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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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

Thursday, August 30, 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 

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!

The Winged Victory & WW II

Dog Star says this is one of the best pics of the Nike we have ever seen from the time. While the French ended up punking out when it came to the Nazis (stronger words may be used but we will hold back here), they did have the foresight to "box up" the goods at the Louvre in September 1939 and hide them outside Paris in case Hitler got crazy with the bombing of the city (which did not happen).  This ancient statue is formally called "Winged Victory of Samothrace" - read more about its origins here.

Google Glasses Coming Soon

Dog Star is not hopeful that Google's technology "innovations" will help us all live more peacefully.  It's very likely we are headed to a world in which we are endlessly amused and entertained whether we like it or not.  It comes as no secret that Google has more money than they know what to do with. This has led to some rather interesting side projects including self-driving cars and one closer on the horizon, Google Glasses. Several rumored features have been mentioned to enhance interactivity between environment and human such as navigation and real-time information provision. This will come courtesy of am Android-based operating system and low-resolution camera which will make technology seen in movies such as Predator and The Terminator a reality. While the eyewear is meant to be a part-time accompaniment, you can assume some will not take heed and nerd out to the max.  By the time this gets posted on Dog Star there will be updated news to rival these little bitty accounts.
Photo: Shutterstock / Source: The New York Times

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Imaginary Dog Star Landscapes

Cool Public Library in Norway

Dog Star says this place is cool!  Bringing together a community house and a learning center, the new library in Vennesla, Norway holds a cafe, library and meeting places. The structure is held up by 26 ribs which span the length of the building creating pockets against the wall for books, seating and storage. Between each rib is a window covered by slats which control the amount of daylight into the rooms.

Monday, August 27, 2012

FREE! Get Moving to Samba Beats @ Annual Brazil Day Festival

Dog Star knows this is one of the hottest annual Summer festivals each year - West 46th Street between 6th & 7th Avenue features live music, food booths and lots of real Brazilians and fellow New Yorkers celebrating Brazilian culture.  Brazil Day (more here) starts at 10am and goes until 6pm - go early for food and live music!


Modern Hollywood Hills Dream Home

Dog Star's friends Max and Celeste used to live in the Hollywood Hills but not in a house like this one. Their house was even better! It had a real backyard! Notice there is barely even a piece of dirt here to hold up the stilts supporting this home. We prefer a backyard than a home sitting on the side of a cliff. So scary! This is re-posted from Freshome (here): This Modern Hollywood Hills Dream Home in LA’s Hollywood Hills shelters a stunning collection of features ranging from architectural details to vivid colors and exceptional views. Gathered in a 13,699 square feet floor plan, entertaining and private spaces offer luxurious amenities for the inhabitant’s enjoyment. With 6 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms, this splendid steel, glass and wood architectural estate also features a gourmet kitchen set in a dramatic open floor plan extending into the panorama, over the infinity pool. The great room features a stone fireplace and the master suite pampers the owner with a soaking tub overlooking the city in the distance. Breathtaking views of Los Angeles offer a moving picture of the surroundings, while the extensive walls can be used to showcase an art collection. Custom built fixtures and European cabinetry adorn the modern spaces, while the outdoor dining pavilion pushed the limits of private luxury to the maximum. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Imaginary Dog Star Landscapes

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: We're bumpin to "100 Days, 100 Nights" by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

Know My City: Discover great subway art (Sol LeWitt’s Whirls and Twirls-MTA)

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.

Sol LeWitt’s Whirls and Twirls-MTA
Columbus Circle: 1, A, B, C and D trains
The aptly named Whirls in Columbus Circle was one of Sol LeWitt’s last commissions, and it was unveiled two years after the famed conceptual artist’s death in 2009. The 583-square-foot installation, full of fanciful loops and geometric shapes, is made up of 250 vivid porcelain tiles. Reds, greens and yellows swirl together in a dizzying array of colors. The piece is officially called Whirls and twirls (MTA)-because another similar creation of LeWitt’s, Whirls and twirls (MET), is installed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Friday, August 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. 

Round Bookcase Hovers Above Writing Studio

Dog Star re-posts from freshome (here): Ever wondered how a massive bookcase can become part of a working space? This is a fantastic solution – constructing a round bookcase hovering above the work space. Designed by Travis Price Architects, this interesting space arrangement was created for Wade Davis. He needed a space that would encompass his interests. Being an anthropologist, ethnobotanist, author and photographer, Wade Davis’ Writing Studio had to convey a feeling of enthusiasm and knowledge, so Travis Price Architects imagined a cave-inspired design that would capture natural light and bring it inside. By building a dome above Dave’s workspace, the architect designed an unusual space that would display the most used books, which enables the client to interact with his them in an inspiring setting. The architects describes this dome “as similar to the rotunda of the oracle’s temple at Delphi“, while Davis calls it his “Navajo kiva of knowledge“. As they say, “with great power comes great responsibility” – this in seen in the respect this arrangement has for the books and their human counterpart. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

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 this documentary for devoted readers who enjoy photography, its history and its importance in promoting modern architecture in America.  Narrated by Dustin Hoffman, VISUAL ACOUSTICS celebrates the life and career of Julius Shulman, the world's greatest architectural photographer, whose images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream. Shulman captured the work of nearly every major modern and progressive architect since the 1930s including Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, John Lautner, and Frank Gehry. His images epitomized the singular beauty of Southern California's modernist movement. This unique film is both a testament to the evolution of modern architecture and a joyful portrait of the magnetic, whip-smart gentleman who chronicled it with his unforgettable images.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

FREE! Poetry of Resistance - Spoken Word Workshop for Teens

Go here for more information at Urban Word.

Teen Related News on MetroFocus

Dog Star discovered this news and features website as part of New York City PBS station, channel Thirteen.  Here are a few stories of special interest to teens:


Supersizing It With Claes Oldenburg

Dog Star re-posts from the Wall Street Journal (here):

In the early 1960s, the Swedish-born American artist Claes Oldenburg helped to usher in the Pop Art revolution by using materials like burlap and canvas to create sandwiches and ice cream cones the size of furniture.

As it turns out, the food sculptures are autobiographical. "The key to my work is that it's about my experience," said Mr. Oldenburg, 83, in an interview in Vienna last month. "If I ate BLTs, which I did, I would sooner or later want to create them."

The full range of his work from the 1960s—complete with giant cheeseburgers, ketchup-topped fries, a pastry case and a cash register—is on view in a new exhibition at Mumok, Vienna's museum of modern art, and is headed for New York and Minneapolis in 2013. Among the 250 works, there's a fragile puppetlike cardboard-and-wood piece called "Mug," created in 1960 and part of a collection in Cologne, Germany. "Normally you can't transport these works," said Mumok's director Karola Kraus.

The son of a Swedish diplomat, Mr. Oldenburg grew up in Chicago and attended Yale University. In the mid-1960s, he started to conceive of familiar objects towering over cities, drawing a banana soaring above New York ("Proposed Colossal Monument for 42nd Street: Banana"), or an ensemble of giant red lipsticks in London's Piccadilly Circus. "My work is a transformation of my surroundings," he says.

In the late 1960s, he managed to transform his alma mater a little, when he erected a controversial 24-foot lipstick sculpture at Yale. The red lipstick, mounted on steel caterpillar tracks, seemed to comment on both the Vietnam War and the male-only makeup of Yale College's student body. Mr. Oldenburg sees the work as a breakthrough, calling it "my first feasible monument." The Vienna show displays a small model of the piece and a film documenting its construction.

Mr. Oldenburg, who lives in New York, spent much of his later career creating huge public art projects with his wife, curator and critic Coosje van Bruggen, who died of cancer in 2009. Among his best known is the 45-foot-high clothespin sculpture (1976) that stands in the plaza of Philadelphia's Centre Square complex. The new show reveals the origins and inspiration for these later works.

Mr. Oldenburg thinks of his public art as "a step into architecture" and always insisted on permanence—his public art was meant to last, like a building. In recent decades, though, public art has changed.

Starting in the mid-1990s with Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, a new, sculptural style of architecture has given large-scale public art a run for its money. Projects like the Guggenheim have become "the monuments of their cities," says Danish-born artist Michael Elmgreen.

These days, cities are less likely to commission something for permanent show. Mr. Elmgreen and his partner Ingar Dragset have created a giant child on a rocking horse for London's Trafalgar Square; some 15 months after Thursday's unveiling, it will come down to make way for something else. Mr. Elmgreen says that regularly bringing in new works makes the art on view "relevant all the time."

After Vienna, versions of the show will travel to Cologne, Germany and Bilbao, before moving to the Museum of Modern Art in New York in April 2013 and to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis that September.

Monday, August 20, 2012