offence committed by the teacher? “I must have wanted carrots, and it was just like, Why not mess with power?” she says, then throws back her head and laughs.  READ MORE HERE

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Michael Jackson's Art and Studio, Revealed for the First Time

Dog Star knows what it's like to try to find some space to draw and paint (most of the time we end up painting at the coffee table or the dining room table!) but some people have other concerns.  For someone like Michael Jackson - who is not known for being a visual artist in the conventional sense - the problem isn't so much finding a place to draw as much as the space.  He could have built a studio on any of his properties but, it seems to us, his choice to rent a hangar at the Santa Monica Airport forces him to a very specific place (the airport) for space (emotionally, mentally and physically distant from his everyday life as a recording artist).  Visitors to his home wouldn't SEE A STUDIO since it wasn't there and so couldn't ask questions about his work.  By going to an airport hangar Michael spared himself the nuisance of being judged by his artwork and being asked, "What is this supposed to be?" or "Do you really think you're any good?"  We saw this story about Jackson's artwork and re-post with a link for devoted readers who continue to find Jackson fascinating.  Read the L.A. Weekly story here.

Birds of a Feather @ MoCA in L.A.

Defgrip: Nike Pool

Nike Pool from Defgrip on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

World Premiere of "Meeting Bowls" in Times Square - Bring your friends!

Dog Star says this will be very popular!  The Times Square Alliance with the Consulate General of Spain New York today present a month-long public art installation of a new generation of urban furnishing, termed the Meeting Bowls. At 5 feet tall and 7 feet in diameter and open to the sky and flashing billboards of Times Square, the giant bowls can host up to eight strangers or friends. The collaborative of Spanish artists, mmmm…, created the Meeting Bowls to capture urban territory for use as social places for gathering and getting to know people.  “Times Square stands as a testing ground for emerging ideas, and the Meeting Bowls offer a unique approach to foster private, intimate conversations in this enormous and often anonymous public setting,” said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance. “The Meeting Bowls are a new type of temporary and playful urban furniture creating a small oasis and an opportunity for dialogue in the midst of a bustling urban space.”  The Meeting Bowls gently rock as people step in and out. The artists created the gentle motion to be relaxing and fun much like a swing, but one for adults. Once inside the bowls, signs ask people to record and to share their dialogue via smartphones or laptops.   “Contemporary to the recent Spanish 15-M Movement, and similar in aspiration, we hope the Meeting Bowls will encourage dialogue and interaction in the most important main square in the world, Times Square,” said Eva Salmeron of mmmm… “The small group discussions will promote a sense of community and humanize the modern city.” (The 15-M movement in Spain involved social networks triggering discussion about contemporary Spanish politics.)  Rather than build and ship the Meetings Bowls from Spain, mmmm… utilized global computer-aided manufacturing. Digital files of the 250 parts were emailed to Advanced Cutting Services in Roselle, New Jersey. Teaming with R&N, the sheets of waterproof high-density chipboard or MDF were cut with computer driven routers.   Meeting Bowls is part of the Times Square Alliance’s ongoing efforts to bring the best of contemporary art and design to Times Square.

On a first-come, first-serve basis, all members of the public can enjoy the intimate spaces from 8 AM to Midnight today through September 16, located at 46th St. and Broadway.