Daze: The City is My Muse at Museum of the City of New York



With income inequality becoming one of the defining challenges of our time, it’s not difficult to understand the increasing democratization of art.  In a refusal to cede control to the art world hierarchy, street artists delivered their message wherever they could — public walls and subway cars became means of expression.  It’s unclear when graffiti became mainstream, but there’s no question that it has.  Christina Aguilera bought a Banksy original for £25,000 in 2006.  The Tate Modern in London invited some artists to do outdoor pieces in 2008, and the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Los Angeles ran an “Art in the Streets” exhibition which was billed as “the first major U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art” in 2011.  A majority of street artists never leave their urban canvas, but Chris Ellis, also known as Daze, is one of the few artists who has managed to successfully transition his work into museums and galleries. Continue reading Daze: The City is My Muse at Museum of the City of New York

Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum



Somewhere in Tom Sachs’ overdeveloped imagination, the cold, logical utilitarianism of engineering confronted the intuitive, whimsical nature of art and something unexpected — a symbiosis — developed between them. Continue reading Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum

Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden



There are few people who can travel to Japan and not be charmed by it.  I can remember my first trip there with uncharacteristic precision, but like so many others, I flirted with its culture and food long before I set foot on a plane.  There is something so intoxicating about how truly unique it is, so it’s no surprise that Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri is one of its busiest weekends of the year. Continue reading Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs at the Museum of the City of New York



Before the rise of DC and Marvel superhero blockbusters, with their visual effects extravaganzas, there was the original source material — the under-appreciated, often ridiculed comic books and graphic novels — from which their inspirations were drawn. In fact, prior to bellwether films such as The Dark Knight, Sin City, The Avengers and The Walking Dead, the only examples of this broad medium to garner even a modicum of respect were the iconoclastic satire of MAD Magazine and The New Yorker. And more than any other, the cartoons of The New Yorker epitomized the astonishing breadth of this art form, pushing its boundaries and demonstrating its wealth of profundities. Continue reading Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs at the Museum of the City of New York

Ibrahim El-Salahi: Alhambra at Salon 94



As we’ve established in previous posts, and will likely continue to demonstrate in the future, New York City is home to a staggering number of museums and cultural institutions, and they offer a virtually limitless number of exhibits and installations to appreciate.  While Chelsea has long been the heart of the city’s art scene, art publications like ArtNews and Artsy have been covering the migration of many art galleries to the Lower East Side now that the High Line and the Whitney Museum have ushered in exponential growth, and therefore, rising rents in Chelsea.

Continue reading Ibrahim El-Salahi: Alhambra at Salon 94

Ramones and the Birth of Punk at Queens Museum


“The Ramones all originate from Forest Hills and kids who grew up there either became musicians, degenerates or dentists. The Ramones are a little of each.”
—Tommy Ramone, first press release

Continue reading Ramones and the Birth of Punk at Queens Museum

American Psycho on Broadway



American Psycho the Musical is the latest iteration of Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 novel about Patrick Bateman, a young Wall Street executive obsessed with appearances, and his murderous activities. The musical follows the successful 2000 movie starring Christian Bale in the lead role, of which, admittedly, I am a big fan.  I enjoyed the commentary about materialism as well as the concept of the villain, though highly exaggerated, who lives among us.  As the tale unfolds, we eventually come to learn that some of the murders didn’t take place, leading us to question if any of them did — the realization that we are dealing with an untrustworthy narrator is a nice plot twist that alludes to the inner workings of a disturbed mind. Continue reading American Psycho on Broadway

The Frick Collection



I’d be hard pressed to name a favorite museum in New York City — it would be like naming a favorite child (if you have over a hundred of them).  But I can assure you that the Frick Collection would be hovering near the top of the list.  It’s such an intimate and warm space, and although many other residences have been converted into museums or galleries, this one still feels like a home. Continue reading The Frick Collection

The Humans on Broadway



Sometimes a play — a really, really good one — gets under your skin and stays there long after the curtain falls. Stephen Karam’s most recent effort, The Humans, is precisely that kind of play. Continue reading The Humans on Broadway

Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival


“I don’t think there is a life in the mundane 9-to-5 hypocrisy. That’s not living. That’s just part of the Matrix. And drag is punk rock, because it is not part of the Matrix. It is not following any rules of societal standards. Boy, girl, black, white, Catholic, Jew, Muslim. It’s none of that. We shape-shift. We can do whatever we want.” – RuPaul

While we’d like to encourage you to be happy with who you are, we’d also like to embolden you to be anyone you want to be. That may involve introspection and ambition, or it may simply involve putting on a costume when the occasion allows it. There’s a boldness to the business of getting dressed up and standing in the spotlight. Some New Yorkers get up and do it every day, while others wait for an instance like the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival to get their shape-shift on. Continue reading Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival