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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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

Monday, August 31, 2015

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: Joan Armatrading - Willow

I may not be your best
You know good ones don't come by the score
You've got something missing
I'll help you look, you can be sure

And if you want to be alone
Someone to share a laugh
Whatever you want me to
All you got to do is ask

Thunder don't go under the sheets
Lightning under a tree
In the rain and snow
I'll be your fireside

Come running to me
When things get out of hand
Running to me
When it's more than you can stand

I said, "I'm strong, straight
Willing to be a shelter in a storm"
Your willow, oh willow
When the sun is out

A fight with your best girl
Prettiest thing you ever saw
You know I'll listen
Try to get a message to her

And if it's money you want
Or trouble halved
Whatever you want me to
All you got to do is ask

I said, "I'm strong, straight
Willing to be a shelter in a storm"
Your willow, oh willow
When the sun is out

Shelter in a storm
Your willow, oh willow
When the sun is out

Shelter in a storm
Your willow, oh willow
When the sun is out

Shelter in a storm
Your willow, oh willow
When the sun is out

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dog Star Selects Joseph Cornell's Medici Slot Machine (1943)

Somewhere in the city of New York there are four or five still-unknown objects
that belong together. Once together they’ll make a work of art.
That’s Cornell’s premise, his metaphysics, and his religion.
Marcel Duchamp and John Cage use chance operation to get rid
of the subjectivity of the artist. For Cornell it’s the opposite.
To submit to chance is to reveal the self and its obsessions

- Charles Simic on Joseph Cornell

Friday, August 28, 2015

Art Installations in Rome Based on 3D Illusions: Vantage by Aakash Nihalani

By using mixed media on canvas, corrugated plastic and wood, artist Aakash Nihalani created Vantage…, an intriguing array of artworks. The “series” consists of site-specific installations within a display gallery, and various permanent and temporary urban installations around Rome, Italy. The 3D illusions are said to evoke the constant crash-encounters between the physical and cerebral dimensions of our existence.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dog Star's Brief Guide to Arts & Culture in Fall 2015

Image above by Martin Puryear (on view at The Morgan)

Many FREE talks, films, live music and authors at Brooklyn Public Library (Central Library - main branch at Grand Army Plaza)

Why Haiti Needs New Narratives (FREE talk Sat, Sept. 19) at the Central Library / Brooklyn Public Library (Grand Army Plaza)

Brooklyn Abolitionists (visit the exhibition at Brooklyn Historical Society and here for online exhibition)

Brooklyn Book Festival (FREE Sun, Sept. 20) in downtown Brooklyn

Kerry James Marshall's special commission mural on The High Line

Stanley Whitney: Dance the Orange (living African-American abstract painter) at Studio Museum in Harlem

Richard Pousette-Dart and Rashid Johnson (drawing exhibition) at The Drawing center in SoHo

On the Domestic Front: Scenes from Every Day Queer Life at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art

Live Music on Community Day (Sept. 13) at the Noguchi Museum & Garden (FREE)

West Indian Day Parade - Carnival - Annual event on Labor Day (Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn)

Meryl McMaster: Second Self at American Indian Museum (FREE always for everyone)

Atlantic Antic - Giant street festival in Brooklyn (Sept 27)

Pablo Picasso Sculptures at Museum of Modern Art

Martin Wong at the Bronx Museum - American painter of life on the Lower East Side in the 1980s

Isamu Noguchi Sculptures at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Superheroes in Gotham at The New York Historical Society

Public Eye: 175 Years of Sharing Photography at The New York Public Library (FREE)

American Negro Theater (A Celebration Exhibition) at the Schomburg Center in Harlem

Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist (Harlem Renaissance painter, exhibition) at The Whitney

Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting (Italian painter, exhibition) at the Guggenheim

Photo-Poetics (photography exhibition featuring younger photographers) at Guggenheim

St. Lukes Chamber Ensemble at Queens Museum (FREE, October 4)

Sacred Spaces at the Rubin Museum

First Saturdays at Brooklyn Museum (free admission, multiple activities including authors / music / children's art workshops / tours and guest speakers - happens every first Saturday of the month October 3, November 7, December 5 - Check website for details)

Kongo: Power & Majesty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (masterpieces of African sculpture)

Museum of Stones (special exhibition that connects contemporary artists to the stone sculpture of Isamu Noguchi) at Noguchi Museum & Garden

Folk City:  Folk Music & Revival in New York City (great for music fans of ANY kind) at Museum of the City of New York

Jacob A. Riis: Revealing New York's Other Half (photography and archival exhibition on Riis who exposed the horrid living conditions of tenement living in NYC) at the Museum of the City of New York

Barbara Rossi: Poor Traits (American painter, exhibition) at the New Museum

Three fascinating exhibitions opening at The Morgan Library & Museum
- Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars (explores the writer's life through manuscripts, letters and photos)
- Martin Puryear: Mutliple Dimensions (exhibition of drawings, prints and sculpture by this living American artist - will be truly special to see)
- Graphic Passion: Matisse and the Book Arts (explore Matisse's graphic work for book publications)

Berlin Metropolis: 1918-1933 at Neue Galerie (fascinating exhibition on life in the German capital before Hitler comes to power)

Impressionism and the Caribbean at the Brooklyn Museum

Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland at the Brooklyn Museum

Japanese Art & Photography from 1968-1979 at NYU's Grey Art Gallery (FREE) - a two-part exhibition that continues at Japan Society

Spotlight on the Philipines at the Asia Society (exhibitions on gold and video art)

Early Soviet Photography & Film at The Jewish Museum

How Cats Took Over the Internet at the Museum of the Moving Image

Ebony G. Patterson: Dead Treez (Jamaican artist, exhibition) at MAD (Museum of Art & Design)

Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie at National Academy Museum

PIXAR: The Design of Story (sketches, paintings and sculpture from Pixar Studio films) at Cooper Hewitt Design Museum

Life at the Limits: Stories of Amazing Species at American Museum of Natural History

Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet at the American Folk Art Museum

Louis Armstrong House & Museum at the Louis Armstrong House

FLUID: Exhibition on theme of water at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (Staten Island)

Discover Tibetan art in a unique setting at Jacques Marchais Tibet Art Museum (Staten Island)

White Dude Teaches African Dance to Cedric the Entertainer

Jeff Hunsicker, a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire contestant from Collegeville, Pennsylvania, shared his talents in African dance when he was on the game show last week.

This video is very difficult to turn away from.

The highlight might be, as his khakis bellow at his forward motion, when Hunsicker motions to Cedric, "You wanna try?" The host subtly does The Dougie in response.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


So here's FOUR links to Claudia Rankine including a FREE opportunity to see her in person:
In her new book of poems she writes eloquently about Serena William's power and the disturbing treatment she has faced in the tennis world. Don't miss this book. It is a MUST!
I am only linking to Amazon so that you can SEE the book - please consider buying it from an independent bookstore like 192 Books in Chelsea or Greenlight in Brooklyn.
Not surprisingly, Rankine wrote a piece in The New York Times Magazine about Williams on the eve of the U.S. Open:
And she will read/ speak live with artists Carrie Mae Weems - FREE - the main building of NYPL on 5th Ave and 42nd Street - go here:…/…/claudia-rankine-and-carrie-mae-weems
And read her poetry now at this link:

Church Of The Poison Mind - Culture Club

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Graffiti Across Athens

Dog Star re-posts from The new York Times - go here to read the rest of the article and to see a slideshow of more great wall murals in Athens

ATHENS — The young man climbed a 30-foot scaffold on a building in central Athens and dipped a brush into a tray of gray paint. With rapid flicks of his wrist, he outlined a haunting image: a baby with two faces, looking simultaneously into an abyss and toward the sky, its vacant eyes searching for a future that was not there.

The mural, by a Greek street artist known as iNO, was delicate, stylized and clever, stopping passers-by in their tracks. Fundamentally, though, it was a raw message of protest, the latest in a wave of socially and politically conscious artwork spreading over the walls of Athens.

“People in Greece are under increasing pressure,” said iNO, a soft-spoken man who aims to draw attention to the social situation in this crisis-hit country, where even the youngest in society are grappling with the perception of a bleak future. As a result, he said, “they feel the need to act, resist and express themselves.”

Graffiti in Athens, as in other cities the world over, has flourished for decades. But in a country where the adversity of wars and military dictatorship already has shaped the national psyche, the five-year economic collapse has spawned a new burst of creative energy that has turned Athens into a contemporary mecca for street art in Europe.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


“I am so smart I know what is wrong with the world… Are you ready for this?

‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’” 

— Kurt Vonnegut, If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Advice to the Young

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Something to Declare - Your Passport to Global Culture: Discover Singer Chavela Vargas

A late bloomer, perhaps, but what a flower -- Mexican singer Chavela Vargas did not release her first album until she was 42, didn't come out as a lesbian until she was 81, and didn't debut at Carnegie Hall until she was 83. 

What was she doing all those years before recording Noche de Bohemia in 1961? Well, she dressed as a man, often in her signature red jorongo, smoked cigars, drank heavily, and packed a pistol, so obviously she was busy with more than singing rancheras in the streets. 

And maybe she had an affair Frida Kahlo (as Josephine Baker had). Since that first record, she has released more than eighty albums. Her great fame of the 1960s and 70s subsided when she retired to battle her alcoholism. She returned to performing at 72 in 1991 in Mexico City. 

Since then her music has been widely used in films and she has appeared singing in several movies including Almodovar's Flower of My Secret, Taymor's Frida, and Innartu's Babel. All I can say is buy her, beware: The first time you hear Chavela unleash her power midway through the quiet Paloma Negra you might drop whatever you're holding. She died in 2012 at 93.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Discover Andrea Chisesi

Location: Milan, Italy
Chisesi's haunting paintings take on a hallucinatory quality by superimposing portraits or designs over patterned layers. The scenes appear to take place in a whimsical realm uninhibited by the restraints of reality.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bubblegum Art

Tom Friedman: Untitled, 1990 
Bubble gum, 12.7 cm diameter Approximately 1,500 pieces of chewed bubble gum molded into a sphere and displayed at head height in a corner, hanging by its own stickiness

Friday, August 14, 2015

When Swastikas on Uniforms Meant Luck

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

Why were the Boston Braves wearing a swastika on their caps when they opened the 1914 season against the Brooklyn Dodgers?

The swastika’s nearly universal association with Nazi Germany was still years away, although a militarist German youth movement adopted it as a national emblem in 1914. 

Still, it seems unlikely that the future Hall of Famers Rabbit Maranville and Johnny Evers and the rest of Manager George Stallings’s team meant to inflame racial hatred in Brooklyn by adorning their caps with swastikas.

Swastikas date to 2500 or 3000 B.C. in India and Central Asia. The word is from the Sanskrit svastika, which means good fortune or well-being. It later traveled to Europe, where it was claimed by the Nazi Party around 1920. And it found benign use in the United States on a pendant made by Coca-Cola and as a shoulder patch for the United States Army 45th Infantry division.

Several sports teams, especially in hockey, wore swastikas on their uniforms in the pre-Nazi era, hoping for good luck, said Paul Lukas, the creator of the Uni Watch blog.



Photo above of Boston braves player Rabbit Maranville with swastika on his hat

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Incredible Creativity of Julie Taymor's LION KING Costumes & Puppetry

The Original Broadway Cast of Disney’s The Lion King: Mufasa, Sarabi, Young Nala and Simba, Simba, Nala, Rafiki, Pumba and Timon, Zazu, Scar, The Hyenas (Ed, Shenzi, and Banzai)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Love / Hate

Robert Mitchum's knuckle tats in the film NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (very good BTW) inspired Radio Raheem's ring set in DO THE RIGHT THING.

Sunday, August 2, 2015