Arts in New York City: Baruch College, Fall 2008, Professor Roslyn Bernstein
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Category — Katie

“No Title Here” Necessary, for Jeff Mermelstein


Jeff Mermelstein

photographer: Jeff Mermelstein

         Jeff Mermelstein is an established street photographer whose various credits include a degree from the School Of Visual Arts in photography and teaching at the  International  Center For Photography. He focuses on the streets of New York and its American and social content.

                Standing at the center of our class he explained how he had the courage to photograph perfect strangers.  He smiled widely as he explained “These people didn’t complain and I would not have minded if they did”. His bravery is supplemented by the fact that he gives of the air of a very gentle giant with his kind expressions, sense of humor and overall broadness of shoulders. Hovering over his projector as he showed my class his slides he almost quivered with excitement.

            Jeff Mermelstein  fell in love with color, more specifically color photography in all it’s natural “M &M candy-like seduction”. To him seeing color is a “visceral process” as opposed to black and white.

 His photographs fittingly reveal this passion he developed. [Read more →]

November 14, 2008   Comments Off on “No Title Here” Necessary, for Jeff Mermelstein

Soldiers are not Politicians, but they are “In Conflict”



            “Soldiers are not politicians, ”Ty Simmons asserts in Yvonne Latty’s book “In Conflict”, now adapted into a thought provoking Culture Project production. Our main military man was one of the many veterans whose tortured stories were heart wrenchingly revealed on the small stage at the Barrow Street theatre.

            Revealed would be the word because the open-minded cast and directors of the show managed to create both an expository play about a war that is very simple to bash. It would have been far easier for Culture Project or even Yvonne Latty to compile the memoirs of bitter and disgruntled opponents of the war but they didn’t and their lack of narrow-mindedness made this production all the more credible. [Read more →]

November 14, 2008   Comments Off on Soldiers are not Politicians, but they are “In Conflict”

Sunlight on the Sand AND Dames Aplenty

what aint they got?

what ain't they got?

Ladies and Gentlemen, there is sunlight on the sand and dames aplenty in the sparkling new revival of Roger and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” regardless of what twinkling hedonist Luther Billis’ (as played by a cheeky Danny Burnstein) groans.

Stepping into the theater I instantly felt a sense of glee and burning anticipation in the crowd. This anticipation was not misplaced as I observed that many of the beaming theatergoers were probably old enough to have seen the original “South Pacific”.  I wondered if this musical was good enough to see more than once and after watching it, I am sure it is. Their anticipation slowly changed into participation as I was touched by many couples sitting side by side slowly singing along or mouthing the words. My peers and I may not have been in the same situations but the wonderful thing about “South Pacific” and its classic score is simply that. It is classic and will always be relevant. It is a multifaceted gem of sorts to be handed down from generation to generation and to bridge the generation gap. [Read more →]

November 14, 2008   Comments Off on Sunlight on the Sand AND Dames Aplenty

An About Face, About Time Too.


"art for arts sake"

"art for arts sake"


            My mentor once told me, “Artists need an ego to protect them from the cold, cold world”. That being said, I feel that one of my proudest achievements is in my ability to continually paint things in a good light. Pun intended.

However it wasn’t always that way. [

November 14, 2008   4 Comments

Dr. Atomic Lacks a BANG!

The explosion of an atomic bomb or any bomb for that matter should have opened with a resounding “BAM”! Or at least a “BANG” some form of explosion because no adjective would rightly do it justice. Regrettably, this was most not the case at John Adam’s and Peter Sellers new contemporary opera “Dr. Atomic”.
The beauty of Met opera house overshadowed the poker stiff soldiers and officials at either wings of the stage and officials that compromised the introduction of the opera. Straight spined, they were as appealing to the viewer as ordinary school choir and just as simple. An atomic bomb releases a massive amount of energy but it was not the case with the singers and this led to their less than convincing performances. The singers were stationary and according to one viewer the beginning could simply be categorized as “flat”. [Read more →]

November 13, 2008   1 Comment

Waltzing With Bashir

Ari Folman as himself

Ari Folman as himself

“Memory is the most subjective thing in the world, I realize that memoryis alive”. Filmmaker Ari Folman reflected, meditatively leaning his chin on an open right palm, during a talkback on his unique animated documentary “Waltz with Bashir”.
It is the fantastical quality of his memories of the Lebanese War and his own personal guilt of his participation that led him to believe animation was the only channel that would do his memory justice. The animation, done by hand, focuses more on facial contours and highlights, in an attempt at realism. The seemingly simplistic, lines that make up his furrowed brow and shadows under his eyes, are still accurate enough to translate self-torture and a guilty conscience.
Apart from being a genre all itself, “Waltz with Bashir” is a personal reflection of an Israeli soldier who believes that a “memory repressed is a memory conserved”. In this case the memory would be the blind massacre of innocent Palestinians, during the Lebanon War by vindictive Bashir supporters. The Christians were enraged that their leader Bashir was murdered and they took it out on the refugee camps where people that were living there for years. Bullets and blood emitted from all directions and this destruction underwent a transition to actual film footage. Women, drifted across the screen screeching, flailing, pulling their hair, all in an open supplication for an answer to the cause of the destruction of their homes and families. This shows his acknowledgement that animation cannot fully invoke pathos as strongly as actual camera footage. [Read more →]

November 13, 2008   1 Comment