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"The history of a people is found in its songs." - George Jellinek

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Print-and-Play Arts Games at Artsology Membership

March 28th, 2014

We have a selection of print-and-play arts games at our Artsology Membership section. In addition to the arts games, Artsology Members can also access our “Gallery Insider” feature, which incorporates contemporary art exhibitions in NYC galleries with optional lesson plans for teachers or homeschoolers to share with their students. We also introduce our new Jazz & Arts Series, where we pair a jazz music composition with a corresponding art project. For more information, check out our Membership Intro here or go our registration page here.

printable arts games at Artsology Membership


The Legofication of Rockefeller Center

March 28th, 2014

Oscar Wilde once said that “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.” After walking through Rockefeller Center the other day, I think we could update this saying to be “Legos imitate Life and Art.” As you can see, someone has created a Lego version of the famous sculpture at Rockefeller Center. And as far as Legos imitiating art, scroll down to see a Lego version of M.C. Escher’s famous image “Relativity.”

a Lego copy of the sculpture at Rockefeller Center

Relativity, the original by M.C. Escher and a Lego version


Skiing with Keith Haring

March 26th, 2014

I was walking up Madison Avenue in NYC the other day when I passed a storefront and stopped and had to do a double-take: are those Keith Haring skis I’m looking at? Indeed they were. Ski-maker company “Bomber” recently opened a pop-up shop at 538 Madison Avenue that looks like an art gallery and displays the skis as if they were fine art — each pair of Bomber skis is mounted to look like it’s floating three inches off the wall, much like a painting in a museum, with one pair of skis displayed every six feet. It’s appropriate, I guess, because Bomber entered into licensing agreements with the Jean-Michel Basquiat Foundation and the Keith Haring Foundation to produce a limited amount of skis based on works by each artist. I didn’t have time to go into the store, so I didn’t see the Basquiat skis – I’ll bet that neither Basquiat or Haring ever went skiing – but these two pairs of skis featuring Haring motifs were in the front window.

In some ways, it’s kind of ridiculous – what’s next? A Keith Haring coffee pot or a Basquiat vacuum cleaner? But I guess it’s still kind of cool – and it’s not the first time Haring’s art has been on a high-end sports item – did you see our post about the Keith Haring/Cinelli racing bicycle?

limited edition run of skis by Bomber using imagery by Keith Haring


The real reason for the American Gothic scowl

March 26th, 2014

Maybe the real reason that the guy in Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” had such a grim scowl on his face is because he didn’t like the fact that she pulled out her smartphone at the last minute in order to capture a “selfie” of them.

Grant Wood American Gothic satire


Sergey Ponomarev: when photo-journalism meets art history

March 25th, 2014

You may have seen my blog post last January where a photograph on the front page of the New York Times really grabbed my attention, both for its sense of beauty in the midst of devastation but also for the fact that it reminded me of the paintings of Eric Fischl. The photographer is Sergey Ponomarev, who is a Moscow-based independent photojournalist who often contributes to the New York Times. Another striking recent front page Times picture by Ponomarev revealed that he was in Crimea as things with Russia were unfolding there. A look at his Instagram feed shows that he’s also been capturing the action in Syria. But two pictures in particular, below on the top row, show that some art historical references are coming through again, and I think they’re fantastic. See the references to Mondrian and Rodin’s Thinker? I’m becoming a big fan of Mr. Ponomarev’s work!

news photography that reflects modern art references, such as Mondrian and Rodin's Thinker


The “other” population of NYC

March 22nd, 2014

Most times when I go into NYC, I’m visiting art galleries, art museums, and restaurants, and in my travels, I generally see normal people doing normal things. But this weekend we have some out-of-town guests who wanted to visit a few of the tourist spots, including Times Square. While walking through Times Square today, it made me wonder if visitors to NYC have a different view of the local population, because it was filled with superheroes, cartoon characters, video game characters, and shiny metallic non-moving characters. Below is a survey of the “locals” that we encountered today.

Elmo, Luigi, Captain America, Iron Man, Green Army guy


Leonardo Da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine

March 21st, 2014

Violet the Art Dog has her own opinion of Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous painting “Lady with an Ermine” from 1489-90.

Leonardo Da Vinci Lady with an Ermine


Sculpture by Vered Aharonovitch

March 20th, 2014

I saw this piece by Israeli artist Vered Aharonovitch at the Scope Art Fair a couple weeks ago. I’m trying to find out a little more about this artist, and can report that she was born and still lives in Israel, and is one of the co­founders of “Hanina“, a non­profit artists cooperative and gallery in Tel Aviv. But I find it especially interesting that she presently teaches art at a high school that is specially geared towards “troubled” teenagers who have problems adapting to “regular” schools. I think I would be troubled too if I had to share my bathtub with a Muscovy Duck! Scroll down for a comparison between the sculpture duck and a real Muscovy Duck … he’s like the “Darth Maul” of the animal kingdom! For more on Aharonovitch, check out her website here.

a boy with a Muscovy duck in a bathtub

A Muscovy Duck reminds me of Darth Maul from Star Wars


Banksy as inspiration for tattoos

March 19th, 2014

Although it almost feels sacrilegious to mention Justin Bieber on the Artsology blog, I read with amusement how he recently had a tattoo done on his arm depicting Banksy’s famous girl with a balloon which is known as “There will always be hope.” My first reaction was that it was a sad attempt to gain “street cred,” but then a little internet searching revealed that LOTS of people have had this image tattooed on themselves, so it was nothing original. Looking below, in the top from the left: Bieber’s “selfie” showcasing his new tattoo; the image rotated so that we can see it better – and when compared to the original to the right of it, it’s not even a very good copy! Bottom row: 3 other people whose tattoo artists did a better job and copying the original.

I’ve always thought that if I were to get a tattoo, it would be a Picasso head (like one of these), but have never felt a strong-enough urge to get one – I prefer my art on paper or canvas, rather than on my body.

Banksy's girl with balloon as a tattoo, Justin Bieber got one


Art that loves us as much as we love it

March 19th, 2014

One of the most-common phrases to come out of the mouth of a museum security guard is probably “don’t touch the art.” But what are you supposed to do if the art touches you? Here we’ve got “The Hug,” by Mark Jenkins, at the Fabien Castanier Gallery’s booth at the Scope Art Fair.

I was a bit taken aback when I first saw this piece, as I thought “what is that woman doing?” But it turns out she’s part of the art work … pretty convincing, since you can’t see her face to tell she’s not a live, breathing woman.

Fabien Castanier Gallery booth at the Scope Art Fair, featuring art by Mark Jenkins


Vincent Van Gogh at Artsology Artsology offers free online games about the arts, and delivers investigations into topics in the visual arts, music, and literature. Artsology is a good resource for fun learning about the arts for people of all ages and is enjoyed by students, homeschoolers, and adults. Follow us on Twitter or become a fan of our Facebook page. Pablo Picasso paintings at Artsology

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