ArchivesPosts Tagged ‘Art’


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Lately, we’ve taken to food metaphors for Theodore’s benefit, since he sees most everything through his food loving lens. And in that vein, when describing this voracious canine’s idea of a perfect Sunday, we’d say it’s like a pot au feu: a vibrant mix of hearty and good-for-ya ingredients infused with delectable spices.

More specifically, his ideal Sunday stew includes:

1) Quality time with Me and his Other Favorite Human.

2) Experiencing something new.

3) Making new friends.


4) Eating something memorable.

If Theodore had written the list above, he might have considered re-ordering the list to place ‘Eating’ in the Number One slot. (In fact, in the photo above, Theo finds himself lamenting why literal pot au feu is not made available to him on a daily basis. But I digress)

In the end, for Theodore, his Humans win out over food. Most of the time. Depending on the food in question.

Recently, we took our little circus (along with our friend Efren) across the bridge to Brooklyn, lured by the news of the Keith Haring retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum.

But we first took a detour to a Prospect Heights resto we’ve since dubbed Taco Town, because it’s so good, we wished we lived there. The joint’s real name is Gueros  and the fare is Tex-Mex and terrific.

Between the three of us, we chowed down on a wide array of tacos including Grilled Hanger Steak with Avocado and Cilantro Cream, Fried Shrimp with Slaw and Chipotle Mayo, Fried Chicken with Refried Beans and Jalapeno Buttermilk, and Fried Avocado and Jalapeno with Fried Pickled Jalapenos.

In addition to their regular fare, fans flock to Gueros for Breakfast Tacos served Saturdays and Sundays until 4pm.  And though the nice folks tending the place made hanging around long enough to rest, digest and order up another round of crispy, tasty, taco goodness so very appealing, we decided to mosey on and make our way to the Brooklyn Museum for the second half of our quest.

Keith Haring: 1978-1982 is a wonder. For me and countless others, I’m sure, Haring’s work is a memorable visual marker from the wild 80’s, and to see so much of his work collected here is invigorating.

There are over 155 works on paper, 150 archival objects and a number of videos on view and the punk and New Wave soundtrack buzzing throughout the exhibition space sets the mood quite nicely.

It’s his early work, including collages, sketchbooks and early drawings that we found most captivating, since much of these works were unfamiliar to us until now.

The exhibit greatly expanded our perspective on Haring’s work. He was so many things: a social commentator, a cartoonist, a video artist…not one term could possibly define him. Strolling through the exhibit, you get the sense that these paintings and sketches might just come alive, their characters leaping off their canvases, dancing through the gallery space.

The imagery was so dynamic That Theo found it necessary to take calming-cuddle-breaks as we moved from gallery to gallery, which he likes to think of as soothing palate cleansers for the eyes.

And in a stroke of interactive genius, the museum even set aside a nook where visitors could use erasable tablets to create their own Haring-esque works.

The exhibit is well worth the trip from other neighborhoods and cities, however far flung. And the Brooklyn Museum always has a wide array of other exhibits to capture visitors’ attention as well.

Out on the terraced lawn of the museum, Theodore made a handful of new friends, including Lisa Jean Moore and her adorable daughter Greta. Lisa, a professor at Purchase college fascinated us with tales of her soon-to-be-released book about urban apiaries. She has many stories to tell about beekeeping in the city and we listened with rapt attention.

Theo also took a shine to a lovely young woman named Shayna, and her sweet friend, whose name, sadly we did not note. Theo always puts on his best smile for the ladies…

…But never forgets to spread the love, as he does here with Efren.

Our pot au feu complete, we headed back to Manhattan, but not before downing some doughnuts at the Doughnut Plant in Chelsea.

What’s a weekend without doughnuts, I ask you?

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More Information:

* Keith Haring at the Brooklyn Museum until July 8, 2012

200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Gueros Brooklyn

605 Prospect Place, Brooklyn, NY 11238


If you want an unfiltered perspective, untainted by diplomacy, consult a dog.

To that point, witness our recent visit to view Ai Weiwei’Sunflower Seeds installation at the Mary Boone Gallery in Chelsea. Given the artist/activist’s reputation, our expectations were high.  (Time Magazine included him in their Persons of the Year issue. Click HERE to read that interview.  And Art Review declared him the art world’s most powerful figure. Click HERE to read more at Art Review.)

Sunflower Seeds had been on display previously (in a much larger form) at London’s Tate Museum and was composed of over 100 MILLION hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds. To create these numerous mini sculptures, Ai Weiwei employed a great many of the residents of Jingdezhen, the Northern Chinese City made famous for crafting the finest porcelain for over 1800 years. Ultimately, it took 1,600 helpers to turn Ai Weiwei’s concept into reality.

'Sunflower Seeds' installed at the Tate Modern. Photo:Tate Photography

This video, featuring an extensive interview with the artist, reveals his painstaking and detailed process and can be viewed by clicking HERE. It’s fascinating, heartfelt and gives great context to the work.

Here’s what the Tate had to say about the installation:

Sunflower Seeds invites us to look more closely at the ‘Made in China’ phenomenon and the geo-politics of cultural and economic exchange today… Each piece is a part of the whole, a commentary on the relationship between the individual and the masses. The work continues to pose challenging questions: What does it mean to be an individual in today’s society? Are we insignificant or powerless unless we act together? What do our increasing desires, materialism and number mean for society, the environment and the future?

Installed at Mary Boone, here in Manhattan, the exhibit was not an interactive one as it was in London, where visitors were allowed to walk on the sprawling carpet of seeds. Toxic ceramic dust was a by-product of that interaction, so in NYC, visitors were allowed only to gaze upon the seeds, which were shaped into a gravely carpet with sloping borders, monitored by a watchful guard.

While we were struck by the beauty and detail of these three million seed replicas, all assembled in a tidy fashion within the space, I must admit that we didn’t experience an emotional response to the work.

And apparently, neither did Fern and Theodore.

Despite the formal atmosphere and hushed tones of the gallery, the dogs made their opinions of Sunflower Seeds crystal clear.

First, there was the eye rolling…

…then, obvious declarations of boredom

and then, finally, submission to the lack of interest, segueing into utter fatigue.

It’s not that the dogs don’t revere Ai WeiWei and his accomplishments, but works of art featuring whirligigs, chaseable animals and other kinetic attributes are more likely to result in pricked ears and full-on attention.

I don’t know if anyone else has ever fallen asleep in the exhibition space at the Mary Boone, but perhaps Theodore and Fern felt it was important to contribute to the work in their own special way. The humans were simply grateful that snoring wasn’t part of their performance.

Regardless of the dogs’ response, and their humans’ lack of emotional connection to the piece as well, we still have a tremendous respect for Ai Weiwei. Watching the video (link above) about the evolution of the piece and his thoughts behind the concept make the artist’s vaunted status in the art/activism world clear.

He’s a visionary with a purpose, and that’s something we’ll always admire.