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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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, January 31, 2013

FREE! New City Park Honors F.D.R. & His Famous Speech "Four Freedoms"

Dog Star admires F.D.R. and knows he is an important man during the Great Depression and at the start of World War II.  He is also the former governor of New York State.  His family's estate north of New York City - Hyde Park - is open to the public and a great way to spend a Summer or Autumn Saturday with your family.  Of course, F.D.R.'s wife - Eleanor Roosevelt - is also an important figure and she had a huge role in drafting the Universal Human Rights delivered at the United Nations.

It's been 40 years since New York has been planning a memorial park for 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the east end of Roosevelt island. Originally designed by Louis Kahn in 1974, New York's almost bankrupt economy put the project on hold until the release of the documentary "My Architect" when enough support was fostered to fund the completion of the project carried out by local firm Mitchell Giurgola Architects.  

The triangular site of the 'FDR Four Freedoms Park' funnels visitors along a white granite plinth lined in linden trees to an open-air courtyard, at the entrance to which is thick block with a 28-inch bronze bust of FDR's head, sculpted by Jo Davidson, facing the united nations headquarters only 300 meters away. On the backside, the four freedoms speech is engraved as a symbol of the president's legacy to the building blocks of contemporary democratic principles. The project is planned to expand in the future, transforming a 19th-century small pox hospital to an auxiliary visitor center. The park is now open to the public.

Read more about F.D.R. here.

Go here for directions to the Four Freedoms Park!

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is an enduring tribute to the life and work of President Roosevelt. In the late 1960s, during a period of national urban renewal, New York City Mayor John Lindsay proposed to reinvent Roosevelt Island (then called Welfare Island) into a vibrant, residential community. The New York Times championed renaming the island for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and constructing a memorial to him, remarking: "It has long seemed to us that an ideal place for a memorial to FDR would be on Welfare Island, which...could be easily renamed in his honor... It would face the sea he loved, the Atlantic he bridged, the Europe he helped to save, the United Nations he inspired."

FDR's Famous Speech on The Four Freedoms On January 6, 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a speech that shaped this nation, now known as the Four Freedoms speech. He looked forward to a world founded on four human freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.  Today, by building Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, we have the opportunity to honor this man and these essential freedoms.

Words to Live By

Imaginary Dog Star Landscapes

Archival film footage of Andy Warhol at work by SFMOMA

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What's Happening @ the Brooklyn Museum?

Dog Star likes the Brooklyn Museum for several reasons:

1.  We live in Brooklyn and support the place with a membership.

2.  We like their inclusive programming - this means they think and care about their community and don't just do things the Manhattan art world will like.

3.  They are open until 10pm on Thursday nights for dates with friends.

4.  It's such a big place that it rarely feels like a crush of people the way MoMA and the Met always do no matter when you go. 

5. They regularly have live music - jazz, hip hop and classical - in their giant lobby area called the Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Pavilion.

Brooklyn Museum is EASY TO REACH:  Take 2/3 train to Eastern Parkway and the museum is right up the stairs - at the turnstile take a left to leave the station.  Admission is by Suggested Donation - we suggest you pay just $1.

Go on FIRST SATURDAYS for crowds of teens and college students - more information here - free admission from 5-11pm.

THURSDAY NIGHTS @ the Brooklyn Museum

Thursday, January 31, 2013
Film Screening: The Outs 7:00 PM
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor
Join us for a screening of this collaborative, community-based web series, shot on location in Brooklyn and featuring a soundtrack by local musicians. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013
BrooklyNites Jazz 7:00 PM
Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Pavilion, 1st Floor
BrooklyNites Jazz: Joe Alterman with Alexis Cole Join jazz pianist Joe Alterman and vocalist Alexis Cole for a special evening of music.

Thursday, February 21, 2013
New Ways of Seeing: Drop-in Drawing Workshop 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM Meet in the Rubin Lobby, 1st Floor New Ways of Seeing: Drop-in Drawing Workshop Join us on the third Thursday of each month for drawing in the Museum’s galleries. All ages and skill levels are welcome.

Thursday, February 28, 2013
Film Screening: La Playa D.C. 7:00 PMIris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor
Bets of the African Diaspora International Film festival:  La Playa D.C. (Juan Andres Arango, 2012, 90 min).  And Afro-Columbian teenager, a refugee of war, battles exclusion ans racism.  Official Selection, Cannes Film Festival 2012.

Words to Live By

Imaginary Dog Star Landscapes

Zinedine Zidane Headbutt Statue by Adel Abdessemed

Dog Star saw this last Fall outside the Centre Pompidou in Paris.  A sixteen foot-high bronze statue portraying French soccer player Zinedine Zidane's head-butting incident against Italian Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup Final was temporarily erected in front of the Centre Pompidou in Paris.  Created by Algerian artist Adel Abdessemed, the larger version of Abdessemed's earlier 'coup de tête' depicts the incident that marked the end of one of France's greatest athelete's career.  The public sculpture had been installed to accompany Abdessemed's solo show at the museum.  "The statue goes against the tradition of making statues in honour of certain victories.  It is an ode to defeat," said exhibition organizer Alain Michaud.  Here is a video of the incident, too.  (Pics, video and edited content from Design Boom).

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Whitney's Mom: Not Down With The Gays

Whitney Houston's mother told Oprah that she would have been very unhappy to learn that the lesbian rumors about her daughter were true. Cissy Houston concedes that the she still doesn't know if Whitney had been having an affair with her closest female friend.

College Info YOU Need Right Now!

Hey YOU!

Ready for college?

Financial Aid Workshop

SUNY Center for Student Recruitment (33 West 42nd Street, New York) will be hosting their SUNY's Statewide Student Financial Aid Day on Saturday February 9, 2013. The programs are offered as a service to all prospective college students and their families. The programs are designed to answer questions and provide assistance regarding the financial aid application, types of aid available, and the award process. FAFSA is required for all financial aid, including New York State assistance. To pre-register: /student 

College Fairs

Saturday, March 16th, 2013 from 12pm-3pm

at New York University's Kimmel Center next to Washington Square Park

(It’s open to EVERYBODY, not just Latinos!)

Sunday, April 28, 2013 from 11am-3pm
NACAC College Fair – Jacob Javits Convention Center – 34th Street & 11th Avenue

Register for the May SAT Exam

Exam Date is May 4th / Deadline for Registration is April 5th

Website to Register:


Apply for FREE SAT Prep Classes

Saturday Academy at Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) – Upper East Side

Take SAT Prep inside this great NYC history museum – Registration starts Feb. 1

Saturday Academy at New York Historical Society – Upper West Side

Take a history class with FREE SAT prep classes – Registration starts Feb. 1

JUNIORS: Start collecting writing samples, copies of Recommendation letters and do research on colleges and scholarships! Take SAT prep and May 4 exam!

Have you been to the Flea lately? Brooklyn Flea inside the Williamsburg Savings Bank building at One Hanson Place

DOG STAR enjoys flea market options and now that's cold outside, it's better to have flea markets indoors.  In warmer months the Brooklyn Flea takes up residence at a schoolyard in Ft. Greene.  Now the flea market is in the lobby of the old Williamsburg Savings Bank building.

Why is this special?  Typically this restored lobby is closed to the public - although lately it has been available for those lavish "Super Sweet Sixteen"-type parties.  The floors above the lobby have been converted to condos.  This former bank lobby - it is spectacularly beautiful - it was expected to become a Barnes & Noble or even an Apple store.  Not anymore.  Bad economy or something.

We like the idea of placing the flea market here for the winter.  It's also a free field trip and great for a daytime or hanging out with friends.  Plan ahead and go to the flea market before going inside Atlantic Terminal Mall.

Any train to Atlantic Avenue makes the new Flea Market EASY TO REACH!

Words to Live By

Imaginary Dog Star Landscapes

Lower East Side in 1978 (Video)

Dog Star finds this fascinating - watch closely for the unrecognizable street landscape filled with empty lots, boarded up apartment buildings, junked out cars on the street and lots and lots of garbage all around.  From the YouTube description:  "Produced by Gruppe Dokumentation & Tylis and filmed in Loisada, by Marlis Momber, this 10 min. commercial gives a brief preview before gentrification occurred in Lower East Side in the Fall of October, 1978 with Chino Garcia & Bimbo Rivas."

Monday, January 28, 2013

Teens Talk About Life in the Digital Age

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

ALMOST FREE! Enjoy Ice Skating at The Pond at Bryant Park (See details on how to make it free and keep the costs down!)

DOG STAR grew up ice skating on a REAL pond in the woods.  Fell on the ice many times.

Fell THROUGH the ice on a very warm day (ice had melted a bit) and nearly froze to death...well, it wasn't fun, anyway.

DOG STAR likes the city options we have now.  Consider taking friends to Bryant Park - directly behind the New York Public Library on 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue (the library is on 5th Avenue).  Apparently CitiBank is the sponsor and now the skating rink is called CitiPond.  Whatever.

A few things to know:
  • Admission IS FREE.
  • Bag check is $7.00-$10.00
  • If you do not bring your own skates rental cost $14.00.
  • Bring a lock for your stuff.  Locks cost $9 of you don't have a lock.
  • Lockers are FREE.
  • Hours:  Open Daily until March 3, 2013, Sunday-Thursday:  8am-10pm, Friday & Saturday:  8am-Midnight
To truly make this a free activity you MUST bring a lock AND your own skates.  DOG STAR found skates as low as $20.00 on ebay.  If you plan to go ice skating just twice (skating here, Wollman Rink, Rockefellar Plaza) it might be cheaper to buy used skates!

Words to Live By

Imaginary Dog Star Landscapes

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kendrick Lamar on SNL ( Swimming Pools and Poetic Justice)

FREE! Saturday Academy @ NY Historical Society - Apply with your friends!

The New-York Historical Society in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History offers Saturday Academy, a free, seven-week program for students in grades 8–12 that offers American Studies and SAT prep courses.

With no homework or tests, these courses offer fun and interesting information on the bits of history that don’t always find their way into the classroom.

The Application for the Spring 2013 Saturday Academy will be available beginning February 1, 2013

Please go here after February 1st to apply. Please note: The SAT Prep classes are open only to students currently enrolled in 10th, 11th or 12th grade. 

SAT Writing Section: An Overview

SNL Cast Performs YOLO


Dog Star knows that transgender teens and adults face a difficult path of acceptance by our wider society.  
On the most basic level - whether or not one understands or embraces trans-people - we must respect the dignity of a fellow human being and never, ever say or do anything to harm another person based on gender or perceived gender or sexual orientation.
Go ahead and watch “Assigned Sex: Episode 1: Ringing the Bell,” which chronicles the lives of young transgender New Yorkers and their families (below).

The first video introduces us to Kyrie, a 23 year-old FTM who is an aspiring basketball coach (spoiler alert, if you watch “Assigned Sex: Episode 2: Families,” you’ll very soon find out that Kyrie was a badass women’s college basketball player who was kicked off the team after transitioning); Angel, a 22 year-old MTF aspiring singer; Lala, a 21 year-old MTF aspiring model; Jay’Lin, a 24 year-old FTM substance abuse counselor; and L, a 21 year-old FTM teacher. 
FTM = Transitioning or fully transitioned (biological)Female-to-(transgender)Male 
MTF = Transitioning or fully transitioned (biological)Male- to-(transgender)Female
Clocking in at a little over eight minutes, the video intertwines these youths’ narratives with sobering statistics about transgender suicide rates and discrimination, and serves as a great introduction to the larger project behind “Assigned Sex.”

Produced by Ira Hackney and Andrew Fair, and directed by Shaun Dawson, these short episodes are a behind-the-scenes look at what viewers can expect from “Assigned Sex,” a full-length documentary that will be submitted to The Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, The Tribeca Film Festival, The Atlanta Film Festival, Sundance, and Cannes in the coming year.

And although the film has not yet reached its final stage, it is very clear from these two online episodes that “Assigned Sex” can serve as a much needed rupture in the silence that continues to permeate the lives of transgender people in New York State and across the country.
Highlighting issues that transgender individuals face daily, such as discrimination (in housing, healthcare, employment and public accommodations), harassment, and family acceptance, the film is a great opportunity for those unfamiliar with transgender issues to learn more and for other questioning or transitioning youth to see that they are not alone, that they are loved, and that they too will find their path toward meaningful and rich lives with loving family, friends and love partners.

You can view the “Assigned Sex” webisodes on Youtube (Episode 1: Ringing the Bell, and Episode 2: Families). The other webisodes are forthcoming.

Words to Live By

Imaginary Dog Star Landscapes

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Health Tips: 20 Healthy Habits To Adopt Before You Turn 20

Dog Star likes this very sensible "slideshow" from HuffingtonPost Teen (go here for details).  From the post:  Your teenage years are often when you're at your healthiest: You're young, probably haven't experienced a big health scare yet, and any unhealthy habits may not taken a toll on your body. But that doesn't mean that you should take good health for granted. Adolescence is arguably the most important time in your life to start developing healthy habits that will benefit you years down the road. From the annoying stuff you've been told a million times (remember to floss! eat your veggies!) to big preventative measures that can set the stage for great health later in the life, we've compiled 20 nutrition, fitness and wellness habits that everyone should adopt by the age of 20.

1.  Learn to love your veggies.
2.  Protect your skin.
3.  Limit your sugar intake.
4.  Get active.
5.  Get serious about sleep.
6.  Stop worrying.
7.  Moisturize.
8.  Maintain a healthy weight.
9.  Develop strong relationships.
10.  Floss regularly.
11.  Monitor your screen time.
12.  Eat breakfast.
13.  Put safety first (i.e. seatbelts).
14.  Drink lots of water.
15.  Ditch the processed food.
16.  Stay away from smoke.
17.  Listen to your body.
18.  Protect yourself (i.e. condoms).
19.  Learn when to say "no."
20.  Accept your body.

We're going to post this every few weeks to remind devoted teen readers (and some who aren't teens anymore but like the reminder to stay healthy) of these great healthy tips!

Words to Live By

Imaginary Dog Star Landscapes

Something to Declare: Muquarnas Dome in Grenada

Dog Star is excited to to some day visit the Islamic monuments in southern Spain, especially in Grenada.  This is the Hall of the Two Sisters (Muqarnas Dome) in the Palace of the Lions in Granada, Spain. (1354-1391) The muqarnas of this famous dome are slender forms resembling stalactites that project from the ceiling and reflect and capture sunlight, filling the palace and resembling “the heavenly spheres whose orbits revolve” (Ibn Zamrak, court poet). The palace is named after the courtyard fountain with its marble lions. A beautiful architectural work consisting of several gardens and courtyards, it was built, like the dome, to bring to mind an image of heaven. 

Palace of the Lions is part of the citadel (or fortified and walled city) of the Alhambra - go here to read more.

"Something to Declare: Your Passport to Global Culture" is a regular Dog Star series intended to introduce world art and culture via "entry points" that allow a "way in" to learn and appreciate cultures around the world.  We have been inspired to do this project by Nigel Spivey's BBC program "How Art Made the World."  We believe that a true life-long education is one that encompasses global art to show the unique ways different peoples have expressed their traditions, ways of seeing and humanity through culture.

Friday, January 25, 2013

SUNY Hosts Financial Aid Day

Dog Star says ALL CURRENT H.S. SENIORS should complete the FAFSA.  This form is required to receive ANY grants or aids from the federal government, the State of NY and from the college.  If you are applying to CUNY you also need to complete the FAFSA.
SUNY is sponsoring a Financial Aid Day to explain the process and help families who need assistance with the application.
SUNY Center for Student Recruitment (33 West 42nd Street, New York) will be hosting their SUNY's Statewide Student Financial Aid Day on Saturday February 9, 2013.  The programs are offered as a service to all prospective college students and their families.  The programs are designed to answer questions and provide assistance regarding the financial aid application, types of aid available, and the award process.

Incidental Comics by Grant Snider

Go here for more from Grant Snider.

Words to Live By

GO SEE How African Art Influenced Modern Artists - Bring your friends!

African art inspired the 1932 work "Negro Masks" by Malvin Gray Johnson.
Dog Star likes these kinds of exhibitions because they teach us about the real connections between cultures.  In this case, the Met's new exhibition "African Art, New York, and the Avant-Garde" shows how African artifacts and objects influenced the ways modern artists made their paintings and sculptures.  We have heard people say "modern artists stole from African art" and "African artists were doing 'modern art' before Picasso and others."  These are misguided statements because they make some faulty assumptions.  Let's take a look at these assumptions and the truths behind them:

African artists were NOT doing 'modern art' before Picasso and others.  Modern art is a term invented by European art critics and art historians.  No artist ever called himself or herself a 'modern artist.'  No African artisan who created masks, sculptures, pottery or totems was ever creating what we call "art."  So it is impossible to label any African art or artisan as "modern art" or as a "modern artist."

It is important to understand that African cultural objects are ALWAYS intended to be used in an active role in a ceremony.  Art objects (paintings, sculptures, tapestries, pottery) are solely intended to be appreciated, studied and admired for their artistic qualities.  So this is an important distinction.  Members of an African tribe were not called "artists" in the way makers of art objects in Europe and America (referred to as "Western") are called artists.  In fact very often it isn't even known who made an object such as a mask because that kind of "authorship" or claim to artistic ownership is a Western concept.  A member of an African tribe was trained and worked his entire life to make masks for certain ceremonies.  He didn't "sign" the back of the mask so others know he takes credit for it.  It is only in the very late 19th century when ethnographers and other colonial "explorers" visited tribes that actual people could be identified as the maker of an African object.

Now, when African OBJECTS began to arrive in Europe and were put on display so that the general public could see them, people began to see artistic qualities to copy in their own art.  Paul Guillaume is a famous Paris art gallery owner who collected an extensive African mask and sculpture collection.  Picasso and all his friends saw Paul's collection, bought objects from him and shared them with visitors and friends.  There IS a direct connection between the directions of modern art and the African influence but it is one of inspiration - or artistic borrowing / stealing - not a failure to credit African tribes for inventing modern art.  If you want to learn more read the article below by Carol Kino (from the New York Times) and definitely make a point of visiting the Met Museum exhibition from November 27-April 14, 2013.

The Metropolitan Museum is EASY TO REACH at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street - Take the 4, 5, or 6 trains to 86th Street & Lexington Avenue, then walk west to Fifth Avenue and then south to the Met Museum on the right hand side.  Access tip:  Walk a bit past the grand staircase in front of the museum to a street level entrance where the lines for entry, coat check and admission are much shorter.  HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS get in FREE with high school I.D. card and get a free Audio Guide - simply ask for it at the Admissions Desk. 

When Artifact ‘Became’ Art 


A SEMINAL moment for America’s avant-garde came in 1913, when the Armory Show opened its doors to an unsuspecting public. An exposition of about 1,300 works, it introduced the New York art audience to movements like Cubism, Fauvism and Futurism, as well as the work of artists like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Marcel Duchamp, jolting them out of their romance with realism and toward newer, more experimental interests. 

Less heralded, however, is the fact that the Armory Show and its promotion of Modernism also helped create a taste and a market for African art in New York. This is the territory to be explored in “African Art, New York and the Avant-Garde,” which will open at the Metropolitan Museum on Nov. 27 and run through April 14. “The Armory Show is known for awakening America to modern art,” said its curator, Yaëlle Biro. “But it was also very important for African art.” 

The assistant curator of African art at the museum, Ms. Biro will use European and African works, as well as American photographs and ephemera, to illuminate the period between 1914 and 1932, when New York’s artists, dealers and connoisseurs first began to appreciate African wood sculptures as art objects rather than ethnographic artifacts. Her exhibition will include about 40 masks, figurative sculptures and other decorative objects from West and Central Africa; paintings that were once exhibited alongside them by artists like Francis Picabia, Constantín Brancusi and Diego Rivera; and photographs by Alfred Stieglitz and Charles Sheeler, among others, drawn from 18 public and private collections as well as the Metropolitan’s own holdings. 

Previous exhibitions of the period have given African art a supporting role to demonstrate its influence on Modernist artists. By contrast, said Ms. Biro, “I’m examining the context in which African art was exhibited at the time, and how that has influenced the way it is seen today.” 

Although African art had been collected in America since the 19th century, Ms. Biro said, and could be seen in natural history and ethnographic museums, its breakthrough moment is considered to be 1935, when the Museum of Modern Art mounted “African Negro Art,” a survey of work from West Central Africa. “That is usually considered as the moment when African sculptures became seen as works of art in the United States,” Ms. Biro said. “But actually a lot was happening before that, and that’s what this exhibition is about.” (She first explored the topic in a chapter of her Ph.D. dissertation at the Sorbonne, in Paris.) 

The show opens in 1914, the year that the avant-garde tastemaker Stieglitz mounted the world’s first dedicated display of African art objects at 291, his gallery on Fifth Avenue. Called “Statuary in Wood by African Savages: The Root of Modern Art,” the show comprised works from the holdings of the French art dealer Paul Guillaume, then the primary source for New York dealers. Many were figures and masks acquired from Gabon and the Ivory Coast, both French colonies at the time. The sculptures’ elongated features, lustrous surfaces and streamlined forms epitomized the aesthetics already admired by Europeans. 

Ms. Biro has managed to track down six sculptures from Stieglitz’s exhibition, including a male figure from a reliquary and a mask with geometric features. Also included is an issue of Stieglitz’s journal Camera Work that reproduces his photographs of the show, as well as a photograph that juxtaposed drawings by Picasso and Braque with a different reliquary sculpture. 

Stieglitz’s photographs also demonstrate another lure of African art for 20th-century New Yorkers, particularly a 1918 picture that shows his partner, Georgia O’Keeffe, cradling an anthropomorphic Ivory Coast spoon in her hand. She is nude and the position of the spoon makes it look surprisingly phallic, so it resonates as an erotic object. “Many layers of interpretation were added to African art after it left Africa,” Ms. Biro said. “Some saw the works as an open door to the exotic, and some admired them for their pure aesthetic qualities, while others saw them in a more erotic vein.”
Another segment is devoted to the influence of the Mexican caricaturist and dealer Marius de Zayas, who started out as Stieglitz’s scout in Europe and ended up as New York’s foremost promoter of African art. He was introduced to it in Paris by the poet and collector Guillaume Apollinaire, and became fascinated by its relationship to Cubism after meeting Picasso.

Back in New York, de Zayas persuaded Stieglitz to mount the African art survey. In 1915, de Zayas opened his own gallery, where he built the collections of the Dada salonistes Walter and Louise Arensberg; the lawyer John Quinn, a major backer of the Armory Show; and Agnes E. and Eugene Meyer, who had previously been Stieglitz’s patrons.

De Zayas went on to curate exhibitions for Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney at the Whitney Studio Club, the precursor to the Whitney Museum, the first of which was “Recent Paintings by Pablo Picasso and Negro Sculpture” in 1923. 

Work from all three collections, together with de Zayas’s own holdings and the Whitney show, were photographed by the painter Charles Sheeler, who was a photographer early in his career. Many of his photographs will be shown here, along with several pieces that once passed through de Zayas’s hands. The grouping will also include seven sculptures once owned by Quinn, who by 1922 had assembled America’s pre-eminent African art collection. He was also an avid collector of Modernist masters, including Georges Seurat and Henri Rousseau. 

Quinn’s acquisitions were sold after his death in 1924 at age 54, and little was known of the African work until Ms. Biro tracked it down. (“John Quinn is one of the great discoveries of my dissertation,” she said.) Her research shows that Quinn was acquiring work from British colonial Nigeria and the Belgian Congo, which suggests that by this point dealers in New York had access to a broader range of work. 

The final segment of the Met exhibition covers the powerful influence that these sculptures, despite the fact that they had been procured through Europe’s colonization of Africa, exerted on forward-thinking African-American artists and intellectuals. 

By 1925, the literary critic and philosopher Alain Locke, often referred to as the father of the Harlem Renaissance, was calling for a new art based on African identity and heritage. The next year, on a trip to Europe, Dr. Locke purchased a collection of African art primarily from the Belgian Congo with the dream of using it to found a museum in Harlem. Throughout 1927, the collection was exhibited in New York and toured to the Art Institute of Chicago. Sadly, however, the Depression dashed Dr. Locke’s institutional dreams and the collection was dispersed, but not before the work had considerably inspired African-American artists. A case in point is offered by a 1932 painting of two masks (SHOWN AT THE TOP OF THIS POST), one from Congo and the other from Nigeria, by the African-American painter Malvin Gray Johnson. All three objects will be shown at the Met. 

For the Met, of course, the show also represents something of a watershed moment. According to Alisa LaGamma, the museum’s curator of African art, it is the first time that Modernist work has been shown in the Rockefeller wing, which since its opening in 1982 has been devoted to the department of the arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. And more shows that cross such departmental boundaries are likely to happen in the future throughout the museum. 

Ms. LaGamma has already organized shows that situate Africa’s classical art traditions in a broader art historical context. A 2008 exhibition juxtaposed classical African textile masterpieces with work by contemporary artists working within that vernacular, including Yinka Shonibare, El Anatsui, and Malick Sidibé. In 2011, another show brought together work by artists inspired by iconic African masks, including Lynda Benglis and Man Ray. 

“It’s part of the vision of our director,” Ms. LaGamma said, “that these departmental entities are artificial frontiers that we must all strive to break out of.” 

“If visitors to the museum have one thing they know about African art,” she added, it’s that “it had an impact on Modernism.” For this reason, her department is “addressing that very powerful narrative that Modernism has written for African art, and we’re trying to expand it.”

Imaginary Dog Star Landscapes

Art Without Artists (The Beauty of Ordinary Objects)

Dog Star re-posts this from John Foster's design blog (go here for more).  He wrote about the exhibition Art Without Artists at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at North Carolina State University in Raleigh:  "Almost a year of curatorial planning went into this wide-ranging exhibit, which includes 19th-century firefighting respirator masks, handmade game boards, signage, scientific devices, anonymous snapshots, quilts, and natural objects such as minerals and rocks. The exhibit’s focus includes objects never originally intended to be art — objects that today hold mystery and extraordinary design."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Discover STREB Teen Action Club

Teen Action Club is Back! 

SLAM is hosting a teen social networking event the 1st Saturday of every month Feb-June from 7:00-10:00PM. 

Learn extreme action moves, fly on the trapeze, jump on the trampoline, meet new people and hang with your friends! 

Who: Teenagers ages 13-18 
What: Extreme action! Trapeze, Trampoline, Pop Action, Food and fun! 
Where: 51 North First street Brooklyn NY 
When: First Saturday of Every Month! 7-10pm 
For: Just $15 per teen for the whole evening! 
How: Take the L train to Bedford Ave (1st stop in Brooklyn) then a quick walk to North 1st Street between Kent and Wythe. 

Call 718.384.6491 to purchase or pay at the door. 


High 5 Offers $5 Tickets for Afro Latin Jazz Performance

Dog Star knows that devoted teen readers are looking for something REALLY fresh and engaging to do - not the same old dinner, movie and walk around Times Square.  Why not go see live Afro Latin Jazz performed by the best in the country?  High 5 offers $5 tickets - go here for tickets!

The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra returns to Symphony Space with East Meets West, an electric night of the complex, profound and passionately alive born and breed in the sunny climate of California.

Fri., Feb. 1 @ 8:00 p.m. Sat., Feb. 2 @ 8:00 p.m. 

Symphony Space 95th & Broadway, Manhattan 

1 train to 96th St. St.

Meet NY Bad Boy Eddie Huang

Dog Star saw this story in the NY Times this morning...Eddie is very funny and boldly shares his life story in a new memoir about NOT fitting in.  He also has a great life story to share about going after what you really want in life - be brave, be bold - to make yourself happy.

Read a review of his memoir here.

The Daily News has a profile here.

Readers and fans can meet Eddie at Greenlight Bookstore next

Thursday, January 31 at 7:30pm.

Greenlight Bookstore: Discussion With Eddie Huang (Thursday) Mr. Huang, the owner and chef of the East Village restaurant Baohaus, will discuss his colorful life and new memoir, “Fresh Off the Boat,” with Sam Sifton, the national editor for The New York Times, who also writes about food for The Times Magazine. The discussion, at 7:30 p.m., will be followed by a reception with food from Baohaus. 686 Fulton Street, at South Portland Avenue, Fort Greene, Brooklyn, (718) 246-0200,; free.

Chef Who Refuses to Be Defined by His Wok

The firebrand chef Eddie Huang took over a table at Hot Kitchen, a Sichuan restaurant in the East Village, and commandeered the remote control. It was a Saturday night, and the Orlando Magic was losing to the New York Knicks. As Carmelo Anthony worked his way to 40 points, Mr. Huang’s body jerked in sympathetic rebound.

Mr. Huang’s face was framed by a crisp black New Yorker baseball cap. On his pinkie was a ring emblazoned with a Star of David; on his wrist a Nike+ FuelBand; and on his torso was an oversized black hoodie with the letters “P-I-F” emblazoned on the front. 

“It’s a type of very high-quality weed,” Mr. Huang said matter-of-factly. “The proper usage is, ‘You got dat pif, mang?’ ”  Mr. Huang smiled, a walking mixtape of postmodern cultural appropriation.

At 30, Mr. Huang is usually identified as a chef, which is only partly true. He is the chef and co-owner of BaoHaus, an informal Taiwanese bun shop in the East Village. But, he is quick to add, “I have more to say as a writer than from behind a wok.” 

Since 2009, Mr. Huang has built a career as an author and a television personality based on his brash cultural mashups and his take-no-prisoners critiques of everyone and everything. 

He has berated fellow chefs like Marcus Samuelsson and David Chang as exploiters and sellouts. On his online recaps, he has attacked the HBO show “Girls” as elitist. He has excoriated Guy Fieri as a cruel joke, and he pontificates on divisive topics like interracial dating and shark fin soup

He disseminates these broadsides on his blog, Fresh Off The Boat; through his active Twitter account, @MrEddieHuang; on a popular Vice online series called Fresh Off The Boat; and in a memoir of the same name, published this month by Random House. 

Mr. Huang’s path has been nomadic and unsteady. Raised in Orlando, Fla., he moved to New York in 2005 to study at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. “Yo, I was the president of the Minority Law Students Alliance,” he said. “It was ill.” 

After graduating, he practiced corporate law at Chadbourne & Parke but was laid off in March 2009.  Rather than continue law, he found work as a stand-up comic at the Laugh Lounge on the Lower East Side. Using the stage name Magic Dong Huang, he was a loud and high-energy figure, telling jokes about soy milk, Osama bin Laden and growing up Chinese in Orlando. 

“My only goal as a comedian was to stomp the life out of the model-minority myth,” he writes in the memoir. To make ends meet, he said, he also ran a loose network of marijuana dealers. “I had other comics selling my weed,” he said. 

Seeking greater exposure, Mr. Huang appeared on the Food Network show “Ultimate Recipe Showdown,” hosted by Mr. Fieri. Although he did not win, the show gave him the confidence to open BaoHaus with his brother, Evan, just nine months after being laid off. 

Crammed into a basement space on Rivington Street, it served savory bite-sized buns for a few dollars and “was meant to be like a futuristic Y.M.C.A., where all the weirdos could hang out,” he said. 

Six months later, he opened a full-service restaurant, Xiao Ye, which served dishes like Cheeto-Fried Chicken and ran specials like Four Loko Thursdays, based on the banned energy drink. The critics were brutal. “Xiao Ye is a bummer,” wrote Sam Sifton in a blistering review in The New York Times, rating it “fair.” 

“The review was a wake-up call,” Mr. Huang said. “I realized I couldn’t play hard and work hard. So I decided to dedicate myself, but not in the way people expected. I realized it is time to do what I came here for, to speak my mind and to talk about all the things about America I’d like to change.”

Eventually Xiao Ye closed, and Mr. Huang, with extra time on his hands, began to speak out. He criticized Mr. Samuelsson for exploiting the African-American experience at the Red Rooster in an article he wrote for The New York Observer. He criticized Mr. Chang for debasing his food for the Western palate, and took on Western chefs for cooking ethnic food. 

Mr. Huang went fishing with Tom Colicchio and banged around Brooklyn with Anthony Bourdain. He ignited Twitter wars with Food Network stars like Anne Burrell, calling her “fish filet.” He is giving a TED Talk this year on the shifting waltz between authenticity and ethnicity. 

“I want to prove you don’t need to have academic syntax to be intelligent,” he said. 

Mr. Huang’s appeal is not only in what he says, but how he says it — a profane concatenation of Mandarin and African-American vernacular English, spiced with allusions to Jonathan Swift, Charles Barkley and Cam’ron. 

Although he grew up in suburban Orlando, Mr. Huang was nevertheless deeply influenced by hip-hop culture, and his lexicon is the stuff of Tipper Gore’s nightmares. In a recent Vice episode, Mr. Huang introduced himself by saying: “What up? It’s your boy Eddie Huang. Writer. Chef. Human panda. BangBros connoisseur, and I’m horny for more.” Then he asks a passer-by for a marijuana cigarette.
Mr. Huang’s memoir reads like a Taiwanese-American hip-hop version of “Journey to the End of the Night” — an anarchic catalog of small triumphs and horrific scenes of physical abuse. According to the memoir, the abuse came at the hands of Mr. Huang’s father, a former Taiwanese gang-leader-cum-Orlando restaurateur, and his mother, a high-strung housewife. 

That led, in part, to Mr. Huang’s identification with black culture. “I remember black parents would hit their kids at the grocery store when they bruised the fruit,” he said. “I remember getting hit by my mother when I bruised the fruit, too. I thought, ‘I guess I’m more like them than the white kids.’ ”
Today, Mr. Huang lives in a small apartment in Stuyvesant Town with his brother and 120 pairs of sneakers. There are hundred of N.B.A. video games on a shelf and two unopened bottle of Hennessy V.S.O.P. on the table. “I always have two bottles of Hennessy in case something happens,” Mr. Huang said cryptically. 

The kitchen has fallen into disrepair, but Mr. Huang is rarely home anyway. When he is not traveling for Vice, he is behind the counter at BaoHaus, now on East 14th Street. 

He was there on a recent afternoon, in an apron and gray sweatshirt, as the hip-hop song “Ambition” by Wale blasted overhead. Mr. Huang’s face was obscured by thick clouds of steam, but his voice could be heard. 

“Easy to dream but harder to live it,” he sang along to the music. “They’re going to love me for my ambition.”