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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Meet Wangechi Mutu

Wangechi Mutu Introduction from Renee Rupcich on Vimeo.

The Eleagle Being EP (No bloggin' about you, huh?)

Download The Eleagle Being EP here.

Track Listing
  1. The Eleagle Being Intro (Dueced to You) (Produced by Ken-I)
  2. Cardigans & Zippers
  3. The Shining (Produced by Ken-I)
  4. Not a Rapper Featuring 21 Quest
  5. The Eleagle Being Rerprise (Words from DC) (Produced by Ken-I)
  6. Knew York City Featuring Nina Spierer 
  7. Soup of the Day
  8. Mind Doesn’t Mind
  9. #Won Featuring Matt Cronin & 21 Quest
  10. Purple
  11. Liqourish Wraps #BONUS#

Photovoltaic by KHALIK ALLAH

Have you seen Khalik's newest short film? It's really an essay on his creative process...

Here's what I told him:

The way you handle yourself on the streets is really something
amazing to see: lean in to get a closer shot of this one, lean back slightly
to catch a glimpse of a unique shirt and step through the crowd to get the inside the store to change your film...never a linger, thousands of shots have been missed while you went offstage...the performers all restless, impatient and even when you are taking their picture there's a hustle
happening somewhere that they're missing out on because
you don't want to miss the shot...

pho·to·vol·ta·ic adj. Capable of producing a voltage when exposed to radiant energy, especially light.

Photographer: Khalik Allah Filmed by: FifthGod Scoring arranged by 4th Disciple

GO SEE these Exhibitions at NYC's Museums this Winter

Dog Star knows everyone gets so busy as soon as we return from summer vacations and return to school and jobs.  This can be your guide to the big exhibitions at NYC's museums this fall and a checklist to be sure you see the ones you want before they close.

THIS IS A PRINTER-FRIENDLY POST.  Just the one image above and all text in black to make it easy to print the list and keep it in your agenda or to refer to it and make dates to see these exhibitions with family and friends.

All of the museums have a free or pay-what-you-wish (it can be just $1) night so be sure to check the website - it is linked in BOLD in the name of the museum.

You may read about artists here that you've never heard of before - that's a good reason to check it out.  Read the list and make a plan to see at least three to start - pick one you are excited about seeing and invite your family.  Choose another one and invite two friends to join you!  On the third go by yourself - it will be an entirely different experience and you be doing less socializing, less talking, less talking ABOUT the art and MORE LOOKING. 

And always keep your phone in your pocket.  It's tough to make a real connection to the artwork if you are texting, taking pictures or researching.  Give yourself the chance to have a "phone-free" experience with art.

While we encourage everyone to see as many of these exhibitions as possible we know that's not likely to happen.  Here's FIVE (out of the fifteen listed below) that we think are DO NOT MISS SHOWS.  If you had to be selective - because of work schedules and school - we recommend these FIVE TO SEE IN THIS ORDER OF PRIORITY:

1.  Art Spiegelman at The Jewish Museum
2.  Wangechi Mutu at the Brooklyn Museum
3.  Leonardo da Vinci at the Morgan Library & Museum
4.  American Modern: Hopper to O'Keefe at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
5.  Vermeer, Rembrandt and Hals at the Frick Collection

Finally, we've added one line called WHY GO? to express in a few words what's special, unusual or a rare opportunity to encourage devoted Dog Star readers to see an exhibition.

Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis
The Frick Collection
October 22, 2013 to January 19, 2014
The Frick Collection will be the final venue of an American tour of paintings from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague. This prestigious Dutch museum, which has not lent a large body of works from its holdings in nearly thirty years, is undergoing an extensive two-year renovation that makes this opportunity possible. A selection of fifteen masterpieces will be on view at The Frick Collection in New York from October 22, 2013, through January 19, 2014. Among the works going on tour are the famous Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer and The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius, neither of which will have been seen by audiences in the United States in ten years.
WHY GO?  It just doesn't get better than this!  Go and discover the Dutch masters!  DO NOT MISS this exhibition!

Tiepolo, Guardi, and Their World: Eighteenth-Century Venetian Drawings
The Morgan Library & Museum
September 27, 2013 through January 5, 2014
The Morgan's collection of eighteenth-century Venetian drawings is among the world's finest, with more than 300 sheets by renowned masters Giambattista Tiepolo (1696–1770) and his son Domenico (1726–1804). Drawn entirely from the museum's holdings, Tiepolo, Guardi, and Their World features a selection of nearly one hundred works on paper and chronicles the vitality and originality of drawing during Venice's second Golden Age.
WHY GO?  Anybody who likes to draw and appreciates the very finest drawings will definitely want to see these real-life examples from some of the best ever made in history.

Leonardo da Vinci: Treasures from the Biblioteca Reale, Turin
The Morgan Library & Museum
October 25, 2013 through February 2, 2014
For the first time in New York, the Morgan presents Leonardo da Vinci's extraordinary Codex on the Flight of Birds, and one of his most celebrated drawings, Head of a Young Woman (Study for the Angel in the Virgin of the Rocks), together with a selection of other works on paper by the master and his followers. These exceptional works, on loan from the Biblioteca Reale in Turin, will be joined by the Morgan's Codex Huygens, a singularly important Renaissance manuscript recording many of Leonardo's ideas from his lost treatise on painting.
WHY GO?  It is a rare opportunity to see da Vinci drawings that may not come to NYC again for another 50 years.  DO NOT MISS THIS EXHIBITION!

Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul
The Morgan Library & Museum
October 4, 2013 through January 26, 2014
The works of Edgar Allan Poe have frightened and thrilled readers for more than one hundred-fifty years. Terror of the Soul—inspired by the preface to Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque—explores Poe's poetry, fiction, and literary criticism, with a key thematic emphasis examining his profound influence on later writers. The exhibition will feature nearly one hundred items.
WHY GO?  Poe is fascinating and this little exhibition will show his personal items (notebooks, manuscripts) as well as show how he influenced others.

Vasily Kandinsky: From Blaue Reiter to the Bauhaus, 1910-1925
Neue Galerie
October 3, 2013-February 10, 2014 
Vasily Kandinsky: From Blaue Reiter to the Bauhaus, 1910-1925, an exhibition of masterworks that explores the development of Kandinsky’s art over a crucial period of time: from the Blaue Reiter period into the pure abstraction and total environments of his Bauhaus years.
WHY GO?  Also a famous mural series the painter created for Thomas Campbell's NYC apartment will be on loan from the Museum of Modern Art and re-created inside the galleries; it will be like walking into a Kandinsky painting!

The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution
New York Historical Society
October 11, 2013 - February 23, 2014
Works by Duchamp, Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne, Gauguin, and Van Gogh will be on display in The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution, which revisits the famous 1913 New York Armory Show on its 100th anniversary. In 1913, the International Exhibition of Modern Art came to New York. Organized by a small group of American artists and presented at the Lexington Avenue Armory (and thus nicknamed the Armory Show), it introduced the American public to European avant-garde painting and sculpture. The public sensation and the polemical critical responses to the show represented a watershed in the history of American art, This exhibition is an exploration of how the Armory Show inspired seismic shifts in American culture, politics, and society.
WHY GO?  One hundred years ago the Armory Show was shocking to many Americans - find out why and discover how much our society has changed and not changed since then!

Art Spiegelman's Co-Mix: A Retrospective
The Jewish Museum
November 8, 2013 - March 23, 2014
This first U.S. retrospective celebrates the career of one of the most influential living comic artists. The exhibition spans Spiegelman’s career from his early days in underground comix to provocative New Yorker covers and artistic collaborations in new media. Included are over three hundred preparatory sketches, preliminary and final drawings, plus prints and other ephemeral and documentary material.
WHY GO?  Devoted Dog Star readers will discover a wider world of this artist's work beyond his graphic novels Maus I and Maus II.  Do not miss this exhibition!

Robert Motherwell:  Early Collage
Guggenheim Museum
September 27, 2013–January 5, 2014
Devoted exclusively to papier collés and related works on paper from the 1940s and early 1950s by Robert Motherwell, this exhibition examines the American artist’s origins and his engagement with collage, which he described in 1944 as “the greatest of our [art] discoveries.”
WHY GO?  Fans of collage and collage art will want to see a master creator whose work is stunning, imaginative and exciting!

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey
Brooklyn Museum
October 11, 2013–March 9, 2014
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.
WHY GO?  DO NOT MISS THIS EXHIBITION - You have never seen anything like this artists work and it will be an eye-opening and fresh experience!

Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath
Brooklyn Museum
November 8, 2013–February 2, 2014
WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath explores the experience of war with an unprecedented collection of 400 photographic prints, books, magazines, albums, and camera equipment, bringing together iconic and unknown images taken by members of the military, commercial portraitists, journalists, amateurs, artists, and numerous Pulitzer Prize–winning photographers. Including the work of some 255 photographers from around the globe who have covered conflicts over the last 165 years, WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY examines the interrelationship between war and photography, reveals the evolution of the medium by which war is recorded and remembered, and explores the range of experience of armed conflict: recruitment, training, embarkation, daily routine, battle, death and destruction, homecoming, and remembrance.
WHY GO?  Fans of photography and photographers will enjoy this historical look at war photos through the years - including more recent conflicts.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier:
From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk
Brooklyn Museum
October 25, 2013–February 23, 2014
The Brooklyn Museum is the only East Coast venue for The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, the first international exhibition dedicated to the groundbreaking French couturier. Playful, poetic, and transformative, Gaultier’s superbly crafted and detailed garments are inspired by the beauty and diversity of global cultures. This multimedia exhibition is organized around seven themes tracing the influences on Gaultier's development—from the streets of Paris to the cinema—since he emerged as a designer in the 1970s. It features approximately 140 haute couture and prêt-à-porter ensembles, from the designer’s earliest to his most recent collections, many of which are displayed on custom mannequins with interactive faces created by high-definition audiovisual projections. Accessories, sketches, stage costumes, excerpts from films, and documentation of runway shows, concerts, and dance performances, as well as photographs by fashion photographers and contemporary artists who stepped into Gaultier’s world, explore how his avant-garde designs challenge societal, gender, and aesthetic codes in unexpected ways.
WHY GO?  Fans of fashion and fashionistas will want to see an extraordinary designer's career in one place - exciting and inspiring!

American Modern: Hopper to O'Keefe
Museum of Modern Art 
August 17, 2013–January 26, 2014
Drawn from MoMA’s collection, American Modern takes a fresh look at the Museum’s holdings of American art made between 1915 and 1950, and considers the cultural preoccupations of a rapidly changing American society in the first half of the 20th century. Including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, and sculptures, American Modern brings together some of the Museum’s most celebrated masterworks, contextualizing them across mediums and amid lesser-seen but revelatory works by artists who expressed compelling emotional and visual tendencies of the time.
WHY GO?  DO NOT MISS THIS EXHIBITION -  An opportunity to discover and re-discover modern American artists.

Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Lost Performance and the New Psychodrama - Manhattan
Whitney Museum of American Art
October 31, 2013-March 2014
This exhibition illuminates a radical period of 1970s performance art that flourished in downtown Manhattan, or what filmmaker and performance artist Jack Smith called “Rented Island,” and still remains largely unknown today. Working in lofts, storefronts, and alternative spaces, this group of artists, with backgrounds in theater, dance, music, and visual art, created complex new forms of performance to embody and address contemporary media, commercial culture, and high art.
WHY GO?  This exhibition will try to give a sense of the downtown performance scene in SoHo and the East Village in the 1970s - definitely for anybody who finds this time period and type of performance-based art fascinating.  This will be an eye-opening exhibition with installations, video and performance.

Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE
Whitney Museum of American Art
Sept 26, 2013–Jan 5, 2014 Robert Indiana (b. Robert Clark, 1928) first emerged on the wave of Pop Art that engulfed the art world in the early 1960s. Bold and visually dazzling, his work embraced the vocabulary of highway signs and roadside entertainments that were commonplace in post war America. Presciently, he used words to explore themes of American identity, racial injustice, and the illusion and disillusion of love. The appearance in 1966 of what became his signature image, LOVE, and its subsequent proliferation on unauthorized products, eclipsed the public’s understanding of the emotional poignancy and symbolic complexity of his art. This retrospective will reveal an artist whose work, far from being unabashedly optimistic and affirmative, addresses the most fundamental issues facing humanity—love, death, sin, and forgiveness—giving new meaning to our understanding of the ambiguities of the American Dream and the plight of the individual in a pluralistic society.
WHY GO?  You know the giant LOVE sculpture on Sixth Avenue near radio City Music Hall, right?  That's Robert Indiana.  But he did so much more and this exhibition gives us a chance to see it all together.

Julia Margaret Cameron
Metropolitan Museum 
August 19, 2013–January 5, 2014
One of the greatest portraitists in the history of photography, Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–1879) blended an unorthodox technique, a deeply spiritual sensibility, and a Pre- Raphaelite–inflected aesthetic to create a gallery of vivid portraits and a mirror of the Victorian soul. This will be the first New York City museum exhibition devoted to Cameron's work in nearly a generation, and the first ever at the Met.
WHY GO?  Go to discover an incredible female photographer who deserves more attention!

Balthus Cats and Girls—Paintings and Provocations
Metropolitan Museum
September 25, 2013–January 12, 2014
Balthus is best known for his series of pensive adolescents who dream or read in rooms that are closed to the outside world. Focusing on his finest works, the exhibition will be limited to approximately thirty-five paintings dating from the mid-1930s to the 1950s. Between 1936 and 1939, Balthus painted his celebrated series of portraits of Thérèse Blanchard, his young neighbor in Paris. Thérèse posed alone, with her cat, or with her two brothers. Never before shown in public will be the series of forty small ink drawings for Mitsou, in which the eleven-year-old Balthus evoked his adventures with a stray tomcat and which were published by the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke in 1921.
WHY GO? This is the first exhibition of the artist's works in this country in thirty years.  If you don't know this artist's paintings then this is your best chance to discover him!  He is amazing!

Iran Modern
Asia Society 
September 6, 2013 - January 5, 2014 
Asia Society is organizing a landmark exhibition, Iran Modern, that will focus on Iranian art created during the three decades leading up to the revolution of 1979. Asia Society’s aim is to shed light on a period when Iranian artists were engaged with the world through the Tehran Biennial in Iran as well as exhibitions overseas, and when their work was collected by institutions inside and outside of Iran. The exhibition maps the genesis of Iranian modernism in order to argue that the development of modernist art is inherently more globally interconnected than previously understood. The first major U.S. international loan exhibition on the subject, Iran Modern comprises over 100 paintings, sculpture, photography, and works on paper by the most noteworthy Iranian artists of the 1950s to 1970s, and provides a dynamic perspective on Iran’s rich culture and history for the public.
WHY GO?  We never get to see this kind of artwork and this will be a rare chance to see modern art from Iran.

The Shadows Took Shape
Studio Museum of Harlem 
Nov 14, 2013 - Mar 9, 2014
The Shadows Took Shape a dynamic interdisciplinary exhibition exploring contemporary art through the lens of Afrofuturist aesthetics. Coined in 1994 by writer Mark Dery in his essay “Black to the Future,” the term “Afrofuturism” refers to a creative and intellectual genre that emerged as a strategy to explore science fiction, fantasy, magical realism and pan-Africanism. With roots in the avant-garde musical stylings of sonic innovator Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, 1914–1993), Afrofuturism has been used by artists, writers and theorists as a way to prophesize the future, redefine the present and reconceptualize the past. The Shadows Took Shape will be one of the few major museum exhibitions to explore the ways in which this form of creative expression has been adopted internationally and highlight the range of work made over the past twenty-five years.
WHY GO?  Discover artists who do bold, original and innovative work! 

Three Exhibitions at International Center of Photography (ICP)
International Center of Photography (ICP)
All three have same exhibition dates October 4, 2013–January 12, 2014

Lewis Hine (1874–1940) is widely recognized as an American original whose work has been cited as a precursor to modernist and documentary photography. While certain of Hine's photographic projects—such as on immigration, child labor, New York City, and the building of the Empire State Building—are well known, few exhibitions have considered his entire life's work.

Zoe Strauss: 10 Years
For a decade between 2001 and 2010, Philadelphia photographer Zoe Strauss (b. 1970) showed her photographic works once a year in a public space beneath an I-95 highway overpass in South Philadelphia. In these annual one-day exhibitions, Strauss mounted her color photographs to the concrete bridge supports and viewers could buy photocopies for five dollars. Through portraits and documents of houses and signage, Strauss looked unflinchingly at the economic struggles and hardscrabble lives of residents in her own community and other parts of the United States. She describes her work as "an epic narrative about the beauty and struggle of everyday life." Strauss, a self-taught photographer and political activist, sees her work as a type of social intervention, and she has often used billboards and public meetings as venues. This exhibition is a mid-career retrospective and the first critical assessment of her decade-long project.

JFK November 22, 1963: A Bystander's View of History
When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, the event and its aftermath were broadcast to a stunned nation through photography and television. Reporters used dramatic spot news photographs by professional photojournalists as well as snapshots by unsuspecting witnesses to explain the events: the shooting of the President, the hunt for the assassin, the swearing in of the new President, the widow's grief, the funeral, the shooting of Oswald. Viewers interpreted these photographs in various ways: to comprehend the shocking news, to negotiate their grief, to attempt to solve the crime. The combination of personal photographs assuming public significance and subjective interpretations of news images disrupted conventional views of photography as fact or evidence. JFK November 22, 1963: A Bystander's View of History examines the imaginative reception of these iconic photographs.
WHY GO?  Discover an influential photo-documentary master (Hine), how people's views and snapshots shape history (JFK) and meet the work of an incredibly talented contemporary photographer (Strauss).

Words to Live By (The Four Agreements)

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.

Friday, November 29, 2013

William Kentridge's "The Refusal of Time" @ The Met Museum - Bring your friends and family!

Dog Star is a huge fan of William Kentridge - he boldly explores all kinds of media (sculpture, printmaking, video animation, painting) to express his ideas about human suffering and freedom.

Now, the Met Museum has purchased this amazing installation that will be on view until May 2014.

Scroll down to read the brief article about it from The New York Times.

Go here for the Met Museum exhibition.

Met Museum is EASY TO REACH and everyone can pay just $1 (it's allowed) and take the 4,5, 6 train to 86th Street & Lexington and walk west to Fifth Avenue and south to 82nd Street.  Open seven days a week!

William Kentridge: ‘The Refusal of Time’

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Through May 11 
Everything’s on the move in the mini power plant that is William Kentridge’s “The Refusal of Time.” In projected videos by Mr. Kentridge and Catherine Meyburgh, metronomes pound away like a grim marching band. Hands on clock faces spin, spewing trails of stars. Drawings erase themselves.

Maps of Africa appear and disappear. In a laboratory filled with what look like giant watch springs, white-coated figures mix potions to the beat of a tuba-intensive score by Philip Miller. At the center of the theaterlike installation, a real machine, a wooden contraption with pumping pistons, seems to function as a generator for the entire piece. 

Created in 2012 for Documenta 13, this complex, meticulously programmed sound-and-light work, which runs 30 minutes, is a collaboration between Mr. Kentridge, who is based in South Africa, and Peter L. Galison, a professor of the history of science and of physics at Harvard, where Mr. Kentridge lectured last year. In researching the work of Albert Einstein and the late-19th-century mathematician Henri Poincaré, Mr. Galison discovered that both thinkers independently concluded that time, as experienced in the modern, industrialized world, is a relative rather than universally fixed phenomenon. Mr. Kentridge approaches the same idea through references to European colonialism, which strove to shape non-Western cultures to set concepts of reality, only to find that those cultures had different, resistant, ultimately assertive realities of their own. 

The piece, audience pleasing in the best, challenging sense, has recently been acquired jointly by the Metropolitan and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Its current presence in New York is further welcome evidence of the Met’s relatively newfound willingness to invest in ambitious new work. And surely the nature of the purchase establishes a salutary practical model, in a time when cash is tight and art prices sky-high, for institutional resource-sharing in the future.


Is Kanye West "Crazy" ?

You can't make this stuff up … "I’m like Michelangelo, and anyone who backs me is like the Medici family … ” — Kanye

Just this past week I was talking about Kanye with my 10th graders.  They asked me if I think he's crazy.  I told them I think we need to stop calling Kanye crazy.  I think it is too easily abused the way we used to say "retarded."  Maybe it's just replaced that word?  Anyway I explained that we can not truly know why Kanye West says and does the things he says/does.

I asked, "What if everything he has said and done is part of an elaborate marketing campaign that will come together in a spectacular way and make him hundreds of millions of dollars?"  I said, if that is the case nobody would call him crazy.

In addition, calling him crazy demeans mentally ill people and minimizes the seriousness of mental illness.  So, no, I do not think Kanye is crazy.  I do think he says and does strange things that go way beyond what a conventional person would say or do but I think that's precisely what he intends.  It is the very least of what he's doing - intentionally being unconventional.

So it is problematic that when Hyperallergic wants to "check" Kanye they end their piece with calling him "unhinged."  It's more of the same "crazy name calling."  And it's wrong.

Words to Live By

Remembering 1960s Afghanistan (Photographs by Bill Podlich)

Go here to see more of Bill Podlich's photos with captions written by his daughter - it's worth the trip!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Words to Live By

Art Makes You Smart (NY Times article)

Dog Star re-posts this article from The New York Times:

Art Makes You Smart

FOR many education advocates, the arts are a panacea: They supposedly increase test scores, generate social responsibility and turn around failing schools. Most of the supporting evidence, though, does little more than establish correlations between exposure to the arts and certain outcomes. Research that demonstrates a causal relationship has been virtually nonexistent.

A few years ago, however, we had a rare opportunity to explore such relationships when the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened in Bentonville, Ark. Through a large-scale, random-assignment study of school tours to the museum, we were able to determine that strong causal relationships do in fact exist between arts education and a range of desirable outcomes.


BTW the image they're using for the illustration for the article is a reference to this famous painting by George Seurat that is permanently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago called "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte," 1884.

FREE ON SATURDAYS! Go See Art Spiegelman's Co-Mix: A Retrospective - Bring your friends and family!

Art Spiegelman's Co-Mix: A Retrospective
November 8, 2013 - March 23, 2014

The Jewish Museum
FREE for everyone EVERY Saturday
Open Thursday through Tuesday (Closed on Wednesdays)
1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street
(Click here to see a map.)
1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street

Read a New York Times article on the making of the exhibition with an interview with Art Spiegelman as he tours the exhibition before it opens...

Art Spiegelman’s Co-Mix: A Retrospective celebrates the career of one of the most influential living comic artists. Best known for Maus, his Pulitzer prize-winning graphic novel about his parents' survival of the Holocaust, Art Spiegelman (b. 1948) has produced a diverse body of work over the course of five decades that has blurred the boundaries between “high” and “low” art. 

This first U.S. retrospective spans Spiegelman’s career: from his early days in underground “comix” to the thirteen-year genesis of Maus, to more recent work including his provocative covers for The New Yorker, and artistic collaborations in new and unexpected media. 

The exhibition highlights Spiegelman’s painstaking creative process, and includes over three hundred preparatory sketches, preliminary and final drawings, as well as prints and other ephemeral and documentary material.

Spiegelman first made a name for himself as an artist and editor in underground comix, the graphic expression of the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s. As he matured as an artist, Spiegelman diverged from the sex and drug ethos of his peers and, in a postmodern fashion, increasingly challenged the narrative, visual, and structural possibilities of comics. 

He also began exploring themes that dominate his work to this day: intimate personal expression, memory, and history. In the 1980’s Spiegelman reinvigorated underground comics by co-founding the avant-garde magazine RAW with his wife Françoise Mouly. RAW showcased the most groundbreaking graphic artists of the time, as well as serially publishing chapters of the then work-in-progress Maus.

Maus recounted his parents’ life in Nazi-occupied Poland and at Auschwitz, as well as Spiegelman’s own complex relationship with his father Vladek. Eventually published in two volumes (in 1986 and 1991 respectively) by Pantheon, Maus was the first of its kind in content and format: the unique structure of the comics medium allowed the artist to navigate time and memory beyond the limitations of prose, creating a rich narrative that exploded the boundaries of comics and nonfiction.

Refusing to be defined by the overwhelming attention brought by this singular work, Spiegelman largely turned away from autobiography in the 1990s, instead writing and drawing for The New Yorker and other publications, and creating a series of children’s books. But after witnessing firsthand the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11, he returned to personal narrative with his autobiographical account In the Shadow of No Towers (2004). 

This lifelong concern with memory and personal experience has continued in his short comic memoir Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@*&! (2008), and in Metamaus (2011), a meditation on his creative process and career.

A self-proclaimed “stylistic switch-hitter,” Spiegelman’s versatility and encyclopedic knowledge of comics history has allowed him to adapt his visual language to many contexts and audiences. For those most familiar with Maus, this retrospective exhibition will be revelatory— from his early formal experiments, to his honest self-exposés, to his provocative illustrations and comic essays, visitors will gain an intimate look at an artist who continuously pushes himself and his art to the edge. 

The exhibition will also explore his artistic collaborations in new and unexpected media, including a performance with the dance troupe Pilobolus.

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: Tame Impala's "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards"

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Haydn killed by a cell phone

The music comes to these moments where it gets more and more silent, and more magic[al]...people should realize that music lives on something completely different than being disturbed..." 

Well said, Mr. Zacharias! 

Music is a transcendent experience and if anything is to pop that bubble a performer has a right to /should acknowledge that nuisance.

The cell phone going off in a theater is just's selfish, rude, disrespectful...and vulgar.  Yes it is vulgar. 

I won't go to the movies anymore because of in NYC people at the movies and text the whole time - their devices glowing like little sattelite planets beckoning, beckoning, "Look over here...lookaway from the movie...over here...and there...and anywhere but at the little light calls you..."

Haydn killed by a cell phone from Göteborgs Symfoniker on Vimeo.

Words to Live By


IDIOTS from BLR_VFX on Vimeo.

Words to Live By

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!