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Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life.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, September 28, 2015

Beauty of Music

Yet how strange a thing is the beauty of music.
The brief beauty that the player brings into being
transforms a given period of time into pure continuance;
it is certain never to be repeated;
like the existence of dayflies and
other such short-lived creatures,

beauty is a perfect abstraction and creation of life itself.

Nothing is so similar to life as music.

-Yukio Mishima

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dog Star Wants You to Discover Henry Ossain Flipper

Born into slavery in Thomasville, Georgia, on March 21, 1856, Henry Ossian Flipper was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1873. Over the next four years he overcame harassment, isolation, and insults to become West Point’s first African American graduate and the first African American commissioned officer in the regular U.S. Army.

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Step Away from Them by Frank O'Hara (Poem)

A Step Away from Them

By Frank O'Hara
It’s my lunch hour, so I go
for a walk among the hum-colored   
cabs. First, down the sidewalk   
where laborers feed their dirty   
glistening torsos sandwiches
and Coca-Cola, with yellow helmets   
on. They protect them from falling   
bricks, I guess. Then onto the   
avenue where skirts are flipping   
above heels and blow up over   
grates. The sun is hot, but the   
cabs stir up the air. I look   
at bargains in wristwatches. There   
are cats playing in sawdust.
to Times Square, where the sign
blows smoke over my head, and higher   
the waterfall pours lightly. A   
Negro stands in a doorway with a   
toothpick, languorously agitating.   
A blonde chorus girl clicks: he   
smiles and rubs his chin. Everything   
suddenly honks: it is 12:40 of   
a Thursday.
                Neon in daylight is a   
great pleasure, as Edwin Denby would   
write, as are light bulbs in daylight.   
I stop for a cheeseburger at JULIET’S   
CORNER. Giulietta Masina, wife of   
Federico Fellini, è bell’ attrice.
And chocolate malted. A lady in   
foxes on such a day puts her poodle   
in a cab.
             There are several Puerto   
Ricans on the avenue today, which   
makes it beautiful and warm. First   
Bunny died, then John Latouche,   
then Jackson Pollock. But is the   
earth as full as life was full, of them?   
And one has eaten and one walks,   
past the magazines with nudes   
and the posters for BULLFIGHT and   
the Manhattan Storage Warehouse,   
which they’ll soon tear down. I   
used to think they had the Armory   
Show there.
                A glass of papaya juice   
and back to work. My heart is in my   
pocket, it is Poems by Pierre Reverdy.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: HEROES by David Bowie

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be Heroes, just for one day

And you, you can be mean
And I, I'll drink all the time
'Cause we're lovers, and that is a fact
Yes we're lovers, and that is that

Though nothing, will keep us together
We could steal time,
just for one day
We can be Heroes, for ever and ever
What d'you say?

I, I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim
Though nothing,
nothing will keep us together
We can beat them, for ever and ever
Oh we can be Heroes,
just for one day

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can be Heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day

I, I can remember (I remember)
Standing, by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns shot above our heads
(over our heads)
And we kissed,
as though nothing could fall
(nothing could fall)
And the shame was on the other side
Oh we can beat them, for ever and ever
Then we could be Heroes,
just for one day

We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
Just for one day
We can be Heroes

We're nothing, and nothing will help us
Maybe we're lying,
then you better not stay
But we could be safer,
just for one day

Oh-oh-oh-ohh, oh-oh-oh-ohh,
just for one day

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Teen Night: Teens Take the Met!

Teen Night: Teens Take the Met!
Ages 13–18

Teen Night, Teens Take the Met!
Friday, October 16, 5:00–8:00 p.m.
Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education Show location on map
Friday, October 16, 5:00–8:00 p.m.
Grab your friends and take over the Met for the night. Drop in for teen-only activities across the Museum including art making, performances, gallery activities for teens by teens, music, dancing, and more. Discover what you can also do at over forty NYC cultural and community organizations this year. See below for more information about each of our partners.

Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. Teens Take the Met! is free and open to all teens 13+ with a middle or high school ID. No RSVP—just show up! Check out video and images from a past Teens Take the Met!

This event will be photographed, filmed, and/or recorded. By your presence at the event, you consent to the photography, filming and use of your image and/or voice.

Constantin Brancusi: Muse endormie (1920)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Postcards from Venice

Dog Star is traveling to Venice for the Venice Biennale - a bi-annual (every two years) international art exhibition with artists from around the world.  The Biennale (pronounced bee-in-na-lay) takes place in Venice's 16th century shipbuilding complex called the Arsenale.  The buildings are now used by different nations and art groups to present their selected artists.  This international art exhibition is different from an art fair because this is not a commercial art enterprise.  The Venice Biennale doesn't offer any artworks for sale so think of it as a temporary museum exhibition.  So, here are some views of the famous Venetian landmarks such as Piazza San Marco, the Grand Canal, Rialto Bridge and Santa Maria church.  The Arsenale is the last photo.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Something to Declare - Your Passport to Global Culture: Capoeira

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music, and is sometimes referred to as a game. It was developed in Brazil mainly by African descendants with native Brazilian influences. Capoeira’s history begins with the beginning of African slavery in Brazil. 

Since the 16th century, Portuguese colonists began exporting slaves to their colonies, coming mainly from West Africa. Brazil, with its vast territory, received most of the slaves, almost 40% of all slaves sent through the Atlantic Ocean. The word capoeira probably comes from the Tupi language, referring to the areas of low vegetation in the Brazilian interior where the game was played. 

It was invented by slaves and disguised as a dance in order to prevent its capoeiristas from punishment or execution for learning how to fight and defend themselves, which was forbidden to those who were legally defined as property. It is nearly always practiced to traditional Brazilian berimbau music. 

Go here for more.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fantastic Flying Mobular Rays!

This is one of the most fantastic videos I have ever seen! A record-breaking school of mobular rays took over the waters off the coast of Baja, California and it was all caught on film! They are like a spectacular group of UFOs flying out of the sky to amaze. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dog Star Wants You to Discover the WODAABE

Wodaabe (people of the taboo) man applying make up - National Geographic October 1983 

“Why do the Wodaabe place such emphasis on male beauty?” 

“Because it makes women want us. We are born beautiful. but we also have the power of maagani – the knowledge of secret potions – to enhance that beauty.”

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Chinese Folk Kites (Part 2 of 2)

Folk kites in the National Art Museum of China. Silk and bamboo. 
1. “Toad” Ma Jiashu 
2. “Nine Lions” Kong Lingmin 
3. Wang Qu’nian 
4. “Five Dragons “ Ha Yiqi

Monday, September 7, 2015

Dog Star Selects a Fantasy House

Xálima Island House by Martin Ferrero Architecture.

Watch this 3D rendering of a fantasy cliff-side house on an imaginary island. I was overwhelmed by the nightmare of construction logistics. Still, an outrageously beautiful home if a "bit much."

Read more about the house here.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Discover Marcelo Gandhi

Location: São Paulo, Brazil 
Gandhi distills images from real-life in his paintings that range from fragmented collages of painted figures to intricate line drawings. His bold color choices and dramatic color blocking technique give his paintings the intense, chaotic feel of neo-expressionism.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

What Is College Worth?

A good read that injects some interesting ideas into the debate about how much a college degree really matters.  Unfortunately, it adds up to the same conventional wisdom and muddles through a few research studies to support some obvious assertions.

Read The New Yorker article here:  WHAT IS COLLEGE WORTH? and then read my take-away (my own thoughts about the college journey).

My take away:

1.  College tuition fees must be eliminated for qualified community college students.  We will likely see this happen in the next 5-10 years.

2.  Whatever the feelings or beliefs about how we're living in "the Matrix" and it's all rigged, a college degree is still the best chance for social mobility especially for those living in poverty.

3.  WHERE you get your undergraduate degree doesn't matter unless you attend Ivy league (top recruiters only look at prestige schools).

4.  If you are not attending Ivy League for undergrad then save the money and pretentious and go to a CUNY / SUNY.  Only the most specialized programs like Songwriting at NYU's Clive Davis School would make NYU a better choice than Brooklyn College (as long as songwriting and the music industry is what you want to be doing).

5.  Unless you genuinely love the field, ignore all advice from parents and family to major in accounting, actuary, pre-law, pre-med or business.  Centuries of evidence proves that a liberal arts degree (bachelors in English, history, foreign language, art history) give college grads greater capacity for creative thinking and more flexibility for a variety of jobs.

6.  It matters where you go for GRADUATE SCHOOL (unless you will become a teacher, for example, since the degree is a matter of credentials and licensing not a matter for boosting your resumé - for public teachers it just doesn't matter where you go).  Grad school is when the serious attention to the field happens and where you will make connections for professional jobs.

7.  Finish your bachelors degree in four years.  Seriously.  The longer you take to finish the degree you are reducing the return on the college investment.  You are losing those earnings and not taking advantage of the degree.  The longer you take to get the degree (and have not graduated) you remain in the same employee pool as a high school graduate.  Wake up.

8.  If you start college, finish college.  The only thing worse than not going to college at all is starting a degree, dropping out and you still have college loan debt.  Debt without a degree is just stupid.  Not a smart move.

9.  Don't expect your college degree to get you the job you want.  A variety of factors have conspired against college graduates to make sure that many college grads work in fields that don't actually require a degree (i.e. barista, secretarial, medical and nursing technicians, bookkeeping).  Since so many more people attend college - although less than half graduate in four years - there are way more college grads than available jobs.  And the number of jobs formerly available for highly skilled, socially trained college grads is shrinking fast.

10.  If you train too narrowly for a field you risk hitching your wagon - your whole life plan and career aspirations - to the ups and downs of that industry (see #5).  For example, those who major in hospitality, culinary, engineering and accounting all face downsizing if these industries experience a major shift in technology or loss of capital (income).  Keep it in mind.

Texting and Driving Test

Pablo Picasso: Nude (1907)

After Picasso visited Paul Guillaume's gallery and saw his collection of African masks...the borrowing began...let's be very, very clear: African cultures were not "doing" modern art so it is misguided to asset that Picasso and his buddies "stole" modern art from African culture. Modern art is a Western-White European concept laid like an oily surface over the purity of African cultures.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Clemente, the Double Outsider

from The New York Times:

Today there is an abundance of Latinos in Major League Baseball, but not when Roberto Clemente took right field for the Pittsburgh Pirates 60 years ago this spring.

Clemente’s ordeal as a Puerto Rican breaking into what was then a very white preserve — and the aplomb with which he transcended his difficulties — reminds us of how far Latinos have come in American life.

 Had he lived, Clemente, at the age of 81 this August, would have witnessed the formidable surge of Latinos into the national pastime — a phenomenon he had helped launch. 

Born to what he called “the most wonderful mother and father who ever lived” (the latter a foreman in the sugar cane fields), the proud, intense, sometimes melancholy Clemente was discovered at age 18 by the Brooklyn Dodgers scout Al Campanis, who later called him “the best free-agent athlete I’ve ever seen.” After signing with the Dodger organization, he was drafted at 20 by the Pirates.

Continue reading at The New York Times

Tuesday, September 1, 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 (freed 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)

Dog Star Selects Voguing: The Message

Voguing: The Message traces the roots of this gay, Black and Latino dance form, which appropriates and plays with poses and images from mainstream fashion. Voguing competitions parody fashion shows and rate the contestants on the basis of movement, appearance and costume. This tape is a pre-Madonna primer that raises questions about race, sex and subcultural style. 

 Dir. Jack Walworth, David Bronstein & Dorothy Low 1989 13 min. USA