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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Discover School of Life

Dog Star really likes School of Life (more here) because it shows us alternative ways to think about how we live our lives.  Sadly, the actual "school" is in London, England.  As a kid, we were hear adults say, "Yeah, I went to college - it's called the School of Life.  I learned lessons the hard way - by living them and making mistakes."  Founded by writer Alain de Botton (more here) and his friends, School of Life seeks to  offer low-cost books and workshops on different topics.  Recent course topics include "How to Find a Job You love" and "The Art of Simpler Living."  It isn't as if we think any of our devoted teen readers will be taking one of these classes - they are in London, after all - but that spending time on the School's website  (videos, excerpts, topics, ideas) might open a whole new world of thinking about life in a fresh ways.  One of the many frustrating things about life is that just as we think we are on the right track something happens to throw us off our path.  If we had a variety of ways to think about the experience and how to get back on track then we might be more successful in making our lives truly and deeply meaningful.

Japanese Toy Versions of Classical World Art Objects - Better than Homies!

Dog Star exclaims, WHERE WERE THESE “TOYS” WHEN I WAS A KID?  Yujin Corporation is one of the major toy companies in Japan, popular with its products of small figures called “Gatcha.” Products of Yujin are sold at public vending machines, mainly located in toy stores and theme parks, with low prices (100-300 yens).  Since its launch in 2005, this plaster cast Gatcha has been one of the best-selling toys of this kind. However, its debut was not necesarrily successful. When the toy-shop owner Tsunataka Kounoike and the then-Yujin employee Junya Sato, both of whom were graduates of art schools, hint up the idea of selling Greek sculptures in public vending machines, the company executives rarely considered their project seriously. Also, when they tried to sell the product in art galleries and museums, most of them first rejected because they regarded such a toy-machine was too kitschy for high-art institutions. As the time went, however, its high quality for its cheap price and the post-modern humor behind the product (you can buy the most prestigious thing in the least prestigious way) gradually pulled attention of gallery goers, art students and even art historians, and it became a long-run hit.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Go See Monet's Garden at the New York Botanical Garden - Bring your family!

Dog Star is excited about Monet's Garden at the New York Botanical Garden (more here).  When Claude Monet (more on his life here) earned enough money from selling paintings in Paris he moved to the countryside village of Giverny (about an hour away).  On this property he built a large house for his large family (children, wife, mistress, servants) and began a 40-year project to landscape his fantasy garden.  He designed the ponds, the pathways, and introduced the specific plants that would bring out different colors at different times of year.  It all became the source for some of his most famous paintings.  In the Bronx - at the Botanical Garden - they're doing quite a few things to bring Monet's garden to us:  inside the large conservatory they've recreated the "impression" of the cottage house with a small pond and footbridge.  They have also planted seasonal flowers that mimic what you would see in Giverny.  They also have artifacts on view as well as two of Monet's paintings of the garden.  

We strongly recommend taking the Metro North "Getaways" package from Grand Central Station - unless your family lives in the Bronx and owns a car.  The train stop is BOTANICAL GARDEN and the price of the ticket includes the train and the admission to ALL of the garden.  Watch the video below for easy directions on how to take Metro North from Grand Central to the Botanical Garden. Monet's home in Giverny was the center of the French and American Impressionist painter colony - read more about it here.  For more information on Metro North Getaways go here.

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!

Imaginary Dog Star Landscapes

MoCA's "Art in the Streets" One Year Anniversary Promo featuring RISK

RISK x FLAUNT - MOCA Art in the Streets 1 Year Anniversary from Kohshin Finley on Vimeo.

Who Made That? (The Hand-Held Highlighter)

Dog Star re-posts this from the New York Times (here):
Once, when readers wanted to remember something, they had to mark important passages with thin, wobbly lines in drab, hard-to-relocate colors. Before the rise of the highlighter, says Dennis Baron, a University of Illinois professor and the author of “A Better Pencil,” attentive readers relied on “a combination of underlining and marginal notes.” Like so much else, that began to change in the 1960s. It was then that the Japanese inventor Yukio Horie created a felt-tip pen that used water-based ink. The following year, in 1963, the Massachusetts print-media giant Carter’s Ink developed a similar water-based marker that emitted an eye-catching translucent ink. They called it the Hi-Liter. As with Horie’s invention, capillary action pulled ink through a filter — similar to the one in a cigarette — to the paper’s surface when a writer pressed the highlighter to paper. Just as important as the ink’s smooth, even application was its color: see-through yellow and pink, which both drew the eye and neatly delineated a piece of text without obscuring it. The fact that the highlighter’s ink was water-based, rather than alcohol-based, helped prevent it from seeping through paper. By the 1970s, highlighting was already overtaking underlining as the dominant way to refer back to something important, or just kind of important. In 1978, Dennison, the predecessor to today’s binder-and-label behemoth Avery Dennison, had gobbled up Carter’s Ink and was ready to introduce the next great innovation in text-marking technology: fluorescent colors. This class of pen, which has come to dominate the medium, achieves its unearthly glow by absorbing UV rays and re-emitting them into the visible spectrum. The highlighter’s appeal has flourished in the digital age. Most word-processing and e-reader software products have a highlighter function. And the hand-held highlighter continues to evolve, too. In the early ’80s, the fiber tip gave way to polyethylene beads molded into porous heads. (The plastic squeaks less, and the ink flows more smoothly.) When the highlighter business saw that it wasn’t being embraced by holdouts who preferred pens, it made the dual highlighter/pen. There are now retractable highlighters. And flat ones. And ones that smell like pizza. But Steve Raskin, a senior marketing director for Avery Dennison, says 85 percent of sales go to the classics: yellow and pink.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

PAY JUST $1 - Go See London & NYC Street Photography @ Museum of the City of New York - Bring your friends!

Dog Star is excited about this new street photography exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York (go here):  London Street Photography, with "City Scenes: Highlights of New York Street Photography" features images by over 70 photographers who have recorded fleeting moments in London, capturing the faces and lives of ordinary people who populate this complicated and ever-changing metropolis. The exhibition, organized by the Museum of London, where it brought in record crowds, features work by such notables as John Thomson, Moholy-Nagy, George Rodger, Bert Hardy, Roger Mayne, and Nick Turpin, as well as by countless anonymous photographers whose contributions have been just as important in recording the city.

Through more than 150 striking images, London Street Photography traces two compelling histories: the development of the practice, aesthetics, and technology of street photography the course of a century and a half, and the simultaneous growth of a modern city. The photographs capture the change from Victorian city of pushcarts to the multicultural city of immigrants in the 21st century; changing modes of transportation from horse and carriage to double-decker buses to stretch limousines; and a kaleidoscope of public places from markets to squares and neighborhoods of every type. The people depicted include the fashionable and the down-and-out, the immigrant and the street urchin, and people of every ethnicity, all linked by the implicitly democratic medium of photography. 

A small companion installation organized by the Museum of the City of New York, City Scenes: Highlights of New York Street Photography, will provide a counterpart illustrating the rich tradition of street photography in New York City. City Scenes showcases 30 key works by New York photographers, including Jacob Riis, Berenice Abbott, Helen Levitt, Robert Frank, William Klein, Nan Goldin, and Joel Meyerowitz. Together, these selections highlight the similarities and differences of subject matter and style by practitioners working simultaneously thousands of miles apart in major western metropolitan cities.

The Museum of the City of New York is pleased to present London Street Photography to coincide with the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. The exhibition is organized by the Museum of London.

Admission is a suggested donation of $6 for teens but you can pay just $1 and it's fine.  Seriously.  Museum of the City of New York is EASY TO REACH at 103rd Street and Fifth Avenue - take the 6 train to 103rd Street and walk west to Fifth Avenue.  This exhibition is on view through the Fall.  We will re-post several times to remind devoted readers of this worthwhile show.  While you are here consider going one block north to 104th Street and 5th Avenue to El Museo del Barrio for the Carribbean exhibition!  We have also posted a link to the New York Times review of the show here:

Glimpses of Urban Landscapes Past 

In a recent essay the critic A. A. Gill gently dissuaded seekers of an authentic London experience: “You want stiff-lipped men in bowler hats and cheeky cockneys with their thumbs on their waistcoats and fish on their heads. I’m sorry, but they’re not here anymore.”

But these types, and others visitors might want to meet, are very much present and accounted for in “London Street Photography” at the Museum of the City of New York. Arriving from the Museum of London, which presented it in 2010 and owns the more than 150 works on view, the show affords those of us watching the Olympics on TV a glimpse of an older, more eccentric city. It covers the Victorian era to the present, and is particularly rich in images from the mid-20th century: the golden age of street photography in England, as in the United States.

A smaller companion exhibition, “City Scenes: Highlights of New York Street Photography,” provides an opportunity to compare and contrast two very different modern cities as they grappled with war, the postindustrial era and various forms of social tension.

Read the rest of the article here at the NY Times 

Dog Star Time Machine: "Paris: Portrait of a City"

Dog Star thinks this new book is great!  TASCHEN has just published Paris: Portrait of a City, a voluptuous oversized volume of photographs of the city of our dreams, a visual feast covering 150 years of Parisian history and culture that might put you prolonged trance-like state. So many great stories and images of artists, architects, designers and personalities!  Here are three:
Toulouse-Lautrec in the bordello he frequented in Rue des Moulins, shown with his paintings of its "residents", 1894.

One of the most spectacular accidents of the age occurred at the Montparnasse railway station: a train from Granville, traveling at somewhere between 40 and 60 kph, was unable to stop: it careered through the buffers, off the platform and through the façade of the building, from which it fell onto Place de Rennes below, 1895.
The actress La Pradvina, Avenue du Bois de Boulogne, 1911. Photographie JH Lartigue

R.I.P. Vincent

Dog Star says here's Van Gogh’s bedroom with paintings (died on this day - July 29 in 1890 at age 37).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

FREE! Summer Teen Reviewers and Critics @ High 5

Summer in New York just got 2x cooler... The Summer Teen Reviewers and Critics workshops are here! We’re talking FREE access to cutting edge NYC art and theater, new friends from all backgrounds and boroughs, lively debate, writing, air-conditioning, flip-flops, subway adventures, August sunshine, pizza, performances… Need we say more? Don't wait! Sign up today for one of TWO special workshops we're offering on a first-come, first-served basis. All participants attend a special art event and a workshop on a Tuesday, then meet up again later in the week for a discussion and workshop in the afternoon. Both programs will meet in the ArtsConnection/High 5 building in Manhattan (520 8th Ave & 36th Street). Both programs are led by inspiring, talented professionals working in the NYC Arts world. You must be in high school to be eligible. As always, these workshops are COMPLETELY FREE of charge. You just need to bring a Metrocard with a few rides on it. (And yes, there will be pizza).

 See below for workshops description and directions on how to sign up. We hope you'll decide to join us for the next two weeks.

Session 1: MONOLOGUE WORKSHOP and a PLAY Tuesday, July 31, 2:30 PM – 9:00 PM Friday, August 3, 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM Taught by Theater TRaC Instructor Winter Miller
In this two-day workshop you’ll be producing an original monologue AND attending an Off-Broadway show under the guidance of veteran TRaC Instructor (and brilliant playwright) Winter Miller. On Tuesday, July 31st, you’ll learn the basics of creating an original monologue for the stage, do some theater/writing exercises, eat some pizza and then head over to Second Stage Theatre to see DOGFIGHT, a brand new musical about the last night out for three American serviceman about to be deployed. It’s a New York Times Critics Pick, so hopefully, you’ll be inspired and it’ll give you some ideas for your own stories……which you’ll be writing over the next few days! On Friday, August 3rd, you’ll bring in the writing you’ve composed and workshop/perform (?) the pieces with your fellow teens. You decide whether you’d like to film it, publish it on The High 5 Review, or lock it away for its eventual Off-Broadway debut. Someday, perhaps….

Session 2: TEEN REVIEWERS AND CRITICS WORKSHOP Tuesday, August 7, 3:00 PM – 7:15 PM Thursday, August 9, 4:00 PM – 7:30 PM Taught by Multi Arts TRaC Instructor Brian McCormick On Tuesday, August 7th, you’ll travel with veteran TRaC Instructor and New School Professor extraordinaire, Brian McCormick, from Chelsea across midtown for a range of art experiences that we know will blow your collective minds. You’ll choose a show or a piece of work to write about, comment on, Vlog about —- then, on Thursday, August 9th, you’ll workshop your writing and discuss the work as a group. Everyone’s work with be published on THE HIGH 5 REVIEW. A little about the exhibition pictured above: the largest sound installation to date by artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, "The Murder of Crows" is a compelling “sound play” that envelops the audience in an unexpected physical and aural environment. Moving and weaving through ninety-eight speakers mounted within the cavernous Drill Hall, the work narrates a captivating and confounding melodrama, investigating concepts of desire, intimacy, love and loss. The multifaceted soundscape uses a fluttering of voices and sounds, from crashing waves to the hubbub of a factory floor, to transport the listener to an unexpected dream-like world. The Armory’s presentation of "The Murder of Crows" marks the work’s U.S. premiere. And this is only ONE of the two art experiences you’ll have in this workshop. The other will be a surprise….. (what fun is it if we give everything away???)

HOW TO SIGN UP... Don't wait! There's limited space available! Check your schedule, make sure you are available, and then email the following information to Eric Ost, TRaC Program Director, at Session Choice: 1 or 2 (if you write BOTH, please indicate which is your preference) Name Age School Grade in Fall ’12 Cell phone number or other contact number And 3-sentence statement of interest (why are you interested in doing this??) There is LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE so sign up as soon as possible! Participants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis, and notified by phone. More detailed directions and info will be emailed after acceptance. Need more information? Visit the TRaC Homepage to learn more about the Teen Reviewers and Critics (TRaC) progarm and for future updates about the 10-week Fall TRaC program. Additonal questions? Email the TRaC Director, Eric Ost at

KNOW MY CITY: Transgender Teens Make their Own World Away from the Hood

Dog Star re-posts this from the NY Times:

For Money or Just to Strut, Living Out Loud on a Transgender Stage
There are two Christopher Streets in the West Village. One is the precious scene of overpriced coffee and its drinkers, of designer shops and map-clutching tourists. Then there is the one that appears every summer: Christopher Street after nightfall. 

So said Desire, a 20-year-old transgender woman, as she stood in a doorwell on Christopher just before midnight on a recent Thursday. Threading a comb through her long hair, she talked about the nocturnal version as scores of her friends strutted past in the dark, stopping often to air kiss, catcall or sometimes brawl. This second street belongs to Desire and her peers, who congregate here from across the region to promenade the night away on the city’s transgender runway. 

The women, who refer to themselves as T-girls and go by colorful pseudonyms, take to Christopher Street each night for many reasons. Many are working as prostitutes, said Star, 22, clad in a skintight candy-striped dress, as she leaned against a prewar apartment building where some studios rent for $3,700 a month. 

“Some of them come here for fun, some of them come down to make their money,” she said. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it.” 

But here in New York City’s historic gay corridor, blocks from the Stonewall Inn — the site of the country’s first gay rights uprising in 1969 and the same place where thousands spontaneously converged last June to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York State — reducing the scene to one of vice is to get only part of the picture. 

“There are Little Italys everywhere in the world, there are little Chinatowns everywhere in the world,” said Mariah Lopez, 27, a transgender-rights activist who is ubiquitous after dark on Christopher. “This is the only place that we can specifically lay claim to for historical reasons.”
While some of the T-girls live as women, others do so only here, fleeing for a time their homes in, say, the South Bronx or in New Jersey, where it may be too dangerous to be publicly transgender, they explain. For them, Desire said, “it’s like: ‘Oh my God, I can be gay? Out here in the street? And we can kiss and hug?’ ” 

When Bianka Van Kartier, who lives in New Jersey but is originally from St. Thomas, V.I., visited the street four years ago, it changed her life, she said. She became a fixture. 

“I was just mesmerized by the freedom to be gay and to just live out loud,” she said. “I came the following day, and I stayed for hours.” This fall, she said, she plans to compete in a pageant for the title of Ms. Gay Caribbean. “I was so blown away,” she said. “I’m from the Caribbean — you have to hide.” 

In platform thigh-high boots, buttocks-revealing denim shorts, red-pleather boleros with matching caps and tops of the backless, sleeveless or even frontless variety, those on the nightly parade here do anything but hide. They compete for best outfit, and for best moves in the nightly dance battles that rage beside the Hudson River to the sound of a boombox on the pier at the end of the street. The night is spent flitting from street corner to late-night pizza shop, brightly colored like flocks of exotic — if risqué — parakeets, sometimes herded along by silently flashing police patrol cars that stalk the street. 

But while the T-girls are often beautiful, none deny that most nights here are fraught with ugliness, borne of both of the trade many ply and the cliquish rivalries that spiral into violence. Many have had their hair ripped and skin slashed by a rival’s brightly painted nails. “We’re fighting over ‘he said-she said,’ ” Star said. “It’s crazy; it’s petty.” 

George Karam, 50, who manages Rivoli Pizza near Christopher Street, a favorite after-hours hangout, said he had drinks thrown over him by unruly customers. “Every summer, I have a lot of problems,” Mr. Karam said. 

There was a violent episode at a Dunkin’ Donuts on Christopher last year. The police place giant spotlights in the warm months at two ends of the street, to discourage crime. 

Nevertheless, those who prowl Christopher defend the nightly ritual. “This is historically a unique community on the planet,” said Ms. Lopez, “where a subgroup of people in a specific city have it as theirs but don’t have an economic stake.” 

“The reason you buy your $2 million condo is because it is the historical West Village, and the reason it is the historical West Village is because of us,” she continued, before being cut off. A passer-by on Christopher interjected to berate her for a past slight. 

It was past midnight. The screaming fight lasted for blocks, all the way to the river and into the night.

Black Male Teen Killed for "Playing Hood"

Dog Star says it's another weekend in NYC and another black male teen gunned down - as usual he was a "good kid" - sure, he had high grades, went to church and played sports. But there's more that parents have to face up to: look at the pic (especially in print) of 14-year old Kemar Brooks in today's NY Post and he's either a real or wannabe gang member - throwing up gang signs. And you know what? The streets don't like that shit when "good boys" who wanna "play hood" try to have it both ways: street and scholar. His grieving parents scream WHY? WHY? WHY? They needed to be going through his phone, looking at his Facebook and calling him out on his "secret gang role playing" instead they cry over his death as if he couldn't possibly be targeted. He made himself a target as soon as he decided to "play hood." Not blaming the victim but let's WAKE THE F@#$K UP PARENTS AND DO MORE TO WATCH YOUR KIDS! It was no mystery to me why he got shot when I opened the Post and saw his giant picture throwing up gang signs!  Go here to see the NY Post article.

Blue Tarp Skateboard Surfing

Tarp Surfing from The Observatory on Vimeo.

Dog Star Selects 1968 Vespa Scooter Turned Laptop Table

Dog Star re-posts this freshome (here): We received an interesting project from David Giammetta and just had to share it further. Here are the photos and information we were sent: “When people hear the Italian word Vespa, it’s instantly associated with Piaggio scooters. The word actually means ‘wasp’ and was used by Enrico Piaggio for his scooters when they first appeared in 1942, because of their appearance and the buzzing noise that the two stroke engine created. Tougher emission laws and the push to “go green” have made it increasingly difficult for classic automotive owners to maintain their pride and joy on the roads of today. Instead of sending rusty Vespa’s to the trash pile, I have found a more creative solution: turn the iconic scooter into functional pieces of designer furniture! The donor for my furniture project was a 1968 Vespa Sprint that was beyond restoration, making it the perfect candidate. I feel that this was a more honorable fate than the scrap metal yard. I have tried to retain the traditional characteristics of the classic icon by converting the back half into a functional work station, complete with adjustable laptop stand. My aim was to deliver the feeling of riding a Vespa without the helmet hair. Anyone want to take it for a spin?”

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

LIFE OF PI Movie Trailer

FREE! Go See Yayoi Kusama at the Whitney Museum - Bring your friends!

Damien Hirst:
Do you feel that your work is optimistic?

Yayoi Kusama:
No, I don’t feel my work is optimistic. Each piece of work is a condensation of my life.

Dog Star says take your friends to the Whitney this Summer to see Yayoi Kusama's incredible art show!  It's FREE for teens!
At the center of the art world in the 1960s, she came into contact with artists including Donald Judd, Andy Warhol, Joseph Cornell and Claes Oldenburg, influencing many along the way. She has traded on her identity as an ‘outsider’ in many contexts - as a female artist in a male-dominated society, as a Japanese person in the Western art world, and as a victim of her own neurotic and obsessional symptoms. After achieving fame and notoriety with groundbreaking art happenings and events, she returned to her country of birth and is now Japan’s most prominent contemporary artist. 

Her work is a mix of conceptualism, abstraction and always great fun.  She creates paintings, drawings, sculptures, video art and large-scale installations.  She strives for a different way of seeing the world:  loving, positive and embracing of all things as surprise and amusement.  Right now there is a huge retrospective exhibition of Kusama's work at the Whitney Museum on the Upper East Side this summer.  She has recently been selected to collaborate with Luis Vuitton for a product line - we don't love the idea (crass commercialism is a necessary evil - she has to eat, too - it's not "selling out" it's called having a career) but we do love the fact that she is getting paid, getting attention and getting international fame for her energetic and enchanting artwork.

Whitney Museum is EASY TO REACH at Madison Avenue & 75th Street (#6 train to 77th & Lexington then walk west to Madison and then south two blocks to the museum).  CLOSED ON MONDAYS & TUESDAYS.  Open Weds, Thurs, Sat & Sun 11-6, Friday 1-9pm - a great date with friends in Summertime!  Admission is FREE to 18 and under!  On view until September 30.  Read more about Kusama and her life and work at the Tate website here.

We will re-post this every two weeks until the exhibition closes to remind devoted readers to go see Kusama!

Dog Star Selects SHARON MOODY

Discover Sharon Moody's life-like paintings of comic books (more here) - these are NOT real comic books on a table - these are flat paintings created to look 3-D!  Amazing!

Know My City: Discover great subway art (Tom Otterness’ Life Underground)

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. 
Tom Otterness’ Life Underground
Eighth Avenue and 14th Street Station: A, C, E and L trains
Do not be alarmed by the crocodile coming out of the sewer grate. It is just one of more than 100 sculptures in Life Underground, one of the most playful and popular installations in the M.T.A. system. Public artist Tom Otterness hid quirky statues around corners, under handrails and behind fixtures at the station. He said that the work has a political undertone, inspired by 19th-century political cartoonist Thomas Nast. “I took many of the images-the money-bag head, other satirical images-from him and converted them into sculpture,” Mr. Otterness said.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

FREE! Go See LUNCH HOUR NYC @ Main Library on 42nd St & 5th Ave - Bring your friends!

Dog Star says this great exhibition feature not art but artifacts, menus, dioriamas, (dsiplays) and recreations of restaurants in NYC's past.  Devoted teen readers will get to this free exhibition at the main library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street to see the wonderful world of how lunch hour evolved in our busy city.  It's not corny at all and is amazingly a lot of fun to discover how earlier new Yorkers coped with lunch hour.

“Every thing is done differently in New York from anywhere else—but in eating the difference is more striking than in any other branch of human economy.” —George Foster, New York in Slices, 1849

The clamor and chaos of lunch hour in New York has been a defining feature of the city for some 150 years. Visitors, newly arrived immigrants, and even longtime New Yorkers are struck by the crowds, the rush, and the dizzying range of foods on offer.

Of the three meals that mark the American day, lunch is the one that acquired its modern identity here on the streets of New York. Colonial American mealtimes were originally based on English rural life, with a main meal known as “dinner” in the middle of the day. The word “lunch” referred to a snack that might be eaten at any time of the day or night, even on the run. But during the 19th century, under the pressures of industrialization, this meal pattern began to change. 

Nowhere was the change more dramatic than in New York, the burgeoning center for trade, manufacturing, and finance. Employees were given a fixed time for their midday meal, often a half hour or less. So, dinner was pushed to the end of the day, and lunch settled into a scheduled place on the clock between the hours of twelve and two.

Lunch Hour NYC looks back at more than a century of New York lunches, when the city’s early power brokers invented what was yet to be called “power lunch,” local charities established a 3-cent school lunch, and visitors with guidebooks thronged Times Square to eat lunch at the Automat. 

Drawing on materials from throughout the Library, the exhibition explores the ways in which New York City—work-obsessed, time-obsessed, and in love with ingenious new ways to make money—reinvented lunch in its own image. 

Dog Star Art School: Armenian-American Painter Arman Manookian

Dog Star discovered Arman Manookian (1904-1931) while reading about another painter.  He has been described as "Hawaii's Van Gogh" (Read more here.)  Arman Manookian was the oldest of three children born to a Christian Armenian family in Constantinople. As a teenager, he survived the Armenian Genocide. Manookian immigrated to the United States in 1920. At the age of 16 he studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. Later he took classes at the Art Students League of New York before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in 1923. While serving in the U. S. Marine Corps he worked as a clerk and illustrator.  Fewer than 30 of his paintings are known to survive.  Most of these are in private collections.  Sadly he died by suicide!  Read a bit more on Manookian here.

KNOW MY CITY: 42nd Street Then & Now

New York, 1909. Knickerbocker Hotel, Broadway & 42nd Street.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Life After Olympics Medal

Dog Star says there is a fascinating story in the Times about the two men who came in second and third after Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The bronze went to Mack Robinson - the older brother of baseball great Jackie Robinson. The silver went to a Dutchman with an equally interesting but criminal life after the Olympics.  Read the story here at The New York Times.  In photo below - Mack Robinson shows his 1936 Bronze Olympic medal.

Imaginary Dog Star Landscapes



"I always have a curious sort of feeling about some of my things – I hate to show them – I am perfectly inconsistent about it – I am afraid people won’t understand – and I hope they won’t – and am afraid they will." — Georgia O’Keeffe

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Urban Noize & Kanye West – Mr. West

Dog Star re-posts this from Hypebeast:  Kanye West fans take note, Urban Noize has taken a huge bite out of Yeezy’s award-winning catalog to create this dedication remix EP titled “Mr. West.” Featuring samplings from GraduationWatch the ThroneMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and 808s & Heartbreak, the EP has something for everyone, with the remixed instrumentals carefully tailored to push the lyrics and mood of each track to the next level. If you like what you’re hearing, you can download the EP in its entirety for free here.

Street Art: Conor Harrington @ FAME Fest '12

Dog Star would like to someday visit Southern Italy and the small town of Grottaglie for the annual FAME Festival.  Each June street artists from around the world get up and do pieces on walls around the town.   One of the first this year was Conor Harrington. The UK-based muralist is back in Grottaglie for another tour of duty painting up the town with his signature colonial style featuring mixture of abstraction and realism.  Tipped by Arrested Motion