Dog Star / A Creative Arts Guide
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Image above: Vik Muniz
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère after Édouard Manet, from the Pictures of Magazines 2 series, 2012.
Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life. Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, painted in 1882, explores the treachery of nineteenth-century Parisian nightlife through the depiction of a bartender attending to a male patron reflected in the mirror behind her. Muniz plays on Manet’s style, replacing Manet’s visible brushstrokes with the frayed edges of torn paper and lending the work immense visual interest.
“Thank you for DogStarNYC, in general. The site speaks to so many kinds of interests; it discerns which qualities will appeal to many different tastes in a tremendous number of activities. I love how it encourages young people to pay attention to the unusual.
In New York we let so many teens walk around the periphery, mildly shell-shocked by life, while the information that they need to make sense of their world sits in the center of the room. DogStarNYC welcomes them into the middle of the room; the blog tells them how to walk there. ” - Stacy L.
DOG STAR is the creation of a high school English teacher in New York City. This blog began in 2008 as an online community for a journalism class and has since evolved into a curated site on the creative arts, arts-related news and a guide to free and low-cost events for teens. Our mission is to offer teens real-life options for enjoying all the creative arts in New York City. May wisdom guide you and hope sustain you. The more you like art, the more art you like!
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
In this painting - one of Tooker's most famous - we see a semi-realistic representation of the underground subway platforms (perhaps at 14th Street) that serve as the "middle plane" between the upper world (outside) and the subterranean world (subconscious? dream world?) of the subway tracks and trains. The "cool" colors don't give away immediately that there is terror, paranoia, suspicion and potential danger present so strongly in nearly every corner of the painting. This is a brightly lit subway station the better to be able to see ALL the figures and their eyes watching each other, watching the woman at center and watching us back (the viewer) and - us watching them. And, yet, there is something slightly OFF about this "realistic image" in the way the figures and landscape have a "surreal" look and effect on the viewer. We can easily begin with the woman at center in the red dress (color can always be taken for symbolic meaning - anger, hatred, blood, murder, violence, passion) and we have to say we usually avoid looking at her, perhaps because everyone else is staring at her and she looks visibly afraid of being there (in the center of all the attention). Many people have written about how Tooker's paintings (and this one in particular) show the modern sense of alienation and isolation between people who have no more business with each other (as a community) and have only business that makes them consumers (buyers and sellers) in social transactions limited to he exchange of goods and money. At this very moment captured in Tooker's painting, we wonder: What is everyone so afraid of getting caught doing or seeing? What would happen if they walked up to each other and simply said, "Hello," and offered their hand. Or a hug. Sadly, we think Tooker's painting is just as relevant TODAY in 2011 as it was in 1950: The terrifying lack of emotional and social interaction between the people in this painting is typically reflected in the subway platforms in our city every day. For us this painting helps to remind us of something very important: I never want to become someone like the people shown in this painting.
Monday, November 28, 2011
NYC Isn't Alone with Our Subway Ranters - Britain Has Racist Ones, Too! (How To Get Arrested In Britain)
Jerome Liebling in 1949 on the streets of Harlem. The boy looks nervous and confident at the same time and has assumed a kind of superhero pose for the photographer with his caped jacket. Here's what the museum says about the show: In 1936 a group of young, idealistic photographers, most of them Jewish, first-generation Americans, formed an organization in Manhattan called the Photo League. Their solidarity centered on a belief in the expressive power of the documentary photograph and on a progressive alliance in the 1930s of socialist ideas and art. The Radical Camera presents the contested path of the documentary photograph during a tumultuous period that spanned the New Deal reforms of the Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. The Jewish Museum is EASY TO REACH - you don't have to be Jewish to go there! - at 5th Avenue & 92nd Street. Go on Saturdays @ 11am when it's FREE for everybody!
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 7:00PM
Brooklyn Central Library
Dweck Center (here)
Twenty-three years ago, Susan Hartman, reporting for The New York Times, profiled a group of talented jumpers on her troubled Brooklyn block. For the past two years, she has been documenting the amazing young women they’ve become (find out more here). Hartman will present the ongoing project, including two short videos, followed by an on-stage talk with the young women. Hartman has written for The New York Times, Newsday, and The Christian Science Monitor, often following her subjects for months. She teaches journalism and nonfiction at New York University, and is also on the faculty of the International Center of Photography (ICP).
It is such a strange film to see in light of the current and excessive fascination with reality television. The "stars" of today's reality TV shows are, like Norma, always ready for their close-up shot and have also blurred the lines between reality and illusion. Some of the viewers have blurred these lines, too, and insist their watching "real lives." Strange, indeed!
As an interesting, unrelated side note: Gloria Swanson became a vegetarian in 1928 and was an early advocate for macrobiotic foods. She was known to bring her own vegetarian meals to parties in a paper bag!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
by Carl Sandburg
(Written to be read aloud, if so be, Thanksgiving Day)
I remember here by the fire,
In the flickering reds and saffrons,
They came in a ramshackle tub,
Pilgrims in tall hats,
Pilgrims of iron jaws,
Drifting by weeks on beaten seas,
And the random chapters say
They were glad and sang to God.
Since the iron-jawed men sat down
And said, "Thanks, O God,"
For life and soup and a little less
Than a hobo handout to-day,
Since gray winds blew gray patterns of sleet on Plymouth Rock,
Since the iron-jawed men sang "Thanks, O God,"
You and I, O Child of the West,
Remember more than ever
November and the hunter's moon,
November and the yellow-spotted hills.
In the name of the iron-jawed men
I will stand up and say yes till the finish is come and gone.
God of all broken hearts, empty hands, sleeping soldiers,
God of all star-flung beaches of night sky,
I and my love-child stand up together to-day and sing: "Thanks, O God."
ANOTHER MOVIE? Take a date to Brooklyn Museum - Open until 10pm every Thursday (Pay just $1 for admission and enjoy great art!)
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
And now for one of our favorite pieces of writing advice in recent memory:
“You don’t become a good writer by only working on the pieces that smell good from the beginning.”
That gem comes from the wondrous Junot Díaz himself. You asked him about his writing process, how he creates complex characters, and for his thoughts on throwing around the occasional curse word. Check out his answers to those probing questions and more, sure to inspire you whether you’re working on a sweet-smelling tulip of a story or a particularly funky, malodorous tale.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
American life was dramatically transformed in the years following the Great War, as urbanization, industrialization, mechanization, and rampant materialism altered the environment and the way people lived. American artists responded to this dizzying modern world with works that embraced a new brand of idealized realism to evoke a seemingly perfect modern world. The twenties saw a vigorous renewal of figurative art that melded uninhibited body-consciousness with classical ideals. Wheareas images of the modern body were abundant, artists represented American places and things as distilled and largely uninhabited arrangements of pristine forms. Encompassing a wide array of artists, Youth and Beauty celebrates this striking and original modern art and questions its relation to the riotous decade from which it emerged.
The first section of the exhibition’s two primary thematic sections is Body Language: Liberation and Restraint in Twenties Figuration, which investigates the realist portrait, naturally erotic figure subjects, and heroic types. Throughout the twenties, motion pictures, advertising, “healthy body culture,” and the theories of Sigmund Freud all contributed to an era of physical liberation, sensuality, and a near obsession with bodily perfection. Many artists celebrated the modern physical ideal in nude subjects that pictured the newly exposed body freed from conventional restrictions and empowered through fitness or liberating forms of dance. Artists also responded to the rising influence of urban black culture with representations of the idealized black body. Although startlingly direct, these images are also restrained in a way that suggests an uneasiness with the accelerated energy and action of modern life. Works that celebrate this controlled modern physicality include George Wesley Bellows 1924 Two Women, in which a nude and a fully clad figure are juxtaposed in a domestic setting; and Thomas Hart Benton’s 1922 Self-Portrait with Rita, which portrays the bare-chested artist beside his wife, who sports a daring body-revealing swimsuit. Works such as Alfred Stieglitz’s Rebecca Salisbury Strand, a voluptuous nude subject for which the wife of photographer Paul Strand served as a model, display a direct and frank sensuality. John Steuart Curry’s 1928 Bathers, a scene of robust male nudes cooling themselves in a water tank, channels heroic proportions and Renaissance ideals to foreground healthy physicality in an age of rampant automation and urbanization.
The new realism was also apparent in portraits that portray natural beauty with decisive clarity and assertive immediacy. Often cast in the format of the newly popular “close-up,” twenties portraiture emerged from a culture in which advertising prompted rigorous self-scrutiny and current theories of psychology suggested complexly layered personalities. The portraits on view will include Luigi Lucioni’s magnetic 1928 likeness of the young artist Paul Cadmus; Imogen Cunningham’s intimate photograph of the seminal writer Sherwood Anderson; and Romaine Brooks’s stark 1924 portrait of Una, Lady Troubridge, lover of the English novelist Radclyffe Hall.
The exhibition’s second half, Silent Pictures: Reckoning with a New World, explores subjects as diverse as still life and industrial and natural landscapes while highlighting their shared qualities of compositional refinement and muted expression. Painters and photographers depicted the ready-made geometries of industrial towers, stacks, and tanks, and the webs of struts and beams, with little reference to their utilitarian actualities or to human activity. In his masterful 1927 composition My Egypt, Charles Demuth transformed the functional architecture of a massive grain elevator complex into a transcendent composition swept by fan like rays. Charles Sheeler paid homage to modern engineering in his pristine 1927 photograph Ford Plant, River Rouge, Blast Furnace and Dust Catcher, commissioned by Ford’s advertisers. In George Ault’s 1926 Brooklyn Ice House, the artist’s reductive treatment of the industrial buildings and playful description of a black smoke plume result in a compelling combination of the modern and the naive.
Challenged by the sensory assault of the modern urban-industrial world around them, artists also portrayed American landscape settings as precisely distilled and largely uninhabited. Intent on maintaining their own individuality in a new era of mass-production and mass-market advertising, they described the features of more remote American places with a marked intensity and austerity. In Edward Hopper’s 1927 Lighthouse Hill, the forms of architecture and landscape are stripped of incidental details and cast in a transcendent raking light. Georgia O’Keeffe’s 1927 Lake George Barns (one of seven works by the artist in the exhibition), offers a similar hybrid realism, as does Ansel Adams’s 1929 photograph of the sculptural Church at Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico.
In their still-life compositions, American artists of the twenties applied a modernist penchant for essential form to exacting arrangements of insistently simple things. Objects as disparate as flowers, soup cans, razors, eggs, and cocktail shakers, appear in compositions that suggest the new tensions between the traditional and the modern in art and in life. Twenties images such as Peter Blume’s Vegetable Dinner, in which one modern woman enjoys a cigarette while her counterpart peels some humble vegetables, prompts consideration of the individual’s relationship to the larger material world. Imogen Cunningham’s 1929 photograph Calla Lilies embodies a precise, natural perfection akin to modern body ideals, while Gerald Murphy’s 1924 Razor employs a hard-edged billboard aesthetic to foreground the required accessories of the well groomed modern man.
Artist in this post from top to bottom: Gerald Murphy, Aaron Douglas, George Cadmus, George Ault - All of these paintings are included in the exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum!
Brooklyn Museum is EASY TO REACH and PAY JUST $1 ANYTIME YOU GO! TAKE 2/3 TRAIN TO EASTERN PARKWAY AND MUSEUM IS RIGHT UPSTAIRS!
Monday, November 21, 2011
Teens Helping Each Other/AEP Presents World Aids Day 2011
Teen Town Hall Meeting
Speak Your Mind: Speak Out or Be Spoken For!
DATE: Friday, December 2nd, 2011
TIME: 5:30pm — 8:00pm
LOCATION: SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Health and Science Building
395 Lenox Road
Between East 34th Street & New York Avenue
CONTACT PERSON: Orissa Ramsumair @ (718) 270-3898 / Christine Rucker @ (718) 270-3203
REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED!