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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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

Friday, January 31, 2014

Discover MARTIN WONG & His Friendship with Graffiti Artists (City as Canvas Exhibition)

Great story in the NY Times today re-visit's Martin Wong's Lower East Side with his friends who remember a caring artist and collector who had the vision to preserve early graffiti and later donated it to the Museum of the City of New York.
The article has great quotes from these guys about the work they do and the stereotypes / misconceptions about early street art.

The exhibition CITY AS CANVAS opens next week:

Peep this related event to hear from artist Chris Pape (aka Freedom) on Feb. 12:

from the article (I saved the best quotes for you to read in the article):

“City as Canvas” focuses on the 1970s and ’80s, featuring — along with the work of Mr. Goodstone, Mr. Quiñones and Mr. Ellis, that of Zephyr (Andrew Witten), Dondi (Donald White), Lady Pink (Sandra Fabara), Rammellzee and Keith Haring.

Wong “wanted to become the Albert Barnes of graffiti,” Mr. Ellis says in Mr. Ahearn’s film, referring to Dr. Albert C. Barnes, whose notable art collection, rich in Post-Impressionist and early Modern works, now has its own museum in Philadelphia.


Light Skin vs. Dark Skin

Dog Star hears skin color comments all day in class from students...light skinned vs. dark skinned students say offensive things to each other - especially females to each other. I like this "old" interview with Brittany Sky who appears in Kendrick's "Poetic Justice" video. She replaced a lighter model at Kendrick's insistence. Mostly the point is made that darker women are under-represented in musis videos and that rappers DO have the power to change this image.

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.

Dog Star Selects Singer House in Saint Petersburg

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Created to commemorate a celebrated war victory, 'The Dying Gaul' is on display at Washington's National Gallery of Art, the first time in two centuries that the sculpture has left Italy. 

During the 230s B.C., Attalos I of Pergamon in Asia Minor decisively defeated marauding tribes of Gauls. Known for their muscular physique and the feral appearance imparted by the thick, manelike locks of hair they washed with water and lime, these Celtic warriors were at various times a terror to Greeks and Romans alike. In 387 B.C. they had plundered Rome itself.

"The Dying Gaul," on loan to the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, from Rome's Capitoline Museum through March 16, is a superb antique copy of a sculptural masterpiece originally intended to commemorate the Pergamene triumph. Attalos I (who ruled 241-197 B.C.) probably commissioned the original bronze sculpture himself, as part of a larger composition devoted to the theme of a vanquished but noble adversary. 

One other complete sculpture, also extant in the form of a high-quality marble copy, can be associated with near certainty with this larger composition: the "Gaul Committing Suicide With His Wife" in the National Museum of Rome's Palazzo Altemps.

It's uncertain when, where and for whom these copies were made. Some scholars date them to the first or second century A.D., but an earlier timeframe is possible. Both copies were discovered in the gardens of the Villa Ludovisi in Rome, probably in the early 1620s when the villa's construction was under way. These gardens overlapped with those that had once belonged to Julius Caesar, who himself waged victorious campaigns against the Gauls. Caesar's property eventually came into the hands of Roman emperors. 

Go See CITY AS CANVAS - Martin Wong's Graffitti Collection

Dog Star knows that devoted readers will make a special trip - many many trips - uptown to the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY 103rd Street & Fifth Avenue) to see CITY AS CANVAS.

The first exhibition of works from the expansive street art collection of Martin Wong.

City as Canvas: New York City Graffiti from the Martin Wong Collection provides a visual account of graffiti and street art in New York City during the 1970s and 80s, showcasing works from the pioneering collection of Martin Wong (1946–1999). 

This exhibition, which showcases these works for the first time, traces the origins of this urban self-expression and the era of "outlaw" street art, which became a worldwide cultural phenomenon. It features examples of paintings and sketch book work by artists including Keith Haring, Lee Quinones, Lady Pink, Futura 2000, among many others. 

More about the Martin Wong Graffiti Collection

In 1994, the Museum of the City of New York was given a remarkable resource – the graffiti art collection assembled by the painter Martin Wong throughout the 1980s.

This pioneering collection, acquired at a time when graffiti was not highly regarded in the art world, includes more than 300 objects – including some 50 artists’ black books along with more than 100 canvases and over 150 works on paper. 

 Among them are the earliest surviving examples of work by artists who went on to have important gallery careers. Wong, who with Peter Broda had created the short-lived Museum of American Graffiti on Bond Street in the East Village in 1989, was dedicated to preserving the history of this important art movement. 

When he was diagnosed with AIDS in 1994, he made the decision to donate the entire collection to the Museum of the City of New York. Martin Wong died in 1999 at age 53. 

On view from February 4, 2014-July 27, 2014
Museum of the City of New York is EASY TO REACH
at 5th Ave. & 103rd St.
By subway: #6 Lexington Avenue train to 103rd Street, walk three blocks west; #2 or #3 train to Central Park North/110th Street, walk one block east to Fifth Avenue, then south to 103rd Street.
Admission is by suggested donation - everyone can pay just $1 at all times.

More about Martin Wong

See paintings by Wong at his art dealer's website

Go here to see selections from the Martin Wong Collection online  

Lee Quiñones • Howard the Duck, 1988 • Oil on canvas • Museum of the City of New York, gift of Martin Wong, 94.114.1

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.

Dog Star Selects Gilded Age New Orleans

New Orleans circa 1890. The intersection of Canal Street and Royal Street. The statue is of Henry Clay. In 1905 it was moved to another location two blocks away to make room for the proliferation of the new, electric streetcars. Note the advertisement for the French Opera House on Bourbon Street. The French Opera House was one of the largest, and grandest opera houses on the North American continent. All of the European performers who sang in it said it had as good - if not better acoustics than any opera house in Europe. The French Opera House burned in 1919 and was never rebuilt. A New Orleans journalist, the morning after the fire, wrote in the daily newspaper, “The heart of the old French Quarter stopped beating last night.”

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Discover Photographer ALVIN BALTRUP

Dog Star discovered this fascinating photographer late last year and we know that devoted readers will enjoy his work, too.

What's interesting, though, is that Alvin Baltrop was likely ignored when he was alive for precisely the reasons he is fascinating ten years after his death (he died in 2004 from cancer).  Baltrop photographed his world:  first as an enlisted man in the U.S. Navy, then Harlem streets after his honorable discharge and, eventually, in the 1970s, the West Side piers and the East and West Village, particularly the street life of other gay men.  When he was diagnosed with cancer and near the end of his life he documented his illness and its effects on his body.

His work was ignored because of (1) racism against him as a black man and (2) the subject of his photos is not typical pretty street photography.  It's gritty and ugly and captures a time and place people did not want to glorify.

So let's back up a minute.  Baltrup is most famous today for images he captured on the West Side piers of Manhattan along the Hudson River.  By the 1960s industry had left the waterfronts of Manhattan and there was no longer any use for the piers there.  These had been the primary means of transporting people and products for hundreds of years.  Shipping moved to New Jersey and the Brooklyn waterfront.  

These piers were left abandoned and open for anybody to discover.  Many people did and Baltrup captured the freedom people felt to hang out on these piers.  It wasn't always a party, though.  These piers also attracted hookers, pimps, drug dealers, thieves, and other criminals.  Baltrup caught some of that life on film, too.

This post includes an excerpt from a fairly comprehensive biographical article on Baltrup and ten photos we think represent his work.  Enjoy!

A Biographical Article:

At the age of 26, Alvin Baltrop began photographing what was going on at Manhattan’s West Side piers. The area, full of abandoned warehouses and dilapidated industrial piers, became a temporary home for queer teenage runaways and a cruising spot for gay men.

It was a place that was under the radar. People went there to do drugs, muggings were common and so, unfortunately, were rape, murder and suicide. Baltrop’s camera captured gay public sex, the public art of muralist Tava, various unknown graffiti artists, as well as pieces by David Wojnarowicz, who also visited the piers. Baltrop documented homelessness, death and the stark decay of run-down warehouses with depth and grace.

Of course, not everyone saw it that way. The mainstream art world, even the gay portion of it, couldn’t see the value in Baltrop’s work. Hostile reactions to his pictures were common. One curator he showed his portfolio to likened Baltrop to a sewer rat because of the content of his photos. Most art gallery owners and academic art critics could only see dirty homeless fags fucking in an abandoned warehouse, and stopped there.

According to his close friend and assistant, Randal Wilcox, gay art galleries were the most unreceptive to the late photographer’s work.

“Al Baltrop endured constant racism from gay curators, gallery owners and other members of the ‘gay community’ until his death,” said Wilcox. “Many of these people doubted that Baltrop shot his own photographs; some implied or directly told him that he stole the work of a white photographer. Other people who were willing to accept the photographs treated Al as though he was an idiot savant. Other people stole photographs from him.”

It didn’t take long for Baltrop to get the picture. He subsequently withdrew from the art world and focused more of his energy on photography. As a result of his experiences, his work received very little attention during his lifetime. He had a few small shows in New York, one at the Glines, a gay non-profit, and another exhibit at the East Village gay bar where he sometimes worked as a bouncer.


Poorly Drawn Lines

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

KNOW MY CITY: Radio Row on the Lower West Side (WTC Site)

New York's Radio Row in 1936, with the Ninth Avenue El at Cortlandt Street in the background (Photograph by Berenice Abbott)

This entire area was destroyed by 1966 to make way for the World Trade Center.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dog Star Selects A Chandelier that Projects Tree Shadows

This remarkable chandelier from Hilden & Diaz projects a 360° shadow of trees and roots onto the walls surrounding it. Titled Forms in Nature the light was partly inspired by the drawings of Ernst Haeckel, the German biologist, naturalist, and philosopher (among other things) who is perhaps most famous for discovering thousands of new animal species and mapping them to a genealogical “tree of life”. Hilden & Diaz describe via their website that the shadows in their light are actually upside down:
Interestingly, the roots are those elements of the forest that are the most visible. Thereby the sculpture is not only mirrored, but also turned upside down in Hilden & Diaz’ artwork. [...] The shadows engulfs the room and transforms the walls into unruly shadows of branches, bushes and gnarled trees. Mirrorings are thrown out upon the walls and ceilings and provide weak Rorschach-like hints of faces, life and flow of consciousness. Dimming the lights transforms the installation and one senses a weak fire burning deep in the center of the forest.
It appears the light is just a concept right now, but feel free to join the chorus of people begging for the real thing. (via

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Legendary Boxer's Son Living in Poverty

Muhammad Ali’s son shut off from dad, living in poverty

In 1986, when Muhammad Ali Jr. was 14 years old, his father, the greatest boxer alive, picked up the teen for a visit. 

 “We got in the car, and I said I needed to stop for something to eat,” Ali Jr. recalls. “By the time I came back out, he was gone.” 

Ali Jr. called his father’s new wife, Lonnie, and said, “Daddy left me up here. I don’t know why he left me.” 

She said she’d tell him as soon as he arrived home. 

“He turned the car around and came back to pick me up,” Ali Jr. says. “I said, ‘Daddy, why did you leave me?’ He said, ‘I kind of forgot you were in the car.’ ” 

Ali Jr. remembers it sadly, the moment when his dad’s Parkinson’s became apparent. 


Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: Everyday People - The Family Stone and Prince

Dog Star Selects Paintings by Sandra Chevrier

See more at this link.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Discover Photographer Jerry Berndt

‘The Combat Zone’: the name given to the roughest area in Boston at the end of the 1960s, full of violence, sexual exploitation and racial war. The only refuge was the counter of a bar or a games arcade, offering brief moments of respite before heading out again onto the streets.

In 1967, Harvard University commissioned Jerry Berndt to explore this Boston of shadows and vice. Like a war reporter, the young 24-year-old photographer ventured onto the battlefield to get as close as possible to the action: until 1970 (only a few years after the Boston Strangler terrorized the city, with 13 victims), Berndt worked mostly at night to show the poverty, solitude and self-destruction that were destroying the neighbourhood.

Berndt’s gaze is fraternal and complicit with the losers if the system: he can show both immediate violence (a prostitute knocked out by her pimp, a sequence of shots showing a street scene like a small photographic novel) and the subtle tensions that reigned between women, men, white, black, aggressors and victims: a raw and hyper-sensitive reportage.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Discover Photographer Stephen Tobin

Photographer Stephen Tobin in his own words:

"Photography has always been the center of my artistic inclinations. I have dabbled a bit in other mediums, but I always come back to photography. 

Each image is a memory for me – even though I now have many thousands of photographs, I could tell you the story that led up to almost every one. I love my art, and I know that this is reflected in my images. In a number of my professional roles I have faced difficult situations, some of which involved dealing with and trying to help badly injured individuals. 

These events have shaped not only me but my art as well – and I try to communicate the resulting personal philosophies through my art. I feel it is so important for people to enjoy the small things in life, to take pleasure in the moment, and to appreciate the beauty that is all around us if we look. 

I find most of my best shots are not ones I have meticulously planned, but those I take advantage of as I am going somewhere else, the small details that suddenly inspire me. There is beauty everywhere – we just have to open our eyes to it."

Thursday, January 23, 2014

White People & Racism

"The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that. 
Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or not. 
Racism is an insidious cultural disease. 
It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. 
Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another. And so on. 
So while I agree with people who say no one is born racist, it remains a powerful system that we’re immediately born into. It’s like being born into air: you take it in as soon as you breathe. 
It’s not a cold that you can get over. There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. 
It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything."
Scott Wood (X)
"it’s the price you pay for owning everything."

Sleeping Satyr by Edmé Bouchardon (1730)

Sleeping Satyr, copy made in Rome of the celebrated antique Barberini Faun, now in the Glyptothek of Munich. The statue was exhibited in public parks (Parc Monceau, Parc de Saint-Cloud, Luxembourg Gardens), thus the poor condition of the marble.

Hamlet Mashup

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Queen Latifah - I Know Where I've Been from the film Hairspray

I Know Where I've Been

There's a light in the darkness
Though the night black as my skin
There's a light burning bright showing me the way
But I know where I've been

There's a cry in distance
It's a voice that comes from deep within
There's a cry asking why
I pray the answer's up ahead yeah
'Cause I know where I've been

There's a road we've been travellin'
Lost so many on the way
But the riches will be plenty
With the price, the price we had to pay
There's a dream in the future
There's a struggle that we have yet to win
And there's pride in my heart
'Cause I know where I'm going, yes I do
And I know where I've been, yeah

There's a road that we must travel
There's a promise that we must make
Oh the riches will be plenty
Oh the dream in the future
Oh the struggle we must win
Use that pride in our heart
To lift us up
Lord knows I know
Where I've been
I'll give thanks to my god cause I
No were I've been yeah

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Best buds! (NY Post Poll of Best Buddy Movies)


The buddy movie has been a staple of American cinema since the early days, and some believe the pairing of two characters — often men, often mismatched — can be traced to vaudeville stage shows and even classic literature, such as “Huckleberry Finn.”

Whatever the origins, the formula has proven to be gold over the years. From Laurel and Hardy to Martin and Lewis to any number of 1980s buddy-cop films, pairing actors onscreen in non-romantic, mainly comedic, partnerships never goes out of style.

For proof, check out “The Hangover Part III,” opening Friday. The original film was never meant to spawn a trilogy, but audiences went so crazy for the characters that here we are, four years and two movies later, and the Wolfpack is on its way back to Vegas.

To mark the release of the film, The Post asked readers to pick the greatest buddy movies of the modern era. We gave them 50 solid choices dating from 1969 to the present, ranging from mainstream comedies such as “48 Hours” to indie flicks like “Ghost World.” After tallying more than 2,000 votes, here are the picks. Watch them with a buddy of your own.

1. The Hangover (2009)
Maybe Post readers are suggestible. Maybe they just have “The Hangover Part III” on the brain. Whatever the reason, poll voters anointed it their fave buddy flick.

The movie was inspired by real events. A Hollywood producer went missing from his Vegas bachelor party, only to black out and wake up later in a strip club.

Many actors were considered for the lead roles, but Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper and a then-mostly-unknown Zach Galifianakis (who had to audition) were cast. Oh, and Justin Bartha’s in there somewhere, too.

The plot was built like a mystery. Three friends at a bachelor party wake up after a wild night, discover the groom missing and have to retrace their steps from the night before to find him. That retracing involves tigers, random babies, Mike Tyson, a missing tooth, a stolen police car and a naked Asian man jumping out of a car trunk. (Doffing his clothes was actually actor Ken Jeong’s idea.)

Audiences quickly fell in love with the Wolfpack, as the group was known. Cooper’s Phil was the handsome Dad-like figure, Helms’ Stu the neurotic wimp and Galifianakis’ Alan the eccentric screw-up. Together, they were loads of fun to watch, in part because they were so mismatched.

The movie was a box-office smash — grossing more than $467 million worldwide — and changed the lives of the actors involved, as well as Las Vegas itself. There’s now a “Hangover Suite” at Caesars Palace. You can also find Alan impersonators working the Strip.

“There are so many of them,” Galifianakis says. “One guy told me he is making over $100,000 a year. Maybe as the real guy I would make more. Maybe I should stand next to him.”

“For sure it had a huge impact on our careers and it’s wonderful, exciting and cool,” Helms adds. “It’s cool to have had such a cool life in this ‘Hangover’ world.”

2. Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Harry and Lloyd made idiocy funny six years before George W. Bush got into office. The movie partnered Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as two idiotic friends who drive cross-country to return a suitcase full of money to a beautiful woman. Its brilliance was its utter stupidity. These characters weren’t just dim, they were a level of dense three floors below out-to-lunch.

The most charming conceit was that Harry and Lloyd never realized they were stupid, because they had each other and both were equally nit-witted. They live in a bubble of stupid.

After an awful 2003 “prequel” with a different cast, a sequel reteaming Carrey and Daniels is in the works, titled “Dumb and Dumber To.” Directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly say they’re currently raising money and hope to begin shooting this year.

3. Wedding Crashers (2005)
Owen Wilson has said that teaming with co-star Vince Vaughn brings comedy gold. “I think Vince would probably bring out the best energy in me, because he has such a kind of you know [high energy level],” Wilson said. “You gotta keep up because he talks a mile a minute.”

The greatness of the partnership can’t be denied in “Wedding Crashers,” a movie that takes a one-joke premise — two overgrown frat boys pick up girls by showing up at weddings they’re not invited to — and turns it into something greater, due mostly to the back-and-forth between Vaughn and Wilson. They bicker beautifully.

Watch the scene where Vaughn complains to Wilson about being accosted in the middle of the night by his date’s brother.

“I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, John,” an agitated Vaughn says.
“Soft mattress?” Wilson asks.
“Yeah, it could have been the soft mattress. Or it could have been the midnight rape. Or the nude, gay art show that took place in my room. One of those probably added to my lack of sleep.”
“Try one of these scones,” Wilson says.

4. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Truly good friends go down in a hail of bullets together.

This pastiche Western established the ultimate level of bromance — a level that likely won’t be achieved by regular guys who can only drink a beer and watch a game with friends.

Robert Redford and Paul Newman played two outlaw members of The Hole in the Wall Gang, who rob trains before going on the lam to Bolivia. They’re like brothers, and so close they even date the same woman, though only Butch gets to ride a bike with her.

Writer William Goldman had originally called his script “The Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy,” but the names were later reversed because Newman, who played Cassidy, was the bigger star.

Stars or not, the chemistry between the leads was undeniable. The two actors went on four years later to star in “The Sting,” another classic that won seven Oscars.

5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Alan Ruck, who plays downer Cameron, only got the role after Emilio Estevez passed, but his rapport with Matthew Broderick was already strong. The two actors had worked together on a 1985 Broadway production of “Biloxi Blues.”

The two didn’t have to work at playing friends on-screen, because they already were in real life. (One of their in-jokes makes an appearance in the film, when Cameron calls principal Ed Rooney pretending to be Ferris’ girlfriend’s father. The voice the actor uses is an imitation of the director of “Biloxi Blues.”)

The movie revolved around the friends skipping school and having fun throughout Chicago. Millions of fans will never forget who the real “Abe Froman, Sausage King of Chicago” is. He’s even got a novelty T-shirt available online.

6. Lethal Weapon (1987)
The premise is so familiar now that it’s almost beyond cliché: a buddy-cop picture in which a loose-cannon rookie teams up with a grizzled veteran. The two at first hate each other, but as the partnership goes along, they learn to work together and solve the crime.

The premise is only cliché because Mel Gibson and Danny Glover did it so well, spawning legions of imitators over the ensuing years. Three more films were made in the franchise and a fifth installment was floated in 2011 but looks unlikely. The two leads really are “getting too old for this s -  - t.”

7. The Blues Brothers (1980)
These buddies are so simpatico, they even dress alike. Wearing dark suits, black ties, sunglasses and fedoras, comedians John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd adapted characters that they initially created for “Saturday Night Live” for the big screen. The film filled in the backstories for the characters and finds the brothers assembling a band to go on “a mission from God” that will save an orphanage.

Not everyone loved the movie or the now-classic chemistry between its two leads. Newsweek called it “desperately unfunny,” while the Los Angeles Times called it a “$30 million wreck.” Some exhibitors were down on the film and refused to show it at their theaters, thinking it was “too black” to make money, director John Landis has said.

But the director coaxed brilliant musical performances out of his leads, as well as legends such as Ray Charles, James Brown, Cab Calloway, John Lee Hooker and Aretha Franklin. Now the film is a legendary combination of funny and funky.

8. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
This adaption of a Steven King story fizzled at the box office, but found a second life on home theater releases and cable TV, becoming a beloved classic.

At the heart of the movie is the relationship between mild-mannered banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) and murderer Red (Morgan Freeman), two cons stuck behind the walls of a prison who become unlikely friends.

It’s unusual for a buddy movie, in that “Shawshank” isn’t a comedy. The two characters are thrown together by circumstances beyond their control and develop a relationship over decades that eventually culminates in getting out of the prison — one via escape, the other via release — and meeting up on a Mexican beach.

9. Blazing Saddles (1974)
“Well,” says the sheriff played by Cleavon Little to Gene Wilder’s Waco Kid, who is sitting in jail, “since you are my guest and I am your host, what’s your pleasure? What do you like to do?”
“Oh, I don’t know — play chess, screw,” The Kid replies. “Well, let’s play chess,” says the sheriff.
The exchange is just one of the funny moments between the two, who later join forces to save a frontier town from destruction.

“Blazing Saddles” has become better-known for boundary-pushing comedy, including liberal use of the N-word and the infamous campfire flatulence scene, but it wouldn’t have been so successful without the two leads.

10. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Quentin Tarantino’s pop-noir boasted a sprawling cast and multiple storylines, but it was the saga of Jules and Vincent, hitmen played by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, that connected with audiences. The duo’s banter about the “Royale with cheese” has become one of the most quoted pieces of modern dialogue.

Both actors, however, very nearly lost the roles. Studio boss Harvey Weinstein thought Travolta was a has-been. He wanted Daniel Day-Lewis or Sean Penn. And even though Tarantino had written the part of Jules with Jackson in mind, filmmakers were ready to give the role to little-known Paul Calderon. Livid, Jackson flew to LA for another audition. He strolled into a room eating a hamburger, sat down and just stared angrily, saying nothing. This time he got the part.

Hono-bro mentions
They didn’t make the Top 10, but there’s no reason we shouldn’t give these classic buddy pairings their due recognition.
11 (tie). Step Brothers (2008) Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly Superbad (2007) Jonah Hill, Michael Cera
13. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) Steve Martin, John Candy
14. 48 Hours (1982) Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy
15. Midnight Run (1988) Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin
16. Swingers (1996) Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau
17. The Sting (1973) Paul Newman, Robert Redford
18. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004) John Cho, Kal Penn
19. Fight Club (1999) Brad Pitt, Ed Norton
20. Rush Hour (1998) Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker

Monday, January 20, 2014

Five Paintings We Love @ The Frick - Bring your friends and family!

Dog Star enjoys The Frick Collection because it NEVER changes its permanent collection - it always has on view the paintings Henry Clay Frick selected and placed within his home.  

This does not mean the Frick doesn't have room for special exhibitions; it has separate spaces for temporary little shows.  We want devoted readers to visit the Frick to see these paintings in person - for yourself.  

The descriptions of the paintings are taken from the museum's website.  

Here is a photo of the West Gallery - imagine having this room in your home as your private art collection.  It's just ONE of the rooms you will see at the Frick:

The Frick welcomes quiet and respectful teens who put away all electronics, check their coats and bags and enjoy this very special museum as if they are visiting a stranger's home.  The Frick is open to ALL NEW YORKERS!

The Frick Collection (more here) is EASY TO REACH at 70th Street and Fifth Avenue - take the 6 train to 68th Street / Hunter College and walk over to 5th Avenue from Lexington & 68th. Admission for teens is $10 (students with valid identification).  Dog Star says go early on Sundays and pay just $1!  On Sundays, pay what you wish from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Learn more about the Frick family and origins of the collection and museum here.  The museum was planned as a permanent art collection to be open to the public by its founder Henry Clay Frick!

PAINTING #1 - ABOUT THE PAINTING ABOVE:  Lodovico Capponi painted by Agnolo Bronzino. This proud young aristocrat is Lodovico Capponi (b. 1533), a page at the Medici court. As was his custom, he wears black and white, his family's armorial colors. His right index finger partially conceals the cameo he holds, revealing only the inscription sorte (fate or fortune) — an ingenious allusion to the obscurity of fate. In the mid 1550s Lodovico fell in love with a girl whom Duke Cosimo had intended for one of his cousins. After nearly three years of opposition, Cosimo suddenly relented, but he commanded that their wedding be celebrated within twenty-four hours.   

WHY WE LOVE IT: We like to think that Frick chose this painting of Capponi because of its association with one of the most powerful families in history.  The Medici family of the Italian Renaissance ruled over the region of Florence / Tuscany and nobody did anything without their permission.  They made a fortune owning farms, mills, textile (tapestry) companies and family members were even connected to the Vatican in Rome.  Frick most likely admired this young man and may have seen an aspect of himself in the picture:  bold, proud and ready for the upper classes!

PAINTING #2 - ABOUT THE PAINTING ABOVE: Gilbert Stuart  (1755 - 1828) George Washington, 1795-1796  Stuart earned a fortune producing replicas of the three portraits he painted from life of the first President of the United States. The Frick canvas is thought to be one of two copies painted by the artist for the Philadelphia merchant John Vaughan. It belongs to the group known as the “Vaughan type,” although it differs from the related versions in the color of the coat and in the treatment of the background. Stylistically the portrait recalls the work of Stuart’s English contemporaries, such as Romney and Hoppner.

WHY WE LOVE IT: The first thing to know is that the portrait of Washington on the one dollar bill is by Gilbert Stuart - same artist.  We like this painting because it shows our first president in a red velvet coat and we like to think Frick liked that, too.

PAINTING #3 - ABOUT THE PAINTING ABOVE: Johannes Vermeer  (1632 - 1675) Mistress and Maid, 1666-1667  The subject of writing and receiving letters, which recurs frequently in Vermeer’s work, is given an exceptional sense of dramatic tension in this painting of two women arrested in some moment of mysterious crisis. The lack of final modeling in the mistress’ head and figure and the relatively plain background indicate that this late work by Vermeer was left unfinished. Nevertheless, the artist seldom if ever surpassed the subtly varied effects of light seen here as it gleams from the pearl jewelry, sparkles from the glass and silver objects on the table, and falls softly over the figures in their shadowy setting. Bought by Mr. Frick in 1919, the year of his death, this painting was his last purchase and joined Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait, Holbein’s Sir Thomas More, Bellini’s St. Francis, and Velázquez’ King Philip IV among his favorite acquisitions.

WHY WE LOVE IT: Frick had exquisite taste and bought the very best paintings.  His taste in art is strongly conservative; by the time of his death in 1919 cubism and abstratcion were very popular but he would never have bought those kinds of pictures - he did not have a taste for "modern" art.  But there is just no disputing the beauty of a Vermeer - the way he handles the light so delicately!

PAINTING #4 - ABOUT THE PAINTER/ING ABOVE: Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn  (1606 - 1669) Self-Portrait, 1658.  Rembrandt first studied art in his native Leyden and later worked under Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam. Around 1625 he returned to Leyden, but in 1631/32 he settled permanently in Amsterdam. Although he enjoyed a great reputation and pupils flocked to him, he suffered financial difficulties that led to insolvency in 1656. By 1660 most of his debts were settled, and his last years were spent in relative comfort. Rembrandt painted many portraits, biblical scenes, and historical subjects.

WHY WE LOVE IT: This painting was completed about ten years before the painter died.  By the time he painted it his career had long been over.  And yet Rembrandt makes himself look so majestic, so regal like a king who is still at the top of his game.

PAINTING #5 - ABOUT THE PAINTING ABOVE: Jean-August-Dominique Ingres  (1780 - 1867) Comtesse d'Haussonville, 1845Louise, Princesse de Broglie (1818–82) and granddaughter of Madame de Staël, married at the age of eighteen. Her husband was a diplomat, writer, and member of the French Academy, and she herself published a number of books, including biographies of Robert Emmet and Byron. For her time and her elevated social caste, she was outspokenly independent and liberal. This portrait, begun in 1842, was the fruit of several false starts and a great many preparatory drawings, including full-scale studies of the raised left arm, the head, and its reflection. According to a letter written by the artist, the finished work “aroused a storm of approval among her family and friends.” Ingres appears to have surprised the young lady in the intimacy of her boudoir, where she leans against an upholstered fireplace, having just discarded her evening wrap and opera glasses.  

WHY WE LOVE IT: This painter's last name is pronounced eng-ah.  It's so easy to see why Frick would have loved this painting and why we love it, too.  The Comtesse is so beautiful and so charming in this portrait while also hinting that she is ready and willing to have an intelligent conversation.

New Year! New Art! Must-See Museum Shows of 2014

Dog Star knows everyone gets a little LESS busy as soon as the new year begins.  Maybe you'll make time to see one of these museum exhibitions?

It's a new year for new art!

This can be your guide to exhibitions at NYC's museums this Winter/Spring 2014 and a checklist to be sure you see the ones you want before they close.

THIS IS A PRINTER-FRIENDLY POST.  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.

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.

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.
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!

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.
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.
WHY GO?  Fans of fashion and fashionistas will want to see an extraordinary designer's career in one place - exciting and inspiring!

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.

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! 

Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China
Metropolitan Museum of Art
December 11, 2013–April 6, 2014
Featuring some seventy works by thirty-five artists in various media—paintings, calligraphy, photographs, woodblock prints, video, and sculpture—created during the past three decades, the exhibition is organized thematically into four parts: The Written Word, New Landscapes, Abstraction, and Beyond the Brush. Although all of the artists have challenged, subverted, or otherwise transformed their sources through new modes of expression, Ink Art seeks to demonstrate that China's ancient pattern of seeking cultural renewal through the reinterpretation of past models remains a viable creative path.
WHY GO?  Bust the stereotypes you may have of China and Chinese culture and discover another side to this diverse and creative place.

William Kentridge: The Refusal of Time
Metropolitan Museum of Art
October 22, 2013–May 11, 2014
At the center of the installation is a moving sculpture—the "breathing machine" or "elephant"—an organ-like automaton with a pumping bellows. Plans from the 1870s for copper pneumatic tubes under the streets of Paris that would pump regular bursts of air to calibrate the city's clocks reminded Kentridge of a passage from Charles Dickens's novel Hard Times (1854). Dickens describes a factory machine moving "monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness"—a metaphor for the often convulsive developments in science and industry during the modern era and a reminder of the vain impulse to control time.
WHY GO?  You have never seen anything like this exhibition - it will inspire you!

The Little Prince: A New York Story
The Morgan Library & Museum
January 24 - April 27, 2014
This exhibition of the original manuscript and watercolor drawings—the most comprehensive ever mounted—explores the American origins of a story that reminds us that what matters most can only be seen with the heart.
WHY GO?  Anybody who knows the famous story or wants to discover a classic will want to see this wonderful little show.

A Collective Invention: Photographs at Play
The Morgan Library & Museum
February 14 through May 18, 2014
A Collective Invention: Photographs at Play signals the debut of photography as a curatorial focus at the Morgan. With over eighty works from more than two dozen collections arranged into a surprising chain of visual associations, the exhibition explores the many ways of interpreting a photograph and pays tribute to the unique role played by the creative collector. Each photograph in the exhibition's "collective invention" shares a visual or conceptual quality with the piece to its left, another with the one to its right. Embodying photography's rich history and wide range of applications in science, art, propaganda, journalism, and self-promotion, A Collective Invention celebrates a medium that mirrors the energy and complexity of modern life.
WHY GO?  Since the Morgan began as one man's collection and photography wasn't part of it originally, the curators have decided to use this as an advantage rather see it as a disadvantage.  It will be fun and engaging to see how these images "talk to each other."

Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties 
Brooklyn Museum 
March 7–July 6, 2014
Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties offers a focused look at painting, sculpture, graphics, and photography from a decade defined by social protest and American race relations. In observance of the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this exhibition considers how sixty-six of the decade’s artists, including African Americans and some of their white, Latino, Asian American, Native American, and Caribbean contemporaries, used wide-ranging aesthetic approaches to address the struggle for racial justice.
WHY GO?  An amazing opportunity to engage with a time period of American history and culture that is so misunderstood!

City as Canvas
Museum of the City of New York
February 4 - August 24, 2014
Martin Wong (1946–1999), an East Village artist and visionary collector of graffiti art, amassed a collection of hundreds of works on paper and canvas just as street art was becoming a worldwide cultural phenomenon in the 1980s. Wong’s archive is a unique treasure that provides a window into a vibrant subculture and documents the process of young outlaws becoming mature artists. City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection highlights works in aerosol, ink, and other mediums by seminal figures in the movement, including Keith Haring, Lee Quiñones, Lady Pink, and Futura 2000, as well as photographs that capture work long since erased from walls and subways. Wong donated his collection to the City Museum in 1994.
WHY GO?  See original work by truly original NYC artists from an exciting time in the city.

Two Exhibitions at International Center of Photography (ICP)
International Center of Photography (ICP)
Both have same exhibition dates January 31–May 4, 2014

Capa in Color 

This exhibition presents Robert Capa’s color work for the first time. Capa regularly used color film from the 1940s until his death in 1954. Some of these photographs were published in magazines of the day, but the majority have never been printed, seen, or even studied. Over the years, this aspect of Capa’s career has virtually been forgotten. With over 100 contemporary color prints by the famous photojournalist, Capa in Color presents this work an integral part of his post-war career and fundamental in remaining relevant to magazines.
WHY GO?  Add a special show to your photography education and discover Capa!

What Is a Photograph?
Organized by ICP Curator Carol Squiers, What Is a Photograph? will explore the intense creative experimentation in photography that has occurred since the 1970s. Conceptual art introduced photography into contemporary art making, using the medium in ways that challenged it artistically, intellectually, and technically and broadened the notion of what a photograph could be in art. A new generation of artists began an equally rigorous but more aesthetically adventurous analysis, which probed photography itself—from the role of light, color, composition, to materiality and the subject. What Is a Photograph? brings together these artists, who reinvented photography.
WHY GO?  Discover artists who do bold, original and innovative work! 

“For Forgetting,” Laure Provoust
New Museum
February 12 – April 13, 2014
The non-linear narratives of Turner prize winner Laure Prouvost’s films often  create moving experiences through startling manipulations of sound and imagery. For her first solo museum presentation in the U.S., the artist will show a new work in the Lobby Gallery of the New Museum, “For Forgetting,” an immersive multichannel video installation that explores “slippages in memory and arbitrary distinctions of power and possession.” While her work “Wantee” was the sleeper hit of the 2013 Turner Exhibition, this new installation will likely come much higher expectations.
WHY GO?  It's fresh and engaging and it will be totally new for you!

The 2014 Whitney Biennial
Whitney Museum of American Art
March 7 – May 25, 2014
The last Biennial to take place at the Whitney’s Marcel Breuer-designed home at 975 Madison Avenue will feature works and projects by 103 artists and collectives, and will be shaped by three curators not affiliated with the Museum.  This Biennial will have more artist collectives than ever before, and will include performances throughout the building, along with sound pieces and a contemporary opera. There will be much experimentation across disciplines — writers painting, filmmakers creating sculpture, drawings by photographers — and projects by new media ventures like Triple Canopy. And some of the exhibition will extend beyond the walls of the museum, like artist Tony Tasset’s outdoor sculpture, to be shown in Hudson River Park.
WHY GO?  Such a giant exhibition will have many, many surprises - some bad but mostly good!

Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video
The Guggenheim Museum
January 24 – May 14
Over the last thirty years, Carrie Mae Weems has been created a diverse and affecting body of work — beginning with documentary photography and broadening out into a range of mediums including text, audio, digital imagery, fabric, installation, and video — in an ongoing exploration of class, race, sexism, politics, and gender. This show, the first comprehensive retrospective for the artist (which kicked off in January at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nahville), will present more than 200 works, with a focus on photography and video. It will include some of Weems’s earliest documentary series, like a group of as-of-yet unpublished images inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Roy DeCarava, as well as her well-known 1990 set “The Kitchen Table Series.”
WHY GO?  A hugely talented artist who deserves more attention for her work!

Maria Lassnig
Opens March 9
Fresh from her lifetime achievement award at the 2013 Venice Biennale, nonagenarian German painter Maria Lassnig will be the subject of this 50-painting survey focused on her sustained practice of metaphysical self-portraiture. Lassnig's dark and playful renderings of her own body, made up of loose brushstrokes in soft greens, reds, pinks, and blues against stark white backdrops, are often ominously distorted or accompanied by strange, symbolic accessories, from a dancing skeleton to a hamster.
WHY GO?  Go see what she's about and discover her world!

Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937
Neue Galerie
March 13 – June 30
The Neue Galerie is putting on an exhibition of works that were originally part of Adolf Hitler’s infamous 1937 exhibition of modern art, which presented paintings and sculptures condemned as degenerate by the Nazi party. The new show, curated by scholar and Neue Galerie board member Dr. Olaf Peters, will be the first large-scale take on this subject in the U.S. since the highly regarded 1991 show “Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. At the Neue Galerie, the so-called degenerate art will be presented alongside officially sanctioned art of the period.
WHY GO?  A unique way to view history - through an art show the Nazis presented that was actually more popular with the public that the "acceptable art" show!

Zhang Huan
Storm King
Opens May 3
The starting point for this exhibition — organized by Storm King director David R. Collens and the Asia Society’s museum director, Melissa Chiu — is the Chinese contemporary artist Zhang Huan’s “Three-Legged Buddha” (2007). Weighing over 12 tons, this gargantuan copper and steel sculpture, which Storm King acquired in 2010, will be the centerpiece of a display of outdoor sculptures similarly inspired by the subject of the Buddha — Zhang is a Ju Shi Buddhist. Other works will fill the rooms of the Museum Building.  The works in this show, mostly created since 2005, were inspired by Zhang’s travels through Tibet, where he viewed remnants of Buddhist statuary destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.
WHY GO?  A special sculptor in a very special setting!

Other Primary Structures
The Jewish Museum
March 14 – August 3
Revisiting the Jewish Museum’s 1966 show “Primary Structures: Younger American and British Sculptors” — a watershed exhibition that brought artists like Carl Andre, Donald Judd, and Sol LeWitt their first major attention — this show will revisit that cultural moment however from a far more global perspective. The first exhibition at the museum curated by its deputy director, Jens Hoffmann, it will include artists from Latin America, Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Exploring the legacy of the mostly American and British abstract sculptors in the first show, the new show will examine their influence on artists who worked at the same time in other countries, whose work has been little known or seen in the US.
WHY GO?  Opens up the idea of who is a "Jewish artist" by including many who work outside the United States.

Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador for the New
Museum of Modern Art
December 21, 2013–April 21, 2014
During a career spanning half a century, Ileana Sonnabend (1914–2007) helped shape the course of postwar art in Europe and North America. A gallerist and noted collector, Sonnabend discovered and championed many of the most significant artists of her time. Among the important works she owned is Robert Rauschenberg's Combine Canyon (1959), which the Sonnabend family donated to The Museum of Modern Art in 2012. In celebration of this extraordinary gift, Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador for the New explores Sonnabend’s legendary eye through selected works of art that she presented in her eponymous galleries in Paris and New York.
WHY GO?  Celebrates a woman who had a big influence on how we see art from the 1960s through the 1980s because her gallery influenced what collectors bought and what museums put on display.

Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal
Museum of Modern Art
February 1–June 1, 2014
Through an initial selection of drawings, films, and large-scale architectural models, the exhibition examines the tension in Wright’s thinking about the growing American city in the 1920s and 1930s, when he worked simultaneously on radical new forms for the skyscraper and on a comprehensive plan for the urbanization of the American landscape titled “Broadacre City.” Visitors encounter the spectacular 12-foot-by-12-foot model of this plan, which merges one of the earliest schemes for a highway flyover with an expansive, agrarian domain. Promoted and updated throughout Wright’s life, the model toured the country for several years in the 1930s, beginning with a display at Rockefeller Center. This dispersed vision is paired with Wright's innovative structural experiments for building the vertical city.
WHY GO?  We need to better understand how to plan city living for the future - and Wright helps us do that by showing alternatives.

Nalini Malani: Transgressions
Asia Society 
February 19, 2014 - August 3, 2014
Nalini Malani (b. 1946 in Karachi, Pakistan; lives and works in Mumbai, India) is one of the foremost contemporary women artists from India. Her practice utilizes allegory and symbolism as metaphors to explore issues relating to gender, class, and race in a post-colonial world. Formally, her work spans the mediums of painting, sculpture, installation, performance, and works on paper. This exhibition will feature Transgressions II (2009), a multimedia installation from the Asia Society Museum Collection. This three-channel video integrates the folk sensibility of traditional shadow plays with new technology, creating a mesmerizing projection of colors and shadows. The exhibition will also feature a selection of Malani's artist books. This presentation will represent the artist's first solo museum exhibition in New York in over a decade.
WHY GO?  Discover non-European art in a special place on Park Avenue.

Two Exhibitions at the New York Historical Society
New York Historical Society

Bill Cunningham: Façades 
March 14, 2014 - June 15, 2014
In 1968, photographer Bill Cunningham embarked on an eight-year project to document the architectural riches and fashion history of New York City. Scouring the city’s thrift stores, auction houses, and street fairs for vintage clothing, and scouting sites on his bicycle, Cunningham generated a photographic essay entitled Façades, which paired models—in particular his muse, fellow photographer Editta Sherman—in period costumes with historic settings.
WHY GO?  Enjoy NYC landmarks in a unique way!

The Black Fives
March 14, 2014 - July 20, 2014
This exhibition covers the pioneering history of the African American basketball teams that existed in New York City and elsewhere from the early 1900s through 1950, the year the National Basketball Association became racially integrated. Just after the game of basketball was invented in 1891, teams were often called “fives” in reference to their five starting players. Teams made up entirely of African American players were referred to as “colored fives,” “Negro fives,” or black fives—the period became known as the Black Fives Era.
WHY GO?  Sports history doesn't usually get this kind of exhibition - it will be fascinating. 

Two Exhibitions at Schomburg Center in Harlem
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution
February 5 - June 14, 2014
From 1900 to 1960, Hollywood’s greatest animators and biggest studios produced more than 600 cartoon shorts featuring black characters. These films reflected the racial stereotypes of the pre–Civil Rights Era, portraying blacks as less than human and as minstrel caricatures. It wasn’t until the late 1960s and early 1970s that Saturday morning television cartoons featured black animated characters in a positive and realistic manner. Funky Turns 40, from the Museum of Uncut Funk, explores these black animated characters and the impact they had on a generation of young folk.
WHY GO?  Discover a whole generation of TV that started ti include African American characters!

Motown: The Truth Is A Hit
February 1 - July 26, 2014 Courtesy of the Motown MuseumMotown founder Berry Gordy is quoted as saying “The truth is a hit.” And in truth, Detroit’s Motown Records became the voice of an entire generation. Our upcoming Motown exhibition, The Truth Is a Hit seeks to explore Gordy’s notion of the truth by tracing black Music from its African roots through slavery, Jim Crow, the Great Migration, urban America, the Civil Rights and anti-war movements, up to the present day.
WHY GO?  Music history is always fun and this exhibition will be fascinating to discover singers and songwriters again or for the first time.

The Lee Family of New York Chinatown Since 1888
Museum of Chinese in America
October 23, 2013 - April 13, 2014
The Lee Family of New York Chinatown Since 1888 showcases Harold L. Lee and Sons, Inc., a cornerstone of Chinatown. Founded in 1888, this year marks the company’s 125th anniversary. MOCA will present a selection of photographs and artifacts from the business, tracing its rise from a small foreign exchange business to national insurance brokerage. The exhibition will take place in MOCA’s recreated general store: a space fashioned to represent an old New York storefront with tin ceilings, built-in wooden cabinets, and brick walls.
WHY GO?  What a special way to learn about how one family reflects a culture!

Anders Zorn: Sweden’s Master Painter
February 27 - May 18, 2014
National Academy
By the turn of the 20th century, the success of Anders Zorn (1860-1920) rivaled that of the most famous artists of his day, including John Singer Sargent. A virtuoso watercolorist, bravura painter, and etcher, Zorn had risen from humble beginnings in the Swedish countryside to travel the world, captivate American artists and politicians alike, and paint some of the most sought after portraits of America’s Gilded Age. This major retrospective features more than 90 rarely seen works and brings to light the work of a master, long overlooked in America.
WHY GO?  Sargent is a master so to compare Zorn to Sargent means he is a BEAST!  Go see it!  It will be very traditional paintingbut it will also add much beauty to your life!

The Art of Video Games
Hudson River Museum - Yonkers 
February 15 - May 18, 2014
One of the first major exhibitions to explore the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, The Art of Video Games focuses on the medium’s striking graphics, creative storytelling, and player interactivity.  The Art of Video Games features the most influential artists and designers across five eras of game development, from early pioneers to the contemporary artists, who created some of the best games for 20 gaming systems that range from the Atari VCS to PlayStation 3.
WHY GO?  Discover or re-discover the world of video games.  And EASY TO REACH from Grand Central Station!

Metro-North Hudson Line from Grand Central Terminal to Glenwood Station. Walk 1 block east on Glenwood Avenue; turn left onto Ravine Avenue . At the end of Ravine Avenue , turn left into Trevor Park. Follow path to museum entrance.  Make your visit a One-Day Getaway, and get a combined rail and admission discount ticket. Click here for details.