Dog Star / A Creative Arts Guide

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DOG STAR NYC IS A CREATIVE ARTS GUIDE | ART + THEATER + CHEAP DATES + POP CULTURE + FREE EVENTS + CITY LIVING + DESIGN + MUSIC + PHOTOGRAPHY + SPORTS + VIDEO + FILM + STREET LIFE + WRITING + POETRY & LOTS OF FUN + MAKE ART OUT OF YOUR LIFE!

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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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

EMAIL: dogstarcontact@gmail.com

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!

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happy 193rd Birthday, Walt Whitman!

From Gothamist:
On May 31, 1819 Walt Whitman was born in Huntington, Long Island (which has been in the news lately for less auspicious reasons). From there, the second of nine children grew up to become one of the America's greatest wordsmiths, not to mention arguably the patron saint of Brooklyn—as the editor of the Brooklyn Eagle he helped push for the creation of Fort Greene Park in 1843! So how are you going to celebrate the 193rd birthday of the man? We've got some suggestions!  To start, the Poetry Foundation has quite a few works from the "latter-day successor to Homer, Virgil, Dante and Shakespeare's" on their website worth perusing (here's one we've always liked). But if you want to make it a little more physical, why not take this well-researched 90 minute self-guided walking tour that mixes a glimpse of what remains of Whitman's New York with his own poetry. Or just read it, you'll learn something!

FREE! Noon Concerts @ Metrotech in Downtown Brooklyn - Bring your friends!


Dog Star knows that many teens will try to get a Summer job and will most likely be working during the day.  Each Thursday in the Summer, though, will feature a noon concert at Metrotech's wide open lawn between the office buildings.  It's one of the nicest outdoor festivals each year and even better that it's not in crowded Manhattan.  BAM's R & B Festival (more here) will feature Afro Latin Jazz and Aloe Blacc - he's terrific and he will definitely win over some new fans on August 9!

Ten Summer Festivals - Bring your friends!


1
Human Rights Watch 2012 Film Festival
ManhattanThurs, June 14, 2012 – Thurs, June 28, 2012
Bear witness to human rights violations around the world and courageous individuals on both sides of the lens. More
2
Word for Word 2012
ManhattanWed, May 16, 2012 – Tues, Aug 21, 2012
Word for Word is a free outdoor reading series that features bestselling authors, celebrity writers and expert-panelists sharing anecdotes, answering questions from the audience and signing copies of their latest books.  More
3
Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
ManhattanMon, June 18, 2012 – Mon, Aug 20, 2012
The HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, now with Pepsi and presented with Ralph Lauren, begins on June 18. Get your blankets and picnics ready, and start eyeing your favorite place on the lawn. More
4
The 34th Annual Museum Mile Festival
ManhattanTues, June 12, 2012
Museum Mile Festival attendees can walk the mile between 82nd Street and 105th Street while visiting nine of New York City’s finest cultural institutions open free to the public throughout the evening. More
5
Midsummer Night Swing Dancing 101s
ManhattanPlease check full listing for event date and times
On June 6, 13 and 20, learn and how to swing dance and salsa before Midsummer Night Swing starts on June 26 by taking part in three "Dancing 101" sessions at the David Rubenstein Atrium.  More
6
New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Park
ManhattanWed, July 11, 2012 – Tues, July 17, 2012
The New York Philharmonic performs two programs in various parks all over the city for one week in July. More
7
Shakespeare in the Park: As You Like It
ManhattanTues, June 5, 2012 – Sat, June 30, 2012
As You Like It has everything we adore about Shakespearean comedy: mistaken identity, cross-dressing, madness, mayhem, rage, lust, laughter, and of course, plenty of romance—both heartbreaking and joyous.  More
8
Shakespeare in the Park: Into the Woods
ManhattanMon, July 23, 2012 – Sat, Aug 25, 2012
A Tony Award-winning masterpiece by musical theater giants Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, Into the Woods is a witty and irreverent reimagining of beloved classic fairytales: Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Cinderella. More
9
SummerStage 2012
ManhattanTues, June 5, 2012 – Thurs, Aug 30, 2012
Summer Stage is New York's premier free performing arts festival. Founded in 1986, it brings performances of superior artistic caliber, free of charge, to large and diverse audiences. More
River to River Festival
ManhattanSun, June 17, 2012 – Sun, July 15, 2012
River To River Festival, Lower Manhattan’s free annual summer arts festival, takes place seven days a week from June 17 through July 15 for a densely-packed month of music, dance, film, theater, visual art, ideas, experiences and family programs at locations throughout Downtown New York. More

Discover the Hutterites

Dog Star re-posts this story from the NY Post (here):
Get ready for a very personal look at a community you’ve never seen before on TV — or anywhere else, for that matter.

National Geographic Channel’s “American Colony: Meet the Hutterites,” a 10-episode docu-series premiering this Tuesday (10 p.m.), goes inside King Colony, a 59-person Hutterite community in Montana that’s let cameras into its world for the first time.

But if you’re expecting the insular, suspicious-of-outsiders milieu chronicled in shows about the Amish, Mennonite and Gypsy communities, think again: the Hutterites dress differently, and speak with a German inflection (they’re of German descent and pray in German), but they’re friendly, polite and welcoming to strangers — and they totally embrace modern technology (including cell phones, Facebook and high-tech machinery).

“They’re a walking contradiction,” says “American Colony” executive producer Jeff Collins (whose company, Collins Avenue, produced the series). “The big distinction between them and other groups is that they’re Anabaptists — they don’t believe anyone should be baptized until they’re old enough to know what they’re committing to.

“And they don’t brainwash their community members,” he says. “The Hutterites can leave any time they want and there’s no arranged marriage. In fact, they don’t get married too young ... so it’s counter-intuitive to what you might think.”

The community, named after founder Jakob Hutter, traces its roots back to the 16th Century and is settled mostly in Montana and the Dakotas.  (The community “elders” live over the border in Canada — which is the furthest most Hutterites have ever traveled.)

But just because they embrace the modern world (or the “English,” in their parlance) doesn’t mean the Hutterites dismiss their heritage. It’s just the opposite; they expect community members to hew closely to Hutterite customs and traditions — evident in the drama that develops over the series’ arc between rebellious, 19-year-old Claudia and her battles with her mother, Bertha.

Collins’ crew were able to gain access to the normally closed community through co-executive producer Trever James, who grew up alongside the King Colony (in Great Falls) and whose father hunted with the Hutterite men. “He’s known people in King Colony all his life and traded on that relationship,” Collins says. “Trever told me they drink, have fun, are friendly and aren’t cold toward the ‘English’ like the Amish and Mennonites ... that they’re totally non-judgmental.”

Collins says the fact that Nat Geo is airing the series went over big with the Hutterites, since National Geographic magazine featured a cover story on them years ago.

“It was like, ‘This is legit,’ ” he says. “These are the most fascinating, complicated people you’ll ever meet.”

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: We're bumpin' to "If You Could Read My Mind" by Viola Wills - Big Disco Hit of the 1980s!

Words to Live By

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Shepard Fairey for Ebony Magazine Trayvon Martin Cover Art

Dog Star says this is a great use of popular art for political purposes.  Hopefully, the Fairey cover will continue to bring attention to the senseless killing of Trayvon.  This month’s Ebony Magazine finds world-renowned artist Shepard Fairey providing the cover artwork for an accompanying story that profiles the death of Trayvon Martin – a national issue that remains a hot-button topic. In speaking about the pending homicide investigation, Fairey took to his blog and said “I have followed Trayvon’s case closely and I think any compassionate human being can relate to Trayvon as a brother or son and would want to see a thorough investigation into the killing of an unarmed person. In my portrait I wanted to emphasize Trayvon’s humanity as well as the public outcry for a just investigation into his death."


When an Old Man Feels Alive Inside

Dog Star knows devoted readers will be pleasantly surprised at what happens in this clip. It is an emotionally moving scene when Henry is given music from his era. In the clip you will see a British scientist named Dr. Oliver Sacks - he is a world leader in finding out how to get inside the brain with innovative treatment using music. Find out more about Dr. Sacks here.  Dr. Sacks lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University.  We don't particularly like the title of the clip on YouTube ("Old Man In Nursing Home Reacts To Hearing Music From His Era") - while it is descriptive it doesn't get at the heart of of what happens - the power of music to make a person feel alive inside.

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

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!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

VERY FUNNY! The Many Faces of Jennifer Holiday

Obama Beats Romney in Huffington Post Projection

Dog Star says here's the updated electoral projection by Huffington Post. Of course, as the New York Times pointed out last week, Romney will likely lose his own state of Mass. and, historically but not always, candidates who lose their home state generally do not win the election.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

‎"Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing." - Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

Instantly Old (The retro mojo of Facebook’s shiny new toy)

Re-posted from New York Magazine:

We know what Facebook sees in Instagram, the photo app it just bought for $1 billion: a firmer grip on your smartphone, and a potential rival for eyeballs that had to be snapped up before someone else got to it. But the popularity of Instagram itself among its 40 million–and–counting users is at first harder to figure. You take your snapshot, then apply a digital filter—the effects range from high-contrast black-and-white to sepia to seventies-Polaroid—to make it look like an old analog print that you can then share with your social networks.

More precisely, you take your pristine high-tech photo and damage it, messing up its tonal balance, vignetting it, discoloring it. Why would anyone want to do that? Well, simple novelty, but novelty passes. The filters (like those on Hipstamatic and other photo apps) also compensate for an amateur shutterbug’s spotty craftsmanship, shifting emphasis from the composition and content to the treatment. But the real draw goes deeper than that. Instagram is tapping the sense—a sense that has almost been lost—that a photograph is itself a precious object.

For a century and a half, a photo was a physical thing: a print, a sheet of negative, a reel of film. You could make copies with a little effort, but if you didn’t want to, and you stowed the single image somewhere, that was it. Each handmade one was, until you decided otherwise, unique. (It was expensive, too. When Polaroid introduced SX-70 film in 1972, it cost $6.90 for ten pictures, or about $38 today.) In the digital realm, a photo is a collection of bits, infinitely replicable, essentially cost-free, and (often) taken with commensurate thought. Any one copy is disposable, especially if the file is stored in the cloud and can be replicated at a moment’s notice. The image may be special, but the object loses its intrinsic value.

What Instagram does is make a photo feel like a one-of-a-kind treasure again. The fading you apply is fake, but it puts you in mind of the childhood snapshot of yourself that your grandmother kept in the living room—and not just the image but the actual print, the memento itself. The square format of Instagram’s images adds to the mystique, evoking the era of the Polaroid SX-70 and the Kodak 126 cartridge, both of which were staples of the seventies, and both of which have given way to rectangular displays like the 35-millimeter frame, the 16:9 high-def TV, and the iPhone and iPad screens. The Instagram filters that make photos most look like Polaroid prints hit a kind of nostalgic trifecta—instant photos, having no separate negative, were virtually irreproducible. If you lost one, you lost the memory that it evoked. That’s of course not true of the Instagram version, but it can start to feel the same way.

It’s worth noting that even as Insta­gram, with all of thirteen employees, has become a billion-dollar company, old-fashioned film, the kind that inherently makes old-fashioned pictures, has been making a small-scale comeback. Last year, as Kodak rattled down the hill toward bankruptcy, dropping product lines left and right, its shrunken film division was the only one to post a profit. Harman Technology, the parent company of the British black-and-white specialist Ilford Photo, reported in 2011 that film sales were up for the first time in many years. The Impossible Project, the small company that took over Polaroid’s last factory and restarted instant-film production, sold just under a million packs of film (retail price: $21.99 to $28) in 2011. It just may be that Instagram, by reawakening people to the idea that a photo is something to be treasured, has inadvertently helped save an entire medium. Fittingly, the hotshot startup has seen fit to honor its predecessor: In its San Francisco headquarters, an array of vintage Polaroid cameras sits on proud display.

Dog Star Selects Karmin's Cover of Chris Brown's "Look at Me Now"

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dog Star Time Machine: Bobby Kennedy, 1968

Dog Star Time Machine:  Bobby Kennedy on the cover of TIME magazine (May 24, 1968) as painted by Roy Lichtenstein during the 1968 presidential campaign. RFK would be shot dead less than two weeks later in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, now a school that bears his name. Below is the cover and bottom is Lichtenstein’s original drawing for the cover.  Right now there is a giant retrospective of Roy's work at the Art Institute of Chicago - check out their website!


Meet Graffiti Artists of Classic Hits @ Greenlight Books in Brooklyn

Greenlight Bookstore (more here) will host several artists featured in this new book of classic graffiti art from the 1970s.  Thsi bookstore is EASY TO REACH at 686 Fulton Street at South Portland Street.  Nearby trains to Atlantic Avenue and Nevins stops.

Friday, June 1, 7:30 PM
Authors Alan Fleisher and Paul Iovino present Classic Hits: New York's Pioneering Subway Graffiti Writers
Signing by original subway writers Ale 1, Blade 1, and others
Early 70s New York saw the growth of a new artistic phenomenon: created by kids, for kids, graffiti became one of the greatest and most influential artistic movements of our time, spawning contemporary artists like Seen, Banksy, and Revok. In Classic Hits, Bronx natives Alan Fleisher (ALE) and Paul Iovino (SKAY) talk about where it all started, drawing on their first-hand knowledge of graffiti culture and continued friendship with other pioneers to create the most visual book on early 1970s graffiti ever published, including essays and quotations from the greats of the era. Alan and Paul will talk briefly about their experiences and host a signing with writers featured in the book, including Ale 1, Blade 1 and others, to a custom-made soundtrack of 1970s hits!  Watch a promo for the book here!

Lazy, Hazy Summer Days: A New York Times Guide - Bring your friends!

New York can be a sweltering concrete jungle in the summer. But the city is also a huge, beautiful playground. And if ever there was a year to schedule a summer “staycation,” 2012 might be it. With food festivals, free concerts and a safe and sanctioned dip into the East River, there is more than enough happening to keep you happily occupied till Labor Day. Whether you are an athlete, aesthete, scholar, theatergoer, concertgoer, tourist or most anything else, here are some suggestions to get you started. 


Governors Island opens this weekend. Visitors who hop the free ferry there on Sunday can pig out at 5 Boro PicNYC, a craft beer, food and music festival. There are competitive cooking events to watch, as well: sausage and grilled cheese cook-offs and a taco challenge (May 27, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 5boropicnyc.com; $25). Once you’re full, check out “Amelia,” a site-specific Civil War drama staged at Fort Jay (May 26 and 27, then Thursdays through Sundays through June 17, 3 p.m., ameliatheplay.com; free)

Passage to Randalls Island is also free, but you won’t need a boat. Walk across the newly restored 103rd Street footbridge from Manhattan to see Go With the Flow, a morning of live music by the Mariachi Academy of New York, tennis and soccer lessons for the children, arts activities and more (June 2, 10 a.m. to noon, randallsisland.org; free). The program includes Flow. 12, an exhibition of five site-specific art installations that will be on view all summer.

The Transit of Venus, a rare astronomical event in which the planet can be seen passing across the sun, will take place on June 5, the first time since 2004, though North America will get only a quick glimpse before the sun sets. Members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York will be observing beginning at 4 p.m. from the High Line in Chelsea (enter at 14th Street and 10th Avenue) and at Riverside Park South, next to Pier I Café, near West 70th Street. The group regularly offers stargazing on Tuesday nights, too, continuing all summer at the High Line location (8:30 p.m.). The park, which now stretches from Gansevoort Street to West 30th Street, is also a great place just to mosey around (7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, thehighline.org). 

This summer is the 50th anniversary of Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. A production of “As You Like It” with original bluegrass tunes composed by Steve Martin starts next week (June 5-30; free). Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” will follow (July 23-Aug. 25, shakespeareinthepark.org; free). There are plenty more free Shakespeare events coming up, including another “As You Like It,” from the Inwood Shakespeare Festival (June 6-23, Inwood Hill Park Peninsula, moosehallisf.org; free), a production of “The Comedy of Errors” in Riverside Park (June 7-July 1, hudsonwarehouse.net; free) and an all-female production of “Henry V” being staged outdoors in a few locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn (June 16-July 17, manhattanshakes.org; free).

Summer brings rooftop dining and the occasional rooftop film screening. Less expected might be the Academy of American Poets’ annual “Poetry From the Rooftops” series. On June 14, atop the arsenal building in Central Park, Dan Beachy-Quick, Harmony Holiday and Eileen Myles will participate in the first of the twilight talks this year. Others are planned for July 12, Aug. 9 and Sept. 13 (6:30 p.m., Arsenal Building at Central Park, 64th Street at Fifth Avenue, poets.org/rooftop; free). 

Williamsburg Park, a new concert space at Kent Avenue and North 12th Street in Brooklyn that will fit about 7,000 people, opens this summer, with the first concert set for June 15. Jens Lekman, Of Montreal, the Thermals and Beach Fossils will perform that day (doors open at 4 p.m.; $33.50), as part of the busy fourth annual Northside Festival. The festival’s 70 musical acts are spread among more than 25 sites in Williamsburg and Greenpoint from June 14 to 17. Northside continues through June 21 and includes art, film and entrepreneurship components, as well (northsidefestival.com). 

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra will open the annual Naumburg Orchestral Concerts series at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park (June 19, 7:30 p.m.). The series, which has been presenting free outdoor classical concerts since 1905, will also include appearances by the Knights (July 10 and 24) and Lara St. John and Friends (Aug. 7; Naumburg Bandshell, south of the 72nd Street cross-drive, Central Park, naumburgconcerts.org). 

Commemorate the summer solstice and the official start of summer at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens, where you can watch the sun set behind the Manhattan skyline at the end of the longest day of the year. The annual celebration includes art workshops, face painting and more (June 20, 5 p.m. to dusk, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, socratessculpturepark.org; free).

The annual NYC Pride March, with Cyndi Lauper among the grand marshals this year, is always quite a party (June 24, 11 a.m., beginning at Fifth Avenue and 36th Street and ending at Christopher and Greenwich Streets, Manhattan, nycpride.org). The festivities also include Rapture on the River, for lesbian, bisexual, transgender and other women (June 23, 4-11 p.m., Pier 57, 15th Street at the West Side Highway; $25 in advance or $35); PrideFest, the annual street fair (June 24, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Hudson Street between Abingdon Square and West 14th Street) and other ancillary events.

The very funny Chicagoan Hannibal Buress, who recently won the 2012 Comedy Award for best club comic, is coming to Red Hook Park in Brooklyn for a one-night event on June 24 at 7:30 p.m. The performance is one of the more than 200 free events citywide that make up this year’s City Parks Foundation Summerstage extravaganza (summerstage.org). 

You can call it “FEEL ... FORM,” but the full title of the work by the choreographer Luciana Achugar is “FEELingpleasuresatisfactioncelebrationholyFORM.” It is a dance meditation for four women, and will be performed at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal four times (June 30-July 3) as part of this year’s River to River Festival. The performing arts festival’s calendar is crammed with indoor and outdoor events, all free and all over town, including the Philip Glass Ensemble playing at Rockefeller Park and the annual Bang on a Can Marathon (June 17-July 15, rivertorivernyc.com). 

For a break from the sun, try visiting a dark theater. The New York Musical Theater Festival usually occurs in the fall but is moving to midsummer this year (July 9-29, nymf.org). The festival, where “Next to Normal” and “[title of show]” had their premieres, will again offer a number of new musicals. Also coming up are the Planet Connections Theater Festivity (May 30-June 24, planetconnections.org), Midtown International Theater Festival (July 16-Aug. 12, midtownfestival.org) and the New York International Fringe Festival (Aug. 10-26, fringenyc.org). 

Several independent bookstores in Brooklyn are banding together for “Books Beneath the Bridge,” a new outdoor reading and discussion series in Brooklyn Bridge Park. On six consecutive Monday nights at 7, a different bookstore will present an event. The first, scheduled for July 9 and curated by Freebird Books, will feature Brian Francis Slattery reading from his post-apocalyptic novel “Lost Everything.” 

Remember when your mother used to tell you to go out and play instead of sitting in front of the television? Well grown-ups can take that advice, too, at the annual Come Out and Play Festival. Hunt down other players in the dark streets around South Street Seaport during After Dark (July 13, 7 p.m. to midnight) or play dodge ball and lots of other games at the Field Day on Governors Island (July 14, noon to 6 p.m., comeoutandplay.org). 

It is probably safe to assume that David Johansen of the New York Dolls and Joan Baez don’t have a million things in common, but both hail from Staten Island, and both are featured in “Island Sounds: A 500 Year Music Mash-Up” at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden. This new multimedia exhibition includes artifacts and memorabilia of many musicians who were born or lived on Staten Island, including Vernon Reid from Living Colour, RZA from Wu-Tang Clan and Roy Clark (Wednesdays through Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. through Dec. 20, 2013, snug-harbor.org; $5; students and seniors, $4; children under 12, free). Leave some time to stroll the center’s gardens after the indoor exhibition. 

We see boats in the East River far more often than we see swimmers, but floating bodies (live ones) do flood the waters around Manhattan every so often. NYC Swim, which has run events in the river since 1993, will hold its annual 1K Brooklyn Bridge Swim on July 15. Participants plop into the water at Brooklyn Bridge Park and swim over to East River Park, at Dover Street and South Street in Manhattan. NYC Swim holds other events, too, including a Governors Island Swim on July 28 (nycswim.org). 

The Finnish accordion player Kimmo Pohjonen’s odd and intriguing performance piece “Accordion Wrestling” (in which a group of Greco-Roman wrestlers fight/dance while he plays) is one of the eclectic offerings at the 42nd annual Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival. In all, the festival will offer more than 100 free performances at the Damrosch Park Bandshell and the plazas at Lincoln Center (July 25-Aug. 12, lcoutofdoors.org). 

The city will soon be populated with bicycles bearing the Citibank logo, as the new CitiBike bike-sharing program begins this summer. Eventually, 600 stations will hold about 10,000 bikes available for 24-hour transportation, with the first stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn expected to open in late July. Riders will be able to buy daily ($9.95), weekly ($25) or annual memberships ($95) for unlimited short trips; longer rides cost extra (citibikenyc.com). 

Summer’s almost over and you haven’t been to Coney Island yet? Unforgivable! The Scream Zone section of Luna Park has expanded to include go-carts and a pseudo-sky-diving experience, Boardwalk Flight, that will swing you through the skies at 60 miles per hour. The thrill rides Soarin’ Eagle and Sling Shot and the nearly 85-year-old Cyclone roller coaster are still there, too. If your stomach isn’t up for the rides, perhaps check out sideshow acts like Scott Baker eating fire or glass (coneyisland.com). Still feeling squeamish? Visit the New York Aquarium or attend a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game instead. 

We began our summer 2012 by stuffing ourselves on Governors Island, so why not end it the same way? The annual “Pig Island” blowout will feature local farmers, chefs, vintners, brewers and a whole lot of hogs. (Sept. 1, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., pigisland.com; $55). The continuing interactive sculpture garden “Figment” will be there, too, through Sept. 23 (newyork.figmentproject.org).

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

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

Dog Star Selects Vincent van Gogh's Emperor Moth (1889) - Painted a year before he died.


Dog Star Selects Andrew Baterina's "Live Free"

Sunday, May 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.

Discover '70s Brit Rockers THE JAM





Saturday, May 26, 2012

FREE! Museum Mile on June 12 - Bring your friends!

Museum Mile FestivalDog Star remembers it rained at last year's Museum Mile. It was so warm, though, that there were still thousands of people walking up and down Fifth Avenue (closed to traffic) and going in and out of the museums. If you have never been to Museum Mile - won't you go this year? There's lots to see and do for teens - live bands on the street, free admission at ten museums and lots of people to meet. 
Tuesday, June 12, 2012, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Ten of the country's finest museums, all ones that call Fifth Avenue home, collectively open their doors from 6pm - 9pm for free to New Yorkers and visitors for a mile-long block party and visual art celebration. This traffic-free, music- and art-filled celebration fills the street and sidewalks of Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 105th street.

Happy Birthday Miles Davis!

Dog Star places Miles Davis in our TOP TWENTY of all-time favorite human beings - he is one of the most talented and incredible human beings who has ever walked this planet.  Today would have been his 86th birthday - he died in 1991 at age 65.  Read more here.  We urge devoted Dog Star readers to listen to Miles regularly for spiritual uplifting!


Kanye West Gets into Architecture for Film Screening

Dog Star re-posts pics and edited content from Hypebeast (more here):  Kanye West’s Seven-Screen “Cruel Summer” Pyramid by OMA.  The firm was commissioned to create a special pyramid-shaped pavilion to house the seven-screen experience. Designed in collaboration with DONDA, the pavilion seats 200 and is located along Palm Beach with a panoramic backdrop of Cannes and the Mediterranean. Immersing the audience in a defined space by the seven cinematic screens and constructed of steel, the pavilion served as the home to Cruel Summer for both its star-studded premiere and public showings. 





Video Essay: "And Introducing..."

Video Essay: "And Introducing..." from Flavorwire on Vimeo.

Words to Live By

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson!

Dog Star salutes great American tap dancer and actor Bill Robinson (go here for more) who was born in Richmond, Virginia on this day (May 25)  in 1878. By the age of five he was dancing in local beer gardens. Both of his parents died by the time he was seven and he was raised by his grandmother. At age eight he toured with a dance troupe. In 1905 he went to work in Vaudeville (go here for more) and became the toast of Broadway. In 1908 he was earning $3,500 a week… roughly $85,000 in today’s dollars. He served in the trenches in WWI. He starred in the hit stage production of “Blackbirds of 1928,” in which he danced his famous “stair dance."  He claimed to have created it spontaneously when he danced up a flight of stairs to receive an honor from the King of England. The dance was recreated with Shirley Temple (more here) in “The Little Colonel.”  He is considered one of the greatest tap dancers ever!


Know My City: Discover great subway art (Elizabeth Murray's Blooming)

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. 
Elizabeth Murray’s Blooming
Between 59th Street and 59th Street/Lexington Avenue stations: 4, 5, 6, N and R trains and 23rd Street/Ely Avenue Station: E train
A red tree blooms eternally in the 59th Street Station passageway, thanks to Elizabeth Murray, one of only a handful of women ever to be honored with a career-long retrospective at MoMA. The giant mosaic, which wraps around walls and corners, was created by Murray in 1996. Named Blooming, after the Bloomingdale’s above it, this work features giant slippers and coffee cups, artifacts of the daily morning commute. Another Murray work, Steam, is on view at the 23rd Street/Ely Avenue Station in Queens. It displays the same colorful whimsy as Blooming-in one mosaic, a city skyline is trampled by giant boots.

Dog Star Selects J. Cole's "Work Out"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

SERIOUS ART STUDENTS ONLY! FREE @ The Frick: Cool Classes for Hot Nights!

Dog Star knows there will be a few devoted readers who will sign up for these FREE classes.  For high school students it's an opportunity to begin the social and learning process WITH OTHER COLLEGE STUDENTS AND YOUNG ADULTS in a small, socially safe and very directed way.  What does this mean, really?  Well, teen readers who want to learn more about art should sign up for these free Frick classes.  Nobody needs to be worried about how others will see you or whether or not you qualify to be there - it's not a school, not a campus and you don't have to apply.   Nobody else attending has any advantages in the program.  All teen and college participants will bring the same thing:  curiosity, an open mind, a willingness to learn and talk with others and they'll share whatever background and art experiences they've already had in a museum.  Consider taking a date and going to one of the programs with your friends!  Remember:  Believe you belong in the world and be curious.  Go here for link to more dates for classes and to register.  In the photo above is an early evening view of The Frick building's portico gallery.  The Frick is EASY TO REACH at One East 70th Street, just off Fifth Avenue and just a few blocks from the #6 train at Lexington & 68th Street.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012  @ 6 - High School & University Students 
Cool Classes for Hot Nights: "Roses & the Rococo"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 @ 6 - High School & University Students 
Cool Classes for Hot Nights: "Text, Image, Interpretation" (1 of 3)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 6 - High School & University Students
Cool Classes for Hot Nights: "Text, Image, Interpretation" (2 of 3)

Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 6 - High School & University Students
Cool Classes for Hot Nights: "Text, Image, Interpretation" (3 of 3)

Sculpture by Kate MacDowell

See more pics of Kate's sculpture - go here!





Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Delivering Wackness (New 85th Mixtape)

Dog Star wishes we lived in a perfect world.  If we lived in a perfect world 85th would be headlining a summer tour and THEIR opening acts would be J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar.  It's a good thing this dedicated hip hop collective isn't waiting for a major label to sign them - they have just released their new mixtape "Delivering Wackness" and you can download it here.


Devoted Dog Star and 85th fans will already be familiar with their club anthem "Satisfied" but it's infectious hook and snappy lyrics make it just one gem among a number of fine tracks.  The 85th team shines with their founding producer Ken-I and several guests including Ghryzly Atoms ("Thug Life") and Benson Graves ("Rolling Stone").  Eleagle channels fresh vibes and a fiery flow on "Phone Check" - he has never sounded so viscerally engaged and impassioned as he does on this track.  Male crooners of another era (Harold Melvin, Teddy Pendergrast, Donny Hathaway) surface in the doo-wop inflected "Gina from MySpace" - it's not only funny but it effectively updates the saccharine romanticism for the Fakebook generation.  Other standouts include "Silence," "Hip Hop For That" and "Pimp By Love" - which features a throbbing bass line muscling its way over a repeating piano solo.  "Pimp" slides into Tyga / Wacka Flocka / French Montana territory in its explicit descriptions of girl craziness - happily it's more eloquent than any of those three will ever be, even if it does include lines like "Rodney King-an bitches and puttin' the pipe down."


85th performs an all-ages show on Thursday, May 24 at Brooklyn's Knitting Factory (go here) - longtime fans and new followers can count on performances from "Delivering Wackness."  This self-effacing hip hop powerhouse is definitely NOT delivering wackness.

Great Gatsby Trailer (Coming Christmas 2012)

Moscow Flash Mob

Dog Star Art School - Auguste Rodin's Masterpiece "Gates of Hell"

Rodin’s The Gates of Hell  (1880-1917)







Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, Victor Hugo (French Writer Extraordinaire!)

“I met in the street a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat worn, his cloak was out at the elbows, the water passed through his shoes, - and the stars through his soul.” - Victor Hugo

Dog Star Selects Street Artist PHELGM on the Isle of Man

Dog Star re-posts from Arrested Motion (here): Street muralist Phlegm recently came across an abandoned pool on the Isle of Man and immediately knew what to do. Befitting the location next to the sea and true to his longstanding love affair with marine imagery, the Sheffield-based artist painted a large sea creature with one of his signature characters in tow. Adding an added layer of complexity was the background filled with years of graf work.  BTW:  Isle of Man is in the Irish Sea, off the northwest coast of Britain and is a British island.





Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: EL GUINCHO's "Bombay" - Now, get up and dance around the room!


EL GUINCHO | Bombay from MGdM | Marc Gómez del Moral on Vimeo.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Prom by Mary-Ellen Mark

Dog Star re-posts from the Getty Museum blog (here):   

What will I wear? Who will be my date? Should we rent a limo? With prom season approaching, these are questions going through American teenagers’ minds. This all-American experience of going to prom marks the end of high school and the beginning of adulthood. Between 2006 and 2009, documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark traveled to 13 high schools to produce Prom, a fascinating look at dozens of teens from a diverse range of backgrounds on this memorable night.

Mark intentionally chose schools representing varied socioeconomic situations—including an exclusive private academy in Pacific Palisades, an urban public school in Newark, an upper-middle-class suburban school in Austin, and the pediatric ward at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center—to explore the similarities and differences in prom traditions. For example, white middle-class young women in Pittsburgh bought their similar looking dresses at the same local department store, while African American women had custom dresses made, each one a unique creation.

Using a six-foot-tall, 250-pound Polaroid Land 20 x 24 camera, which required special technicians to operate, Mark set up a photography studio at each prom she attended. Her interns scoured the dance floor for interesting subjects. After being photographed, the students went to another studio where they were interviewed for a documentary by Mark’s husband, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Martin Bell. On the film, the students talk about their dates, their high school experiences, and speculate on their futures. You can see a sneak peek of the film at the top of the post.

Quotations from the filmed interviews punctuate the book, which also includes a DVD of the documentary. Some of the students’ statements are comical, while others are deeply touching. The result is a captivating and revealing document of American youth at the beginning of the 21st century.