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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Connecting Cultures: A World in Brooklyn

Dog Star has gone once and will return a few more times in the Spring and Summer.  It's just that interesting.  Seriously.  This giant room on the first floor of the museum has been 
 transformed into a wild and inspiring gallery of normally disconnected art objects.  What makes it so special is the museum has placed HIGH QUALITY objects, paintings and materials and YOUR curious mind and investigative eyes will connect the dots in all kinds of ways.  While encouraging new ways of looking at art by exploring connections between cultures, this innovative installation in the newly renovated Great Hall on the Museum’s first floor, made up of a selection of some of the Museum’s most important objects, provides for the first time a general introduction to the Museum’s wide-ranging collections.  An orientation area, featuring as a backdrop a contemporary rendering of the heavens inspired by a sixteenth-century volume in the Museum’s Library, includes a time line and a brief history of the Museum. Following this area, the installation is organized around three sections: Place, People, and Things. Through a combination of works from cultures around the world, visitors are asked to consider the importance of place to the definition of culture and self; the ways in which people represent themselves in works of art that define them; and the role of things in supporting identity, both personal and cultural.

Go here for the Brooklyn Museum website

Go here for a great article on Connecting Cultures in the NY Times

Imaginary Dog Star Landscapes

Keith Haring: Discover '80s Street Art King New Exhibition @ Brooklyn Museum - Bring your friends! FREE TEEN NIGHT COMING SOON!

Dog Star knows this is a MUST SEE exhibition.  Devoted readers and teen artists will run to the Brooklyn Museum (more here) for an inspirational and uplifting art experience.  Keith Haring: 1978–1982 is the first large-scale exhibition to explore the early career of one of the best-known American artists of the twentieth century. Tracing the development of Haring’s extraordinary visual vocabulary, the exhibition includes 155 works on paper, numerous experimental videos, and over 150 archival objects, including rarely seen sketchbooks, journals, exhibition flyers, posters, subway drawings, and documentary photographs.  The exhibition chronicles the period in Haring’s career from his arrival in New York City through the years when he started his studio practice and began making public and political art on the city streets. Immersing himself in New York’s downtown culture, he quickly became a fixture on the artistic scene, befriending other artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat (here) and Kenny Scharf (here), as well as many of the most innovative cultural figures of the period. On view from March 16–July 8, 2012. Brooklyn Museum is EASY TO REACH - take the 2 or 3 train to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum - the museum is right upstairs outside the subway station.  Teens can pay just $1 ("suggested donation" and Dog Star suggests paying $1 - really!) - Open late on Thursday nights until 10pm - great for dates with friends!
Free Teen Night Open House: Keith Haring-Inspired
Friday, May 11, 2012 at 4:45–6:45 pm
Planned by teens, for teens, this event highlighting the exhibition Keith Haring: 1978–1982 will include live performances by teens and professionals, hands-on activities, and interactive workshops. For more information or to RSVP, call (718) 501-6588 or e-mail


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Detroit Tiger Justin Verlander Visits High School Baseball Game

Go See FREE Chelsea Gallery Shows - Bring your friends!

Dog Star says grab a few friends and make your own field trip after school or on a Saturday to Chelsea for FREE art inspiration and then head upstairs to the famous High Line Park (more here).  Most galleries are closed on Sundays and Mondays.  Be sure to check gallery websites before you plan your visit.  We have listed our gallery tour from the northern-most street (29th Street) and moving south (20th Street) to help you organize your self-guided tour!

Kehinde Wiley - Sean Kelly Gallery
Why:  Devoted readers will be familiar with Wiley's portraits of African American males both at the Brooklyn Museum and the current show on view at the Jewish Museum (more here).  For the first time, Wiley will present a series with African American women in a show called "An Economy of Grace."  The models for the paintings were cast on the streets of New York City. Their poses are based on historical portraits of society women by Jacques-Louis David, Thomas Gainsborough and John Singer Sargent, among others.
Where:  528 West 29th Street
When: On view from May 6-June 16 - Open Tuesday-Saturday 10-6pm

Les Lalanne - Paul Kasmin Gallery
Why:  This is a French husband and wife team who create animal sculptures.  These are kind and non-threatening animals who occupy the physical space with curiosity and whimsy of their own.  Go to see a whole range of past and current work in two gallery spaces.  (Sample above.)
Where:  293 Tenth Avenue (@ 27th Street) AND around the corner at 515 West 27th Street
When:  On view from May 4-June 6 - Open Tuesday-Saturday 10-6pm

Why:  Gary Hume is one of our favorite abstract painters working today - this is a series based on recent news events.  Go to discover an exciting painter who creates lively abstractions with plenty to love and enjoy.
Where:  523 West 24th Street
When: On view from May 5-June 23- Open Tuesday-Saturday 11-6pm

Brancusi: The Photographs - Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Why:  Constantin Brancusi is a Romanian artist who moved to Paris in 1903 and had a huge impact on the way other artists viewed abstract sculpture.  Isamu Noguchi worked in Brancusi's studio and credited him with his move away from representational art.  This new gallery show features Brancusi's photography - which he saw as an important extension of his artistic practice because he could present his sculptures in different combinations on paper.  Devoted readers will enjoy discovering this talented and very influential modern artist.  (Sample above.)
Where:  535 West 24th Street
When:  On view from April 26-June 23- Open Tuesday-Saturday 10-6pm

Cindy Sherman - Metro Pictures
Why:  This is a great gallery space with current artists - many also work as street artist, illustrators and designers - and the current show opening on May 19 features Doze Green, Kevin Cyr and Eric White.  You'll want to add this gallery to your "regular spots" of Chelsea galleries.  Always something worth seeing here!
Where:  519 West 24th Street
When: On view from April 28-June 9- Open Tuesday-Saturday 10-6pm

Why:  Kapoor is one of the most interesting sculptors working today.  He will transform these gallery spaces into dynamic environments and challenge our perceptions of space and scale.  He is a master at coming up with engaging and wildly different ways of looking at objects in rooms and forcing us to see the world a little differently.
Where:  515 West 24th Street and 530 West 21st Street
When:  On view from May 5-June 9 - Open Tuesday-Saturday 10-6pm

Mark Innerst - DC Moore Gallery
Why:  Mark is a landscape painter who forces us to see the view in fresh ways - he paints city scenes and rural scenes with an odd slickness full of bands of color.  Go to see his original style and great colors (Sample above).
Where:  535 West 22nd Street
When:  On view from May 3-June 8 - Open Tuesday-Saturday 10-6pm

Brice Marden - Matthew Marks Gallery

Why:  Marden is one of the most interesting contemporary painters today and he still keeps it fresh.  In this new series he uses oil paint on marble to create fascinating compositions and inspiring combinations.  Devoted readers will want to learn more about Marden's work and discover his range of painting styles.
Where:  502 and 526 West 22nd Street
When: On view from April 21-June 23- Open Tuesday-Saturday 11-6pm

Thomas Demand - Matthew Marks Gallery
Why:  Demand's large-scale photographs are a great compliment to the Avedon show at the Gagosian.  Where Avedon photographs people, Demand photographs spaces - usually empty of people.  He also will be showing a film called Pacific Sun - a security camera captures a cruise ship's stormy voyage.  We think it's all very tense and kinda scary.
Where:  522 West 22nd Street
When: On view from May 5-June 23- Open Tuesday-Saturday 11-6pm

Richard Avedon  - Gagosian Gallery
Why:  Go to see the work of legendary American photographer Richard Avedon's portraits and large-scale mural portraits from the 1960s and 1970s.  He created these giant portraits of groups of people - poet Allen Ginsberg and his family, Andy Warhol and his crew from the Factory studio and many others.  A rare chance to see up close and in person the work of a great photographer.  The subjects will be interesting to you, too.  Trivia:  Richard was classmate and friend of writer James Baldwin at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx.  (Sample above.)
Where:  522 West 21st Street
When:  On view from May 4-July 6 - Open Monday-Saturday 10-6pm

Current shows at Jonathan LeVine Gallery
Why:  This is a great gallery space that shows young and hip artists - many also work as street artist, illustrators and designers - and the current show opening on May 19 features Doze Green, Kevin Cyr and Eric White.  You'll want to add this gallery to your "regular spots" of Chelsea galleries.  Always something worth seeing here!
Where:  529 West 20th Street, 9th floor
When: On view from May 19-June 16- Open Tuesday-Saturday 11-6pm

Against Animals in Circus Acts

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Summer Opportunities for Teens in Brooklyn

The 5th Annual Youth Conference from Community Board 14 is next Wednesday, May 2 from 4-7pm at the Brooklyn College Student Center.

Young people ages 12 to 20 are welcome to attend, for free, to learn about jobs, internships, educational and volunteer opportunities, as well as additional services offered to youth in our community by various government agencies, non-profit organizations and local businesses. Check the CB14 site for a full list of participating organizations.

If you know any young people, be sure to forward this info on to them–it’s a great chance to find out about opportunities for this summer and beyond.

For more information, contact CB14 at or 718-859-6357.

FREE! The London Souls @ NY Historical Society

New York Cool: Friday Night Music - Friday, May 4 @ 6:30
The London Souls
Event details
The New-York Historical Society and Bank of America present a free concert series highlighting New York's musical history makers, past and present. This eight concert series features hip, well-known and emerging names from across the spectrum of classical, jazz and popular music genres. First come, first served. Refreshments are available for purchase.
Performer bio(s)
Tash Neal, Chris St. Hilaire, and Kiyoshi, better known as The London Souls, have been nothing short of a best-kept-secret among New York City concertgoers since the band’s formation in 2008. Their debut album was produced by Ethan Johns at London’s renowned Abbey Road Studios and captures the spirit of this power trio, offering an exhilarating fusion of blues and rock and roll. With a fervent and dynamic fan base thanks to their consistently impassioned, explosive live performances, The London Souls’ unique reinterpretation of classic hard-hitting rock and roll recalls elements of the past with a boundless energy that will hypnotize and amaze.
The Robert H. Smith Auditorium. New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024 - Go here for more information

Dog Star Selects Manjushri - Conqueror of Ignorance and Prince of Wisdom

Dog Star struggles, like many people, with faith and wisdom (when to believe? what to believe?) - there is something strongly re-assuring about believing in this Buddha!  Manjushri, known as the Buddha of Divine Learning also deepens lucid clarity and unshakable concentration. This is indicated by the flaming sword he carries in his right hand. His left hand is poised in the mudra of peace and compassion from which springs forth a lush lotus and the Prajnaparamita Sutra, the Heart Sutra. Manjusri’s mantra (Om Ah Ra Pa Tsa Na Dhih) enhances wisdom and improves one’s skills in debating, memory, writing, and explaining.

Solo Copter for Personal Flights!

Dog Star says this really cool!  The e-volo multicopter (more here) is a prototype personal transport vehicle, steerable via joystick, and powered by 16 individual propellers which gives the pilot the ability to hover in the air. Created by a team of German professionals – physicist Thomas Senkel, programmer Stephan Wolf and designer Philipp Halisch – they have just completed the first prototype and test flight of the craft, which they imagine for use towards entertainment purposes, aerial photography and short-distance travel.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Go See "Question Bridge: Black Males" Smash Stereotypes @ Brooklyn Museum - Bring your friends! Tell your teachers!

Dog Star thinks this innovative video project will smash stereotypes about black males!  The video below is just a very tiny excerpt from the project.  There is much, much more to the project on view at the museum!  Question Bridge: Black Males (project website here), a video installation created by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Chris Johnson in collaboration with Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair, features dialogue among 150 Black men recruited from eleven American cities and towns. The exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum (more here) includes five video screens, placed in an arc, playing videos of the men responding to questions. The videos were edited so that it appears as if the men are having a conversation. For the past four years the four collaborators have traveled throughout the United States to locations including New York, Chicago, Oakland, San Francisco, Birmingham, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, creating 1,500 video exchanges in which the subjects serve as both interviewers and interviewees, posing and answering one another’s questions. Their words are woven together to simulate a stream-of-consciousness dialogue, through which important themes and issues emerge. The subjects addressed include family, love, interracial relationships, community, education, violence, and the past, present, and future of Black men in American society. The men represent a range of American geographic, economic, generational, educational, and social strata. The artists hope that the Question Bridge project will be a catalyst for constructive dialogue among Black men and others in the nation that will help deconstruct stereotypes about Black male identity in our collective consciousness. “In the end, the objective is to create something that resonates as essentially genuine to viewer and subjects, and provides audiences with an intimate window into the complex and often unspoken dialogue between African American men,” they note in their Artists’ Statement. “In this light, ‘Blackness’ ceases to be a simple, monochromatic concept. A major ambition is to transform our audiences’ appreciation of any demographic and provide new opportunities for healing and understanding. The Question Bridge videos are a part of a larger project that also includes a user-generated website and a curriculum currently being offered to high schools and universities throughout the United States. The Brooklyn Museum will present a wide range of public programs in conjunction with the project. Question Bridge will be the theme of the February edition of Target First Saturdays, the Brooklyn Museum’s monthly free evening of art and entertainment. There will also be a roundtable discussion with invited community leaders and youth inspired by a moment in the video when a young Black man asks members of the civil rights generation, “Why didn’t you leave us the blueprint?” On view at the Brooklyn Museum until June 3, 2012.  EASY TO REACH - Take the 2/3 train to Eastern Parkway and the museum is right upstairs from the subway station.  Hand the cashier just $1 at the admissions desk with the words, "One please."

Question Bridge: Black Males - Project Trailer from Question Bridge on Vimeo.

Imaginary Dog Star Landscapes

Words to Live By

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Song of America | Celebrating 250 years of American Song

Song of America | Celebrating 250 years of American Song

FREE! Chelsea Art Gallery Block Party - Bring your friends! (Sat May 5 6-9pm)

On Saturday May 5th, the galleries along 26th Street are hosting a free, all-access street party to welcome visitors to the inaugural New York edition of the Frieze Art Fair (May 3–7).

DJ Hannah Bronfman and band Dreamshow to perform. As a festive community response to Chelsea Night, late openings during Frieze NY, the galleries and arts organizations on 26th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues are throwing a block party, from 6 to 9pm.

With the block transformed into a pedestrian plaza, visitors are encouraged to explore the exhibitions on view in 26th Street’s 35+ participating galleries and project spaces, enjoy live music and congregate and linger while sampling culinary delights from the city’s top food trucks. 

Galleries will be open until 8pm. Food trucks and entertainment will continue until 9pm. The event was organized in partnership with neighborhood organizations Art Station, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and Friends of the High Line with sponsors including STOYN, Brooklyn Brewery, Artlog, The Serve and Hotel Americano, along with media sponsor artnet.

Hannah Bronfman, a celebrity DJ with that rare eclectic ear for party music, will keep the crowd percolating, while the cascading, soulful synthesizer sound of Brooklyn buzz band Dreamshow provides the live climax. The promise of surprise treats from STOYN ice cream and souvenir branded totes from ArtLog/Grey Area encourage visitors to thoroughly explore the block’s multilevel gallery addresses, while easy access to the High Line both helps flow and allows for a top-down view of the action. The 26th Street Block Party promises to be one of the standout events of a packed art week and the start of a new Chelsea tradition.

PARTICIPATING GALLERIES ArtBridge • George Adams Gallery • Cedar Lake • James Cohan Gallery • Ana Cristea Gallery • Thomas Erben Gallery • Barry Friedman, Ltd. • Field Projects • First Street Gallery • Friedman Benda • Ippodo Gallery • Loretta Howard Gallery • Jenkins Johnson Gallery • David Krut Projects • Lehmann Maupin Gallery • Galerie Lelong • Magnan Metz Gallery • Lio Malca • Andrea Meislin Gallery • Robert Miller Gallery • Mitchell-Innes and Nash • Mixed Greens • Onishi Gallery • Pace Prints • Rush Arts Gallery • Mary Ryan Gallery • Schroeder Romero & Shredder • The Walther Collection

Upcoming Teen Programs @ Met Museum

Teen Programs

Words to Live By

THREE MUST SEE Photo Exhibits this Spring

Double check to be sure an exhibit has opened before you go - and check the websites for free times and museum hours!
The Loving Story: Photographs by Grey Villet @ ICP (more here)
January 20–May 6, 2012
Forty-five years ago, sixteen states still prohibited interracial marriage. Then, in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the case of Richard Perry Loving, a white man, and his wife, Mildred Loving, a woman of African American and Native American descent, who had been arrested for miscegenation nine years earlier in Virginia. The Lovings were not active in the Civil Rights movement but their tenacious legal battle to justify their marriage changed history when the Supreme Court unanimously declared Virginia's anti-miscegenation law—and all race-based marriage bans—unconstitutional. Photographer Grey Villet, on assignment for Life magazine, traveled to Virginia, in 1965 to document the Lovings' story. His intimate photographs do not focus on the couple's epic legal battle but instead show the everyday pleasures of two shy and nonpolitical people, their quiet dedication to each other and to their family. The exhibition, organized by Assistant Curator of Collections Erin Barnett, includes some twenty vintage prints loaned by the estate of Grey Villet and by the Loving family.
Weegee: Murder Is My Business @ ICP (more here)
January 20–September 2, 2012
For an intense decade between 1935 and 1946, Weegee (1899–1968) was one of the most relentlessly inventive figures in American photography. His graphically dramatic and often lurid photographs of New York crimes and news events set the standard for what has become known as tabloid journalism. Freelancing for a variety of New York newspapers and photo agencies, and later working as photo editor for the short-lived liberal daily PM (1940–48), Weegee established a way of combining photographs and texts that was distinctly different from that promoted by other picture magazines, such as Life. Utilizing other distribution venues, Weegee also wrote extensively (including his autobiographical Naked City, published in 1946) and organized his own exhibitions at the Photo League.
Cindy Sherman @ Museum of Modern Art - MoMA (more here)
February 26–June 11, 2012
Cindy Sherman (American, b. 1954) is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential artists in contemporary art. Throughout her career, she has presented a sustained, eloquent, and provocative exploration of the construction of contemporary identity and the nature of representation, drawn from the unlimited supply of images from movies, TV, magazines, the Internet, and art history. Working as her own model for more than 30 years, Sherman has captured herself in a range of guises and personas which are at turns amusing and disturbing, distasteful and affecting. To create her photographs, she assumes multiple roles of photographer, model, makeup artist, hairdresser, stylist, and wardrobe mistress. With an arsenal of wigs, costumes, makeup, prosthetics, and props, Sherman has deftly altered her physique and surroundings to create a myriad of intriguing tableaus and characters, from screen siren to clown to aging socialite.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Know My City: Discover great subway art (Raul Colon’s Primavera)

This is an occasional post on Dog Star featuring major works of art in the NYC subway system.
Re-posted from the New York Observer (here):  Any self-respecting art lover in New York is sure to visit the Met, but may overlook the M.T.A. “There are many people throughout the world who would be amazed; curators who take the subway are blown away,” said Sandra Bloodworth, who has directed the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Arts for Transit program since 1996, adding murals and mosaics by Museum of Modern Art stalwarts like Roy Lichtenstein, Elizabeth Murray and Sol LeWitt to subterranean walls. “You can see all of this work [by artists] in these museums-on the way to those museums.”  Since the Arts for Transit program began 25 years ago, it has installed more than 200 permanent pieces of artwork in subway stations all over the city (A complete guide is available here). Beyond the works by famous names, they include murals by public-school children and works by emerging artists who later became better known. Where does the money come from? In 1982, New York passed the “Percent for Art” law which requires that 1 percent of the budget for eligible city-funded construction projects be spent on artwork for city facilities.  The art is carefully selected to match the station. Ms. Bloodworth said, “It’s about what will resonate with the riders.” So here’s a look at some of what’s available for the cost of a MetroCard. 
Raul Colon’s Primavera 191st Street Station: 1 train
Primavera, the 15-foot-tall wall of color at this uptown subway station, was designed by Raul Colon, a celebrated artist and illustrator of children’s books, including My Mama Had a Dancing Heart and Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Primavera has the same magical feel of a children’s book, as a dancing couple (intentionally interracial, to celebrate the diversity of Washington Heights, said Mr. Colon) floats in the foreground. “I wanted to brighten [the station] up,” the artist said. “I thought of a nice spring day, a warm feel. I wanted to make it a celebration.” Mr. Colon was inspired by the feeling of Washington Heights, and by the arched space. “It had the feel of those old murals and religious paintings from the Renaissance. That’s why the children have those mystical wings,” he said.

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: We're bumpin' to the amazing Nina Simone's "Love Me or Leave Me" - She is definitely in her zone!

Monday, April 23, 2012

FREE! Go See Vivian Maier @ Steven Kasher Gallery - Great photography from a quiet and powerful "amateur"!

NEW YORK, NY.- Steven Kasher Gallery again presents the recently discovered work of Vivian Maier. Vivian Maier: Unseen Images features 35 black and white prints. When Maier died in 2009, she left behind more than 120,000 negatives and 2,000 undeveloped rolls of film. Last year, a couple hundred of these rolls, shot in the 1960s and 1970s, were finally developed. A selection of these images make their debut in this exhibition. Maier, whose day job was as a nanny, made over 100,000 distinctive street photographs, mostly in New York City and Chicago. What is known about Ms. Maier is that she was born in New York in 1926, lived in France (her mother was French) and returned to New York in 1951. Five years later, she moved to Chicago, where she worked for about 40 years as a nanny, principally for families in the North Shore suburbs. On her days off she wandered the streets of New York and Chicago, most often with a Rolleiflex camera. She did not share her pictures with others. Many of them she never saw herself: she left behind hundreds of undeveloped rolls. A large collection, including 12,000 negatives and 70 homemade movies, is in the hands of Jeff Goldstein and his collaborators at Vivian Maier Prints. The first boxful of Maier’s negatives was acquired for $400 at an auction in 2007. They had been in a commercial storage locker whose contents were seized for non-payment. After being posted on Flickr they received accolades, and have been featured in numerous exhibitions and publications worldwide. “The images are wonderful, with a keen but unvarnished empathy for their subjects, who include children, women, the indigent and the elderly…they may add to the history of 20th-century street photography by summing it up with an almost encyclopedic thoroughness, veering close to just about every well-known photographer you can think of, including Weegee, Robert Frank and Richard Avedon, and then sliding off in another direction. Yet they maintain a distinctive element of calm, a clarity of composition and a gentleness characterized by a lack of sudden movement or extreme emotion.” - Roberta Smith, New York Times, Art in Review, January 19, 2012.  Steven Kasher Gallery is EASY TO REACH at 521 West 23rd Street and this exhibition is on view until May 26.

Dog Star Select Helen Frankenthaler's "Radius" (1993)

Passport Ownership By State (What conclusions can we make about WHO owns a U.S. passport?)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dog Star Selects the Enzo Ferrari Museum

Dog Star knows it's not unusual for major car companies to build their own car museums.  These museums allow the company to showcase historic designs and innovations through the years.  One of the most famous car museums is the BMW showroom in Germany (here) and now the Italian favorite Ferrari now has its own home:  Enzo Ferrari Museum designed by Jan Kaplicky and Andrea Morgante, Modena, Italy.  We really like the "air vents" and the yellow roof!


"The desire to know your own soul will end all other desires." — Rumi (1207-1273)

Dog Star Selects the Hip-Hop Coloring Book

From DNAinfo: A new hip-hop coloring book is bringing old school classics to fresh, young faces. Graphic designer and Brooklyn-based hip hop artist James "Creative" Shields is the mastermind behind "The Hip Hop Coloring Book," recently released in paper form and in an interactive program designed for iPads, computers and smartphones. It's designed to educate kids as young as 3 about hip-hop artists like Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five and others. "It's a way to preserve the culture," said Shields, 26, who debuted the book and technology (which involved a digital drawing pad and projector) at the Bowery's Charles Bank Gallery on Saturday. "I was looking for something that wasn't cheesy, wasn't corny." Read the rest of the story here.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What to Do About Those People Who Sidetracked Your Life

Dog Star re-posted from Psychology Today (go here)

This article doesn’t have much to do with travel hacking or unconventional work. And in fact, it will only apply to a minority of the people who read it.  If you’ve always had a great life and nothing truly unfair has ever happened to you, feel free to skip this one. There’s lots of other great reading out there elsewhere.

But for the rest of you—this one goes out to everyone who has had terrible things happen to them that weren’t their fault.

I had a list of examples here that I thought fit the subject. But then I took out the list, because who am I to judge what is terrible and what is just bad? In the end, only a person who has been victimized, abused, or otherwise harmed knows the degree to which they have been hurt.

So there are no examples, but if the shoe fits, you know what to do.

Good people, bad things—what’s up with that?
It seems that bad things and good people tend to go hand in hand, and when the two meet up, we naturally want to know why. It’s not fair, we say, as if this blunt observation could change anything.

Entire books, eulogies, and sermons have been devoted to this topic, and yet most of them arrive at the same conclusion: we don’t know why.

But the fact is that all too often, the weak enjoy a show of force over the strong. It gives them a sense of power that they are unable to achieve through legitimate means.

After become sidetracked from being hurt, some people fail to recover. They end up emotionally or spiritually paralyzed, unable to get beyond the hurt they feel even after a long amount of time.

I don’t believe there’s a 12-step program to fix this problem. If something like that works for you, great. But if not, here are a few other ideas.

1. Don’t be bitter; be neutral. What happened wasn’t OK, but bitterness will end up hurting you even more.

2. Reevaluate your life. Recovery is always a good time to look at what you’re doing and determine if you are finding fulfillment through it. Did something teach you that life is short? You’re a survivor for a reason, so make it count.

3. Do the things you were told you couldn’t do. If someone said you would never amount to anything, go and prove them wrong. Don’t do it for their attention, and don’t expect them to acknowledge it later. Do it for yourself.

4. Prove yourself wrong. Most people who have been sidetracked have allowed low expectations from someone else to come into their own life somewhere. You don’t need to prove anything to someone else, but prove yourself wrong and learn to set higher expectations.

5. Refuse to believe that you’ll never be truly OK. Why can’t you fully recover? Maybe you can, maybe you can’t, but don’t rule it out right from the start with the belief that you’ll always be a victim.

My favorite poem is Ithaca by Constantine Cavavy. I love it because the theme is pretty much Life, Work, and Travel. That guy was ahead of his time!

You can read the whole poem if you’d like, but here’s the introduction:

When you start on your journey to Ithaca,
then pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
Do not fear the Lestrygonians
and the Cyclopes and the angry Poseidon.
You will never meet such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your body and your spirit.
You will never meet the Lestrygonians,
the Cyclopes and the fierce Poseidon,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not raise them up before you.

It’s time to say goodbye.

The Lestrygonians, the Cyclopes, the angry Poseidon, and those people who sidetracked your life—the way you avoid them, or at least get past them, is to refuse to carry them with you.

That’s why YOU will ultimately win, as long as you can let go of the people who will ultimately lose.

What you do with those people is really not that important. What’s more important is to figure out what to do with yourself; how you’ll change the world in spite of what happened.

You’ll know you’ve accomplished this when those people become irrelevant in your mind. You don’t hate them, you don’t love them—you just don’t care. Maybe you even feel a little sorry for them. In the end, you win because you’ve shown yourself to be stronger.

Often the people who have been hurt the most are the ones who go on to true greatness. They’ve seen the other side, and they’ll do anything to make something better for themselves and those around them.

The best news some of these people can hear is, “You don’t have to be afraid anymore.”

What a crazy idea! Oh, and this is good too:

“I can be changed by what happened to me, but I refuse to be reduced to it.” -Maya Angelou

Dog Star Selects Helen Frankenthaler's "Grey Fireworks" (Oil on canvas, 2000)

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: We are REALLY bumpin' to Cee Lo Green's "I Want You" - Get up and dance!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Using Mindfulness to Change Habits

Dog Star re-posts from this blog:

These days we frequently see wonderful and inspiring quotes, like:

“Holding a grudge is letting someone live rent-free in your head.”

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.”

For a few moments, we enjoy the wisdom, but soon we are naturally whisked back to our busy lives… and often enough, the next time we should have applied the wisdom, we find ourselves in old reactionary patterns. And it’s not just us — children in school face a similar challenge of trying to apply what they’ve been told in the heat of the moment.

So how do we take wise quotes and actually begin to incorporate their wisdom into our lives, since they always seem to be easier said than done? Fundamentally, it’s a question of how we change habits. And we all know how hard that can be!

Fortunately, mindfulness is a perfect tool to help us change habits. Each time we practice mindfulness, we improve our ability to notice what is going on in our thoughts, our emotions, and our senses. We don’t need to start by changing anything — we simply need to notice what we are doing.

As we begin trying to change a habit, we may find that it takes hours or even days to realize that we were acting, speaking, or thinking in a way we would prefer to change. Gradually, we’ll find that the time between the incidents and our recognition of them reduces. Eventually, that time becomes so small that we catch ourselves just after the incident. The habit still hasn’t changed, but from there, we will soon find that we can actually catch ourselves before we act, speak, or think in an unwholesome way.

We may find that we are able to change the habit in certain circumstances, but not in others. That too will change — over time, we can continue to be mindful even in more stressful situations.

It’s important to realize that it’s a gradual process, which helps us to be patient and realistic. But what you will find is that as your mindfulness practice strengthens, changing habits becomes easier. The more time you spend building up your capacity for mindfulness, the easier it will be to apply it when you need it most.

Discover How One American Family Influenced the 20th Century - Bring your friends!

Dog Star will return many times to this exhibition because it offers so much to discover about art, artists and collectors. In this new GIANT art show, the Met tells the story of how the Stein family of California influenced American attitudes toward modern art in three important ways. First, the Steins supported the French modern artists socially, financially and intellectually. Second, the Steins collected (bought, displayed, traded and sold) art by these modern artists. Third, the Steins spread the word around the world about the value of art, how to appreciate and what to love in the art made by these fresh new voices making art. The show is called "The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - DO NOT MISS IT! It will open your eyes and your heart to art that people have loved for a hundred years precisely because the Steins said, "Hey, look at what these guys are painting and it's wonderful!" Gertrude Stein, her brothers Leo and Michael, and Michael's wife Sarah were important patrons of modern art in Paris during the first decades of the twentieth century. This exhibition unites some two hundred works of art to demonstrate the significant impact the Steins' patronage had on the artists of their day and the way in which the family disseminated a new standard of taste for modern art. The Steins' Saturday evening salons introduced a generation of visitors to recent developments in art, particularly the work of their close friends Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, long before it was on view in museums. Beginning with the art that Leo Stein collected when he arrived in Paris in 1903—including paintings and prints by Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Édouard Manet, and Auguste Renoir—the exhibition traces the evolution of the Steins' taste and examines the close relationships formed between individual members of the family and their artist friends. While focusing on works by Matisse and Picasso, the exhibition also includes paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Denis, Juan Gris, Marie Laurencin, Jacques Lipchitz, Henri Manguin, André Masson, Elie Nadelman, Francis Picabia, and others.  The art in this post from top: Picasso, Matisse (middle below) and, bottom is Cezanne's "The Bathers." THE MET IS ALWAYS FREE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AND EASY TO REACH AT 82nd STREET & 5th AVENUE - On view until June 3, 2012.  A reader asks: Why do you sometimes post the same thing several times? Dog Star responds: Once it's posted readers may or may not get the chance to go see or do something.  We want to re-post to remind everyone of a terrific exhibition or activity!

Words to Live By

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Phil Frost: The Inspiration of Bob Marley

Dog Star has always been a Bob marley fan - who doesn't enjoy "Redemption Song"? In celebration of the upcoming release of Marley – Kevin Macdonald’s epic feature length documentary on the life of Bob Marley – artist Phil Frost (who’s known to be incredibly reclusive) participated in a terrific short video in which he, for the first time, talks about how his work and life has been influenced by Marley. Marley hits theaters and all the digital outlets (including Facebook) on 4/20 and includes never before seen footage and music.

Color Outside the Lines (New doc on black tattoo culture)

Dog Star is NOT a fan of tattoos but finds them endlessly fascinating. Devoted readers know Dog Star would NEVER get a tattoo but the motivation to get one is clearly strong in many others! Years ago, tattoo artist Miya Bailey came up with the idea to show the world that people like him did exist, black tattoo artists. Now, after years of research Bailey is proud to present his documentary Color Outside the Lines. Shot by director Artemus Jenkins, the film sets out to chronicle the contributions of Black tattoo artists all over the world and expose the racism that many of them endure. Go here for a great interview with Miya Bailey on Loop21.

Imaginary Dog Star Landscapes

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cause & Effect (Impact of Media on Young Girls) - Share with friends and family!

What if the Old Masters' nudes were today's skinny models?

Botticelli's Birth of Venus reworked on the website
Botticelli's The Birth of Venus as madeover by the artist Anna Utopia Giordano. But what's changed? Compare with the original below. Photograph:
Botticelli's Venus is quite slender by the standards of Italian Renaissance nudes. Floating towards us on her shell, she seems perfectly proportioned. And she is. But what happens if you play around with a reproduction of this beloved painting on your computer and reduce her waistline to meet the demands of a modern catwalk or magazine? Italian artist Anna Utopia Giordano did – and the results, online at, are shocking and grotesque. They make you realise how remote in attitudes to the body the great nudes of art are from contemporary ideals of beauty, and how bizarre and limiting our own perspective is.
The original Botticelli Birth of Venus  
The original Botticelli Birth of Venus … those hips, that stomach! Photograph: Uffizi Gallery in Florence/Corbis Some people would say that a painting like Titian's Venus of Urbino is a pornographic indulgence intended to gratify Renaissance princes in a coarse and carnal way. There is truth in that – when Titian was working on a later, even more sensual nude, the patron was assured it would "make the Venus of Urbino look like a nun". But if fleshly paintings are high-class erotica, this digital experiment shows they offer a far more inclusive, natural vision of the sexy than what is promoted in adverts and celebrity voyeurism today. As is obvious from the "skinny" version, the original Venus of Urbino has plenty of flesh on her. Titian's friend, Aretino, said Venetian men (such as Titian) love "tits and arses and sumptuous flesh".  As a matter of fact, there are Renaissance nudes that are just as skinny as any fashion designer could demand. The German painter Lucas Cranach the Elder portrayed strikingly thin and narrow-waisted nudes. His Venus believed you could never be too bony or wear too many hats. But he was a close friend of Martin Luther, and believed the body to be a vessel of sin. Those sensual Italians had a more abundant and generous idea of beauty.
Re-posted from The Guardian (here)


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind." — Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Seuss Geisel)

BOLLYWOOD MASH UP! Fake translation of Indian Song (This is really funny stuff!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Have you seen it yet? Keith Haring @ Brooklyn Museum - Bring your friends!

Keith Haring: 1978–1982
March 16–July 8, 2012
Keith Haring: 1978–1982 is the first large-scale exhibition to explore the early career of one of the best-known American artists of the twentieth century. Tracing the development of Haring’s extraordinary visual vocabulary, the exhibition includes 155 works on paper, numerous experimental videos, and over 150 archival objects, including rarely seen sketchbooks, journals, exhibition flyers, posters, subway drawings, and documentary photographs.