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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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

OPEN NOW! GO SEE Wangechi Mutu's Wild World @ the Brooklyn Museum

ARTWORK ABOVE:  The Bride Who Married a Camel's Head, 2009. Mixed-media collage on Mylar, 42 x 30 in. (106.7 x 76.2 cm). Wangechi Mutu (Kenyan, b. 1972). 

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey

October 11, 2013–March 9, 2014

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, 4th Floor

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey is the first survey in the United States of this internationally renowned, Brooklyn-based artist. Spanning from the mid-1990s to the present, the exhibition unites more than fifty pieces, including Mutu’s signature large-scale collages as well as video works, never-before-seen sketchbook drawings, a site-specific wall drawing, and sculptural installations. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Mutu scrutinizes globalization by combining found materials, magazine cutouts, sculpture, and painted imagery. Sampling such diverse sources as African traditions, international politics, the fashion industry, pornography, and science fiction, her work explores gender, race, war, colonialism, global consumption, and the exoticization of the black female body. Mutu is best known for spectacular and provocative collages depicting female figures—part human, animal, plant, and machine—in fantastical landscapes that are simultaneously unnerving and alluring, defying easy categorization and identification. Bringing her interconnected ecosystems to life for this exhibition through sculptural installations and videos, Mutu encourages audiences to consider these mythical worlds as places for cultural, psychological, and socio-political exploration and transformation.

West Hollywood Home Emphasizes Peaceful Relaxation

Dog Star really likes this simple, classy modern home in West Hollywood (a neighborhood of Los Angeles).  We especially like the 48 foot swimming poll parallel to the house and the overall relaxing vibe of the design.  However, the yellow "honeycomb" feature in the dining area (click on the link here to see more pics and information at Freshome) is too bold and detracts from the serenity of the house.

Wednesday, October 30, 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.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

FREE! JAZZ & COLORS in Central Park Saturday Nov. 9 - Bring your family and friends!

30 Bands. 30 Locations. 1 Setlist. 

You’ve never experienced autumn in Central Park like this before. 

Brilliant with the colors of fall and more alive with great jazz than ever before, for one afternoon Central Park will be teeming with talent, as artists perform in every corner of this great urban oasis. 

From the shadow of Duke Ellington’s statue to the hum of Columbus Circle – and virtually everywhere in between – the Park will be filled with music. 

Enter anywhere you like, linger as long as you like. Stop in at an information center if you need directions or mementos. Let the music and this map be your guide. 

Thirty ensembles will be interpreting a single list of songs as they perform at some of Central Park’s most beloved sites throughout the afternoon. 

Each will use the setlist to paint the aural landscape in their own style. Find new favorite artists, songs, and places as you explore Central Park in a whole new way — and enjoy. 

 Jazz & Colors is a free public concert.  GO HERE FOR MORE!

Go See Magritte's Surreal Worlds @ MoMA (Always FREE for H.S. students!)

Dog Star says you should invite your friends and family to go see this Magritte exhibition!

Installation view of the exhibition Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938, on view at The Museum of Modern Art from September 28, 2013, to January 12, 2014, explores the evolution of René Magritte’s work from 1926 to 1938. 

This Belgian painter's name is pronounced ma-GREET.

ALWAYS FREE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WITH I.D. CARD - simply walk up to the admissions desk (enter on West 53rd Street and it's the counter at the right against the wall) and say, "Hello, I am a high school student and I would like one ticket, please."

Magritte's surreal paintings are lots of fun with erotic mystery and plenty of humor.  Museum of Modern art (MoMA) website here.

Read the review of the exhibition in The New York Times - they loved it, too!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dog Star Selects A Very Cool Tiny Painting

Dog Star is amazed at the detail in this allegory.  Look at the shadows on the plaster sculpture, on the right arm and the full dimensions of the mask hanging around the neck.  It's called Pictura (An Allegory of Painting) (detail), painted by Frans van Mieris the Elder in 1661. It is in the permanent collection of The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.  This entire painting is only five inches high.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Photographing Puerto Rican New York

Above:  Miguel Piñero of the Nuyorican literary movement and poet Sandra Maria Esteves on the train in New York City in 1977.  Photo by Bolivar Arellano.

Beautiful intimate photographs of Latinos in New York City by Bolivar Arellano.

Arellano says he didn't need to focus on the negative aspects of Latino life because everyone else was already doing that. "I was covering the good things about the Latino community," he says. "There was nobody covering the good side."

In the raging 1970s, New York City was dangerous, broke and at times on fire.

Latinos in the city were taking to the streets, running for office and carving out artistic spaces. "Latino" at the time in New York meant "Puerto Rican."  

Photojournalist Bolivar Arellano immigrated to the city in '71, and remembers a vivid introduction to the Young Lords, a militant organization that advocated for Puerto Rican independence. 

This self-described activist-photojournalist chronicled the Latino community for El Diario-La Prensa, which also aimed to tell the stories the English-language press wasn't covering.

The Spanish-language daily is marking its centennial this year and is placing 5,000 archival images in Columbia University's care for preservation. Twenty of Arellano's black-and-white photos from the 1970s are now on display at the university.

"The Raging '70s" exhibit, which opened this month, positions vibrant musicians against militant activists — applause alongside protest chants. Celia Cruz onstage at Madison Square Garden. Alleged robbers in police cars after a blackout. Drug-dealing in public space. A re-creation of daily life on the Lower East Side for a film, a pig roasting in the foreground.


Go here for the source of this post at Code Switch - more great photos and information

Go here for link to the exhibition website at Columbia University

423 Hamilton Hall, M.C. 2880
1130 Amsterdam Avenue

Go here for a map of Columbia's campus

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!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Famous Living Black Males Who ARE NOT Rappers or Athletes

ABOVE:  MSNBC journalist Touré and his son Hendrix on 14th Street in Manhattan - Photographed by Brandon Stanton who is Humans of New York (a street photographer who posts on Facebook)

Dog Star says that too often the black male role model is limited to the long-dead Malcom X and Dr. King - there are, of course many, many successful black men - even famous living ones - who are not athletes or rappers.  

In fact, when the photo above first appeared on HONY's Facebook page, some posted comments like "Pursuit of Happyness" in reference to the Wil Smith film.  So the only reference for an image of a successful black man is from a Hollywood movie (although it is based on a true story).

There is something called the "national narrative on black males" in which the dominant themes are nihilism, apathy, high school dropout, fathering children with unwed mothers, and joblessness.  In this post we want to offer a "counter-narrative" that speaks out against these stereotypes.  There are as many different ways of being a black man in America as there are black men!

We had Kevin Hart on the list but we decided he was too easy to include - a popular comedian and already well-known.  So we have avoided entertainers not just rappers and athletes.

We also considered doctor and writer Ben Carson but dropped him from the list after he made homophobic remarks against gay marriage.

Making anti-gay jokes or expressing anti-gay beliefs says a lot about a man's characterIt announces to other people that a man is intolerant, ignorant, fearful of the unknown and disrespectful of others who are different.

Our list has a very important dominant theme: the importance of education.  It's one thing all these men have in common!  They know that education is the game changer.  Getting ahead in life means getting an education.

After we state the OBVIOUS LIVING BLACK MAN, President Barack Obama, who else?   

Here's TEN MORE.  Let's take a closer look:

Guion S. Bluford - Astronaut, scientist, engineer

Wes Moore - (photo above) Elite Army veteran, author, motivational speaker

Neil Degrasse Tyson - President of the American Museum of Natural History, astrophysicist

Dr. Cornel West - Philosopher, activist, author, minister

Tavis Smiley - Author, activist, television and radio host

Thomas Chatterton Williams - (book cover above) writer, activist

Peter Henry - Dean of N.Y.U.’s Stern School of Business (read a NY Times interview here)

Touré - MSNBC journalist, writer, music critic

Don Thompson - CEO of McDonalds Corp. - one of five black male CEOs of a Fortune 500 company - the others are Kenneth Frazier of Merck, Kenneth Chenault of American Express, Clarence Otis of Darden Restaurants, and  Roger Ferguson, who heads privately held TIAA-CREF, as the African-Americans in the nation's top 500 companies.

Shayne Oliver - (photo above) fashion designer (Hood by Air) - Go here to read a NY Times story in him

Famous black scientists - go here.

Read this article - The Weight of Being a (Young and Successful) Black Male 

Zero Energy Studio Nestled in the Hills of Italy

tvzeb house Experimental Zero Energy Building Nestled in The Hills of Italy: TVZEB

Dog Star re-posts from Freshome:

A notable design collaboration between the traverso-vighy architecture studio and the University of Padua’s Department of Technical Physics led to the development of Residence TVZEB, an experimental zero energy building. The new project was especially built to accommodate an environmentally-sound architecture studio and is located in a few kilometers from the historic center of Vicenza, Italy.  Go here for more information and photos.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dog Star Selects Palazzo Medici Riccardi

Dog Star enjoys the city of Florence, Italy and happily discovered this building online and visited it when we returned to Florence on a trip last summer. The picture above shows the Inner Courtyard.

The Palazzo Medici, also called the Palazzo Medici Riccardi after the later family that acquired and expanded it, is a Renaissance palace located in Florence, Italy. The palace was designed by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo for Cosimo de' Medici, head of the Medici banking family, and was built between 1445[2] and 1460. It is well known for its stone masonry of rustication and ashlar.  The tripartite [three-part] elevation used here expresses the Renaissance spirit of rationality, order, and classicism on human scale.  

Read more about this building here and visit the official tourist website here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Era headwear sports gang colors (NY Post)

But...wait, is this really true? Or is this hysterical NY Post writer exaggerating this to write another thinly-veiled racist piece...?

New Era headwear sports gang colors

In 2007, the Yankees’ and MLB’s official team cap maker, New Era, issued a statement in which they refuted the claims of an East Harlem civic group that New Era was cashing in by manufacturing customized, non-traditional Yankees caps to reflect the colors and other symbols of area street gangs.

Of course, the dual denial was nonsense — that’s exactly what New Era was doing and what New Era, the Yankees and MLB were profiting from.

New Era and MLB, however, did thank the concerned citizens for bringing this issue “to our attention” and did promise to pull some of the Yankees, MLB-licensed gang headwear.

That’s right, New Era had no idea that its funked-up, overly stylized Yankees caps with the crowns embroidered over the NY were being worn by Latin Kings.