Dog Star / A Creative Arts Guide






Image above: Vik Muniz

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère after Édouard Manet, from the Pictures of Magazines 2 series, 2012.

Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life. Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, painted in 1882, explores the treachery of nineteenth-century Parisian nightlife through the depiction of a bartender attending to a male patron reflected in the mirror behind her. Muniz plays on Manet’s style, replacing Manet’s visible brushstrokes with the frayed edges of torn paper and lending the work immense visual interest.

“Thank you for DogStarNYC, in general. The site speaks to so many kinds of interests; it discerns which qualities will appeal to many different tastes in a tremendous number of activities. I love how it encourages young people to pay attention to the unusual.

In New York we let so many teens walk around the periphery, mildly shell-shocked by life, while the information that they need to make sense of their world sits in the center of the room. DogStarNYC welcomes them into the middle of the room; the blog tells them how to walk there. ” - Stacy L.


DOG STAR is the creation of a high school English teacher in New York City. This blog began in 2008 as an online community for a journalism class and has since evolved into a curated site on the creative arts, arts-related news and a guide to free and low-cost events for teens. Our mission is to offer teens real-life options for enjoying all the creative arts in New York City. May wisdom guide you and hope sustain you. The more you like art, the more art you like!

IMPORTANT NOTICE OF NON COMMERCIAL & EDUCATIONAL CONTENT Unless otherwise stated, we do not own copyrights to any of the visual or audio content that might be included on this blog. Dog Star is for criticism, commentary, reporting and educational purposes under the FAIR USE ACT: Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. If you own the copyright to any images and object to them being included in this blog, please advise and the content will be removed. No attempt is made for material gain from this blog's content.

Friday, September 30, 2011

FREE! Get Medieval this Sunday!

Dog Star has attended the Medieval Festival (more here) in the past and it's a terrific way to spend Sunday afternoon - be sure to bring family and friends, especially smaller children.  Fot. Tron Park in Washington heights/Inwood becomes a magically transformed village of medieval-era villagers, vendors, and even jousters!  Come early for free children's costumes.  The 2011 Medieval Festival will take place on Sunday, October 2nd, from 11:30AM to 6 PM. There will be authentic medieval music, magic, mime, theater as well as jugglers and jesters and a spectacular joust between knights on horseback. The Festival starts at Margaret Corbin Circle/190th Street and Fort Washington Avenue. It will extend all the way around the world famous Cloisters, a magnificent Museum of Medieval art. Visitors are encouraged to come by public transportation. There is no admission charge but a donation of $1 per person at the Wishing Well would be appreciated.    It's EASY TO REACH on the A train to the 190th Street stop and the subway elevator takes you the entrance of the park and the start of the festival.

We're Attending a Funeral Today (Death of Common Sense)


Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the ... worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers, for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility and by his son Reason. 

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers:
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Charlie & Emily Sing Adele's "Someone Like You" (You know you love this song!)

Meet a 26 Foot Elephant this Fall! Miquel Barcelò: Elefandret Sculpture at Union Square

Sep 13 2011-May 29 2012
Dog Star saw this acrobatic elephant in a public square in Avignon, France during the arts festival.  What a big surprise this elephant has followed us home to New York City!  Marlborough Gallery (more here) is pleased to announce that the monumental sculpture Gran Elefandret, 2008, by renowned artist Miquel Barceló will be on view at the Union Square Triangle beginning September 13, 2011 through the end of May 2012. It is with great pleasure that the Gallery brings this monumental bronze sculpture to Union Square, a place that epitomizes New York’s unrivaled energy and serves as both a transportation and cultural bridge between uptown and downtown Manhattan. Barcelo’s immense Gran Elefandret, balances upright on its trunk, its four massive legs outspread searching for equilibrium. At twenty-six feet tall the sculpture brilliantly portrays an extraordinary, if not impossible physical and cultural feat; this contemporary monument believably captures with humor, scale and Spanish courage the essence of what a public monument can be today.


Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love. - Claude Monet

Dog Star Selects Katy Perry's "E.T." for Proof that Big Budget Dollars Can Still Mean the Video Sucks (Albino model Shaun Ross and Kanye West don't help the video at all!

DOG STAR thinks the planning meeting for this video went something like this:
Katy:...And then I'll change into a satyr the mythological creature...
Floria (director):  And you will save the future of the earth!
Kanye:  And I will float around like they do in any video that's supposed to be in space.  That shit'll look real!
Katy: and have aliens and-
Floria: old National Geographic-type video clips
Kanye: and I get to float around, right?  'Cuz that's my thing. Thats' what I want to do in this video!
More laughable is this description posted by Katy Perry's team to "explain" the video on the Vevo site:
At the beginning of the video we can see the post-apocalyptic Earth. Katy is an alien traveling trought the galaxies looking for life and love. When she’s near to Earth, she starts to store all the history of our world, all the animals and plants that lived in here. Suddenly, Katy arrives on Earth and see a little light coming from somewhere. And at the end, you can see that Katy is a satyr, a mythological animal that was “created” to save the nature.
Really?  All that happens in this video?  How would we know that? So much money, so little meaning IN THE ACTUAL VIDEO!  And, finally, Dog Star finds it a bit strange and unsettling to have Shaun Ross (here) as the alien form to emerge from the robotic whatever. We think it perpetuates stereotypes that albino people are "alien freaks" who are otherworldly. Albinos are routinely murdered in Burundi (here) so in a sense we're glad to see a positive portrayal of albinos. Happily, the "alien creature" is kissed and embraced by Perry who walks off into the sunset (Really?  Did we just type that? So corny!  It's in the video, though!)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Carousel Opens in DUMBO Riverfront Park - Open for ALL Ages to Ride

Dog Star watched this beautiful carousel be restored for years in a storefront window (more here) in DUMBO (the name of the neighborhood tucked between the two bridges) and now it has a permanent home in the new state park on the Hudson river - Brooklyn Bridge Park.  It will make a wonderful afternoon to explore the are and stop by the carousel - if you have small children in your life (neighbors, siblings, cousins), consider treating them to a ride on the horses while you star up at the majestic Brooklyn Bridge! The Carousel is housed in a spectacular Pavilion designed by Pritzker Prize winning French architect Jean Nouvel.
TICKETS:  Tickets are $2.00. Children age 3 and younger and those under 42” tall may ride free if accompanied by a paying adult.  Special Introductory Discount: 12 Tickets - $20.00.  Special Group rates are available.
LOCATION:  The Carousel is located in the DUMBO section of The Brooklyn Bridge Park, on the East River, between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. The Carousel is easily accessed from Park entrances at Dock Street or Main Street.
HOURS SUMMER – FALL 2011: Open 6 days 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM (closed Tuesdays)
FALL – WINTER 2011 – 2012 November 6 – April 5: Thursday – Sunday 11:00 AM – 6:00PM
DIRECTIONS BY SUBWAY:  F Train to York Street - Make a right when exiting the train station. Walk 1 block down Jay Street to Front Street. Turn left, walk 3 blocks to Main Street. Turn right and walk 2 blocks to the park entrance at the river. The Carousel will be visible from the Park entrance.  Here is a related story in Brooklyn Paper.

Flexing on the L Train

Dog Star Selects: Decorating Potholes of The City Using Colourful Fabric

DOG STAR wonders how people react to such a wacky thing in the sidewalk!  If we saw this on the streets of Paris (where it was done) or here in Brooklyn (where we might do it it, too) we would just smile and know that it is a bot of weirdness that also brightens our day.  Juliana Santacruz Herrera decided the streets of Paris were too gloomy and needed a little fresh touch. With these in mind she came up with the concept of decorating the potholes of the city using colorful strips of fabric. These were placed randomly in shallow breaks and cracks, creating a fun and colorful change in the landscape. The artist’s visual intervention brings a happy touch to the gray streets of Paris and creates a fun and appealing contrast with the dark cement. Click on Julia's name to see a video on her Flickr page!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dog Star Art School: Kara Walker

Dog Star has always been a fan of Kara Walker and we think devoted readers will like her too.  She is most famous for controversial black-paper cut outs like the one shown below.  The controversy comes form exposing the hypocrisy and explicit sexual nature of black/white relations in slavery South.  Highlight from Gone, An Historical Romance of a Civil War as It Occurred Between the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart by Kara Walker (1994).  Notice Southern couple in romantic encounter and small African-American child in lower right with a goose.  Strange imagery, indeed.  Discover more Kara Walker here.

Discover One of the Kings of Post-War American Art: de Kooning on View Now at Museum of Modern Art

DOG STAR knows this artist's work very well and is excited about the opportunity to see so much of the work together in one place.  Devoted readers who have been enjoying the art education from this blog will make a point of seeing this incredible new exhibition at the Museum of Modern art (more here). This is the first major museum exhibition devoted to the full scope of the career of Willem de Kooning (more here), widely considered to be among the most important and prolific artists of the 20th century. The exhibition, which will only be seen at MoMA, presents an unparalleled opportunity to study the artist’s development over nearly seven decades, beginning with his early academic works, made in Holland before he moved to the United States in 1926, and concluding with his final, sparely abstract paintings of the late 1980s. Bringing together nearly 200 works from public and private collections, the exhibition will occupy the Museum’s entire sixth-floor gallery space, totaling approximately 17,000 square feet. Representing nearly every type of work de Kooning made, in both technique and subject matter, this retrospective includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints. Among these are the artist’s most famous, landmark paintings—among them Pink Angels (1945 and shown above in this post), Excavation (1950), and the celebrated third Woman series (1950–53)—plus in-depth presentations of all his most important series, ranging from his figurative paintings of the early 1940s to the breakthrough black-and-white compositions of 1948–49, and from the urban abstractions of the mid 1950s to the artist’s return to figuration in the 1960s, and the large gestural abstractions of the following decade. Also included is de Kooning’s famous yet largely unseen theatrical backdrop, the 17-foot-square Labyrinth (1946). ALWAYS FREE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS!

Dog Star Selects Xooang Choi's Wild & Scary Figures in Series Called “Islets of Aspergers”

DOG STAR finds Xooang's work both disturbing and wildly appealing.  He reminds us a bit of British artist Ron Mueck (more here) with his exacting human forms and freakish realism.  Born in 1975 in Seoul, Korea,  Xooang Choi has a BFA and an MFA from Seoul National University -  College of Art, Sculpture Department.  In his latest body of work entitled “Islets of Aspergers” Xooang sculpts concrete bodies to convey a “state of impairment in social interactions.”  “Choi visualizes the properties of each individual through one spreading rumor, one who has a huge head too heavy to stand up, one who begs for money with huge hands, one who has an extraordinary sense of smell, and one who has huge feet. In this series, Choi employs a partly hyper-realistic technique as well as other methods of exaggeration, abbreviation, and modification, using his own formative language.”  (Ki Hye-kyung, Curator of National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea)  For more information, visit DOOSAN Gallery.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

OH SNAP! Young Powerful Voices at Work

Dog Star knows that we have to spread the word about teen porgrams!  If you read this blog and know any teens, please tell them about this and other programs on this blog.  You can search for Autumn 2011 or "teen porgrams" in the scroll bar at left.  We are excited about this program offered at El Museo del Barrio called "OH SNAP! Young Powerful Voices at Work" because we know the workshop teacher, Caridad, is talented, engaging and a beautiful human being!  Find your voice among fellow word wizards at this spoken word workshop for teens led by performance poet Caridad de la Luz.  She is also a Murry Bergtraum graduate!
When?  October 15th and November 19th
What time?  4pm-6pm
How much does it cost?  Free
How old do I have to be?  For ages 13-19
How can I learn more?  More here or contact: Mairelys Alberto, Outreach Programs Coordinator at
El Museo del Barrio is EASY TO REACH at 1230 Fifth Avenue (at 104th St.), Manhattan.  6 to 103rd St.; 2 or 3 110th St. & Lenox Avenue

Mind the Gap at New York Theatre Workshop

Mind the Gap is New York Theatre Workshop's FREE 10-session intergenerational theatre-making workshop in which half of the participants are aged 60+ and half are high school students aged 14-18. Participants will work in pairs to interview each other and create theatre pieces inspired by each others' life stories. The workshop will be lead by playwright and NYTW Artistic Associate, Alex Lewin.

Mind the Gap runs from Oct. 17 through Dec. 12, every Monday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m at New York Theatre Workshop, 83 E. 4th St., Manhattan. Final presentations for the work will be held on Dec. 5th and 6th. There are only seven slots open to teens and to apply, please download and complete the application.

Participants will be selected through an interview process and if you have any questions, please contact Katie Palmer at 212-780-9037, x. 9549 or The deadline for applications is October 3rd.  More here!

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP FOR ANYTHING AFTER SCHOOL? Brooklyn Museum Offers PAID Internships - Deadline soon!

Dog Star is a fan of this giant place because it offers so much - African art, European, paintings and contemporary art - that there's always something for anybody we bring for a visit.  There's always something for teens, too.  Brooklyn Museum (see more on the museum here) offers teens opportunities to create program and events for other teens from across the city.
Museum Apprentice Program
The Museum Apprentice programs teaches teens how to teach from artworks in an art museum setting to younger audiences.  It runs Fridays, October- August and 1-2 weekends during the school year; Wed., Thurs. and Fri. during the summer from 5:00-7:00 pm.  No cost, it's a paid program, teens are paid hourly.  Open to all High School Students
When is the Application Deadline?  October 14, 2011
How can I learn more?
Visit; contact Cheri at; (718)-501-6588
or find Brooklyn Museum Teens on Facebook!

Teen Night Events Planning Committee
The Teen Night Events Planning Committee plans, promotes, and produces Teen Nights; thematic events held one Friday a month for teens in the museum setting.
When?  November through May
What time?  Wednesdays 4:30-6:30 pm; Select Fridays
How much does it cost?  No cost, it's a paid program, teens are paid hourly.
How old do I have to be?  Open to all High School Students
When is the Application Deadline?  November 4, 2011
How can I learn more?
Visit; contact Cheri at; (718)-501-6588; or fine Brooklyn Museum Teens on Facebook


No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.
L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)

FREE! THIS WEEKEND! Giant Street Festival in Brooklyn - Bring your friends!


THE 37TH ANNUAL ATLANTIC ANTIC (more here) is an event not to be missed! On this beautiful autumn day in Brooklyn, the Atlantic Antic will bring together one million people to Atlantic Avenue to celebrate the longstanding tradition of food, festivities, and fun!

The Atlantic Antic is a Brooklyn institution, embracing the myriad of heritages that coexist in the Borough. Spanning four Brooklyn neighborhoods from Hicks Street to Fourth Avenue, the Antic is the largest street festival in New York City! From start to finish, Atlantic Avenue is transformed into a sea of entertainment offering something for everyone.

Comprised of local and national vendors intertwined with trendy restaurants and boutiques, the Atlantic Antic features live music stages that showcase free performances from various cultural genres. Families enjoy pony rides, storytelling, and face painting on an entire block dedicated solely to kid-friendly activities. Best known for its eclectic delicacies, the Antic highlights an array of food from around the world including street fair favorites like funnel cake, sausage sandwiches, and roasted corn!

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: We're bumpin' to "Something Is Not Right With Me" by Cold War Kids (Your friends were laughing at me 'cause nobody uses pay phones!)

Prose Poem: WATER by Edwin Torres

by Edwin Torres

I am the guest of a prince. I stay at his palace and share my room with two other talents. The three of us are unique and in demand. We are each 10 stories tall. We do what we do and what no one else does. Our limbs are a hike, folding path over glory. I wake up one morning and look out the window. An ocean has appeared. Its surface, 10 stories above me, the sun just arriving. A reef reaching towards me through clear blue water crystallized by morning's shimmer. A surface broken by shadows, underneath what appear to be cliffs. The ocean bottom, as deep as I am from the surface, 10 stories below. I am 10 stories above. 10 is where we meet. I look down. A horse is swimming into view. Its mane whipped by morning wind-water. The horse is alone for an instant. Free for a few kicks. Then a rider appears on its back. Instantly not free. The rider is a tourist on an underwater swimming tour, where the horse does all the swimming. I turn my head and see more enter the frame. 10 more. 10 signifying more than height, horse or story. Against the blue-green water, the ocean bottom is visible. Horse and rider float. 10 stories above me. In slow-motion, sounds like. But that's because storyteller remains in the story. They swim away. The water clears as if almost to disappear. My eyes adjust and see 10 surfer punks relaxing at the bottom of the ocean. They wear cut-off jeans and shorts. Some have t-shirts some don't. They are relaxing in chaise lounges on the bottom of the floor, getting sun tans through the crystal clear water. Every few seconds, one of them swims up to the surface for a gulp of air and swims back down. The scene is a constant yo-yoing of bodies going up and down. Swimming with hands to sides, long hair flowing behind, air bubbles tracing their destination. Up and down. Up and down. A hypnosis of breath and water. A reward at bottom and at top. A kind of water that lets this happen. A kind of animal doing what nothing else can.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Keith Haring Paints Dancer Bill T. Jones

Dog Star likes to share favorite artists with devoted readers of this blog and Keith Haring (more here) comes up a lot.  We just heard the news that a giant Keith Haring exhibition will open at Brooklyn Museum next Spring.  It will be exciting for the city to see his work in Brooklyn and to share stories of how he came to become an internationally famous street artist way before Shepard Fairey and Banksy.  We came across these pics in our scrapbook and want to share them with devoted readers:  Keith is shown painting the dancer Bill T. Jones (more here) in a photo by Tseng Kwong Chi from 1983 (more here).  Both Haring and Tseng died of AIDS in 1990.  We've included a pic of an African group painting similar patterns on each other (Haring's inspiration?).

Toward a Reading of Post-Kanye Hip-Hop

The rise of swagger and the increasing irrelevance of haters

By Ben Gabriel in The New Inquiry Magazine

The past decade has seen the meteoric rise of a new subject position in the hip-hop world: the swaggerer. Whether with underground lights like Lil B or more mainstream artists like Kanye West, you may have noticed a strange insistence on the authenticity of the artists’ swagger. The stock has reached such a point that Jay-Z’s opening line for the first single off the highly anticipated Watch the Throne collaboration with Kanye is simply: “I invented swag.”

Swagger is not new to hip-hop but has always been exterior to it. It recalls ’70s rockers, ’20s gangsters, pirates and Shakespearean vagabonds. The connotations are all, one might say, very white. But it is a very particular kind of whiteness — one which is very aware of itself and makes an explicit performance of its own economic or legal disenfranchisement. The particularity of swagger’s performance lies in its combination of material signifiers of wealth, particularly designer-brand clothing or jewelry, with bodily gestures or attitudes of defiance, as in the strut or the sneer. The coincidence of this performative particularity and historical connotation differentiates swagger from other, similar concepts (militancy, for instance, or hedonistic consumerism) and allows for its redeployment in new contexts.

Hip-hop’s appropriation of swagger, however, is fraught. If one of hip-hop’s most important myths — that its bootstraps/entrepreneurial possibilities — requires a believable performance of economic insufficiency to be convincing, then swagger gives the hip-hop lexicon an incredibly desirable tool. But because swagger’s whiteness must be incorporated into a black cultural form, it’s loaded with the potential for sabotage.

Kanye’s unparalleled success in instrumentalizing swagger has come precisely through his alertness to this danger. His aesthetic and public personae so successfully court and deny whiteness that the potential issues with swagger become negligible. By finally unlocking the potential of swagger, he has put himself in a position to fundamentally alter the genre’s episteme, ushering in a generation of rappers who (perhaps unconsciously) recognize the structural deficit in hip-hop he has articulated and attempt (also probably unconsciously) to rectify it. This is post-Kanye hip-hop.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brooklyn Specialist Mummifies Pets & Loved Ones for Clients (She's holding two mummified kitty cats in her hands!)

Dog Star is glad to see that all kinds of "under the radar" activities and businesses have become mainstream so that others may find them when there is a need. Take, for instance, this woman in Gowanus who will mummify your pet in a "basic" to "premium" package. Here's the story from today's Daily News: Professional mummy-maker Sorceress Cagliastro cradles puppies alive and dead with the same tender care. An avid animal lover who has four dogs and a bird, the Brooklyn native will mummify pets - cats, bunnies, birds, frogs, whatever - that weigh up to 100 pounds. Her past projects include racing pigeons, a macaw, a millipede, a peacock, a caiman, guinea pigs and even an armadillo. Cagliastro knows her services - which cost between $800 and $4,000 - aren't for everyone. But the upstate Kingston resident says a growing number of grieving pet owners are eager to seek her out. "To me, mummification is the ultimate honor because there is nothing that would keep your loved one around longer," she said. READ THE WHOLE STORY AT THE DAILY NEWS HERE!

Discover Phillip Johnson's Glass House

Dog Star has visited The Glass House, a landmark architectural marvel designed and built as part of his permanent home by Philip Johnson (more here).  Watch this cool time-lapse photo array and discover how the site is illuminated "from day to night."

The Glass House: Day to Night from The Philip Johnson Glass House on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

FREE! Join After-School Programs @ the Rubin & Make New Friends!

Dog Star strongly encourages everyone, especially college-bound teens, to get involved in an after-school program and the Rubin has one of the most exciting in the city.  RMA Teens is a free after-school program for high school students with a strong interest in art or careers in the arts. Participants get a behind the scenes look at how a museum operates, explore career paths in the arts, gain valuable public speaking and leadership skills, and gain access to one of the best collections of Himalayan art in the world.

Students are invited to make the museum a place of their own while having exciting opportunities to:

  • Explore the art and culture of Tibet, India, Nepal, China, and beyond
  • Be creative with art-making workshops that explore silk-screening, Himalayan painting, and more
  • Create a zine for teens that will be distributed at the museum
  • Get career guidance from top level museum curators, artists, and arts professionals
  • Visit museums throughout New York City

RMA Teens meet Thursday afternoons during the school year from 4-6 pm starting October 6. Students who participate in RMA Teens for one year are eligible to give tours of the museum to visitors and get paid doing it through the Teen Guide Council Program! Participants also receive an official museum id permitting free admittance to any NYC museum! Application deadline 10/1.
Teen Art Labs
Mixed Mythology Teen Art Lab: Mondays from 4 – 6:30 October 17 – December 19, 2011
Every work of art at the Rubin Museum has a story to tell. Inspired by the Once Upon Many Times exhibition, participants hear tales fit for the gods and play out their own epic scenes to make powerful art while having the opportunity to explore Himalayan art and culture, acquire digital photography skills using DSLR cameras, work closely with professional artists and take trips. Application deadline 10/1.

Interested students can apply here for RMA Teens and Teen Art Labs.

FREE! Discover Red Grooms & His Wild City Scene Sculptures!

Dog Star has been a fan of Red Grooms for a long time - when we first moved to NYC we saw a Grooms show at the Whitney called "Ruckus Rodeo" - 3D sculptural scenes of a wild and crazy rodeo.  He has a keen (sharp) sense for detail and humor in creating city street scenes both full-scale (see the bookstore on view at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers here) to small models and dioramas.  He is a terrific artist to share with children who will enjoy the shapes, colors and fantastic scenes of city life.  Lucky for us Marlborough Gallery welcomes visitors of all ages to their gallery on 57th Street (more here) and you won't want to miss this show!  On view until October 22.  The gallery is EASY TO REACH at 40 West 57th Street, open Monday-Saturday 10-5:30pm.  Free admission for everyone at all times.

Street Dancers in Times Square Subway

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: We're bumpin' to Michael Jackson's "Beat It"

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wild Women and Abrasive Natures (deKooning at MoMA) - Bring your friends!

Dog Star just stopped by MoMA to see this show and we had to step out of the galleries for a moment.  Intense color, disturbing images of vulgar women's figures, abrasive male natures demanding equal time; all of it noisy and crowded with museum walls pulsating with erotic energy.  Do we have to say it? DO NOT MISS IT!  Discover how a Dutch illegal immigrant - he came in his early 20s to New Jersey by ship - found life as and artist and fame in Greenwich Village in the 1950s.  This is the first major museum exhibition devoted to the full scope of the career of Willem de Kooning, widely considered to be among the most important and prolific artists of the 20th century. The exhibition, which will only be seen at MoMA (more here), presents an unparalleled opportunity to study the artist’s development over nearly seven decades, beginning with his early academic works, made in Holland before he moved to the United States in 1926, and concluding with his final, sparely abstract paintings of the late 1980s. Bringing together nearly 200 works from public and private collections, the exhibition will occupy the Museum’s entire sixth-floor gallery space, totaling approximately 17,000 square feet.  Representing nearly every type of work de Kooning made, in both technique and subject matter, this retrospective includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints. Among these are the artist’s most famous, landmark paintings—among them Pink Angels (1945), Excavation (1950), and the celebrated third Woman series (1950–53)—plus in-depth presentations of all his most important series, ranging from his figurative paintings of the early 1940s to the breakthrough black-and-white compositions of 1948–49, and from the urban abstractions of the mid 1950s to the artist’s return to figuration in the 1960s, and the large gestural abstractions of the following decade. Also included is de Kooning’s famous yet largely unseen theatrical backdrop, the 17-foot-square Labyrinth (1946).  Dog Star says that when you look at these paintings, notice all the layers underneath where he started a picture, scraped it away and started the next one.  Notice, too, the artists great sense of humor: he loved women but sometimes they got his nerves!  You see it in the pictures!  And a third thing to notice is that in any picture de Kooning wants you to have only a glimpse of the image - he wants you to have a feeling and form your own impression of the scene.  ALWAYS FREE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS on view until January 2012.  Shown at top right:  Willem de Kooning. Pink Angels. c. 1945. Oil and charcoal on canvas, 52" x 40"

Have you been to The Cloisters?

Dog Star knows there are many things to do in New York City and we can't do everything and still go to school and work.  We do know that before it gets much colder outside you must make a point of visiting The Cloisters (more here and history here) in Ft. Tryon Park in Inwood, Upper Manhattan.  As a branch of the Metropolitan Museum (here), The Cloisters houses the museum's Medieval art collection: tapestries, religious artifacts from long-ago churches in Europe and a "treasury" with real gold and silver jewels, cups and platters.  The actual building was reconstructed in the 1930s from five former abbeys in France:  brick-by-brick they were dismantled and rebuilt on this site.  It is one of the most beautiful public sites in New York City with spectacular views of the Hudson River and west towards The Palisades in New Jersey (all undeveloped and permanently protected to preserve the views!)  Always free for high school students.  All others: Admission is by "suggested contribution" so we suggest $1 and you say, "One, please" and hand the cashier your dollar.The Cloisters is EASY TO REACH: Take the A train to 190th Street and exit the station via the elevator. Walk along Margaret Corbin Drive into the park.

Discover this Incredible New Museum & Architecture: Museo Soumaya in Mexico City

DOG STAR says this building is wild!  The Museo Soumaya in Mexico City opened its doors this past March. The Museo Soumaya is a private art museum that was founded in 1994 by the Carlos Slim Foundation. It houses art collected by billionaire Carlos Slim and his late wife Soumaya. The collection includes sculptures by Rodin and Dalí, European paintings from the 15th through the 20th century, and Mexican art.  The 20,000 square meters of exhibition space are divided among five floors. There are also an auditorium, a cafe, offices, a gift shop, a multipurpose lobby, and storage space. The top floor of the Museo Soumaya is the largest space in the museum. Its roof is suspended from a cantilever that allows natural daylight in. The facade of the asymmetrical building is made from hexagonal aluminium modules. The museum has been designed by architectes FREE Fernando Romero.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dat Shit Cray (If you know, you know.)

Four Incredible Ideas for Tattoos but EPIC FAIL for Each One!

Dog Star is not a fan of tattoos (devoted readers know this) but we enjoy looking at and discovering REALLY bad tattoo art because we hope it discourages some readers from ever getting a tattoo.  In addition, tattoos are a visual delight:  after all, it's "art" and it's a creative use of the human body with, typically, bad ink work.

Moneyball Trailer (New movie with Brad Pitt as Oakland A's Manager Billy Beane)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Discover J. Edgar Hoover in New Film

Dog Star looks forward to this November release of a Clint Eastwood-directed biopic of the legendary F.B.I. director, J. Edgar Hoover (more here).  Hoover was the F.B.I.'s first director and serve under SIX presidents for nearly 40 years.  Wild!  Since Eastwood directed we can be sure it will show the complex values and personality of one of America's creepiest historical figures.  He definitely believed that his "moral code" takes first place even if it shoves people aside and even causes their death.  He was rumored to have been involved in Kennedy's assasination in Dallas, Texas (Oliver Stone strongly expresses this point of view in his film "JFK") and lived as a closeted, cross-dressing gay man while thousands of lesbians and gay men were harassed, jailed and lost their jobs because of his efforts.  He invented smear campaigns against enemies and called them "gay" to ruin their lives.  It's a real ugly life that we hope doesn't get too glamorized with one of Hollywood's favorite pretty boys, Leonardo DiCaprio, playing Hoover.

Free! Discover Romare Bearden's "The Block" on view now at Met Museum

DOG STAR readers will recognize Romare Bearden from earlier posts.  He is a wonderful artist and we get a rare chance to see his famous collage "The Block" now on view at the Metropolitan Museum.  As part of city-wide celebrations to honor the artist's 100th birthday, "the Block" has been pulled out of storage and proudly put on display for all of us to see in person (on view until January 8, 2012). Do not miss this talented American's keen sense for visual details, wild and wonderful colors, and his human touch with paint and collage.  Bearden's "block" is loosely based on a real Harlem block:  Lenox Avenue between 132nd & 133rd Street. See the collage The Block here.  "The Block" reveals the artist’s creative process whereby he literally and figuratively "collages" different images and experiences from reality and from his memory and imagination into a tableau that transcends the limitations of a fixed time and place, even as it pays homage to a specific street in Harlem, the New York City neighborhood that inspired so much of Bearden’s work.  A video biography of Romare Bearden:

Ballet Performance of Victor Hugo's "Hunchback of Notre Dame de Paris"

Dog Star Selects Nigel Sylvester in NOLA

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rapper 50 Cent Loses Naming Rights Battle with Famous African Author

Dog Star remembers hearing that 50 Cent lost a lot of weight for a movie role but somehow missed that the film was to be called "Things Fall Apart."  News reports say that 50 Cent tried, and failed, to convince 80-year old Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe (pronounced Chin-u-ah A-chay-bay) (more here) to sell him the rights to the title for his film (more new story here).  Achebe refused to sell the rights, reportedly, for over $1 million and now 50 Cent may call his film "All Things Fall Apart," which is kinda lame as a movie title.  After all, Achebe's novel takes it's title from a line in the Yeats poem "Second Coming" (read it here) - a poem that will appeal to the apocalypse crowd, lmao!  BTW, there is no film adaptation for the novel so the author, obviously, reserves the right to allow a film version to use that title.  There was a television mini-series on Nigerian television.

To Socialize or Not? That Is The Question! (Ways to make social contact a happier experience!)

DOG STAR likes the advice blogger Susan Cain gives on how making social contact can make you happier.  It's also a great column about how people can find ways to come out of their shell if they're a bit shy.  Here's the story:

You're standing at the grocery store checkout line, pondering tomorrow's to-do list. The cashier greets you with a grin. Out of politeness, you force yourself to chitchat - and feel curiously happy afterwards. There's a big smile on your face as you leave the store.

What just happened?

A famous study answers this question.  Researcher William Fleeson and his colleagues tracked a group of people, every three hours for two weeks, recording how they'd acted and felt during each chunk of time. They found that those who'd acted "talkative" and "assertive" - even if they were introverts - were more likely to report feeling positive emotions such as excitement and enthusiasm.  MORE HERE

A related story:  

Are Introverts more active in social media than Extroverts? (HERE)

Dog Star Selects 1980s News Clip of Keith Haring (Reporter calls Haring the "Rembrandt of Rapid Transit")

Monday, September 19, 2011

Go See Miquel Barceló's “Gran Elefandret” on 14th Street!

Dog Star says GO SEE see one of Miquel Barceló’s precariously perched elephant sculptures in person!  The impossibly balanced bronze sculpture entitled Gran Elefandret from the Spanish artist is now on display through May 2012 in Union Square and is 26 feet high. The gravity defying pachyderm is presented courtesy of Marlborough Gallery and the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Art in the Parks program.

High 5 Offers FREE After-School Programs in the Arts - Bring your friends and join!

Teen Reviewers and Critics INFORMATIONAL OPEN HOUSE
Still undecided about applying? 
Concerned you don't have the time for TRaC?
Wondering what being in TRaC is really like?

Come to High 5 and Get Some Answers!
Join us for the Fall Teen Reviewers and Critics (TRaC) Informational Open House on Wednesday, September 21st, from 4:45 - 5:45, and we'll answer all your questions. You'll meet former TRaC participants and instructors, hear about their experiences in TRaC, get a preview of the Fall TRaC programs and learn how to apply. As a bonus, every teen who attends will receive TWO FREE TICKETS to any NYC theater, dance or music performance High 5 has available! Interested students, parents, teachers and TRaC alumni - all are welcome. Of course, light refreshments will be served.

To learn more about TRaC before the Open House, CLICK HERE!
You can also download an a FALL TRaC FLYER (to print and distribute to friends and teachers) and a TRaC APPLICATION FORM, which must be dropped off or postmarked by September 28th. Remember, TRaC is first come, first served!

Don't let this opportunity to pass you by!
RSVP today and find out if TRaC is right for you!

Wednesday, September 21st, 4:45 - 5:45 p.m.
at ArtsConnection/High 5 Headquarters
520 Eighth Ave at 36th Street, 3rd Floor
RSVP to Eric Ost at 212-453-9485 or