Awakening in New York by Maya Angelou - Subway Art
Curtains forcing their will
against the wind,
children sleep,
exchanging dreams with
seraphim. The city
drags itself awake on
subway straps; and
I, an alarm, awake as a
rumor of war,
lie stretching into dawn,
unasked and unheeded.


As I entered the 6 train on my way home early last week, I was struck by an image on the wall of the train. I began to read the poem, and it definitely hit home for me. Coming from a not-so-busy town in Brooklyn, as a child, I’ve always been amazed at how everyday millions of people wake up early and commute to the city for school and work. This poem made me think about just how remarkable it is to now be a part of it. I took notice to the metaphor the poet used by describing herself as “an alarm clock.” This phrase as well as the poem as a whole does a really good job at depicting the daily morning routine of so many people!

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Public Art!


This Sunday, on my way up to Central Park, I came across a painting that was right in the middle of the sidewalk. As a pedestrian, you just could not miss it! Instead of being overwhelmingly confused at its complexities as I probably would have in the past, I stopped to try and have a greater understanding for the work. If you were to take a quick glance, the work looks like a lot of busy colors, shapes, and black outlining lines. But when I took a closer look, the painting seemed like a microcosm for Manhattan with the implicit depiction of buildings all around. The array of colors, shapes, and designs all show how bustling and busy the city environment is.

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Music Manipulation in Movies - Multimedia Project

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Too Many Zooz

Nearly every day, after a long day of school, I find myself hoping that the band “Too Many Zooz” will be playing at the Union Square Subway Station.  This band is completely different than all other public music I have every seen. Drawing crowds of hundreds of people and  playing extremely catchy tunes with a saxophone, trumpet, and drums, these guys are on a completely different level than anything I’ve ever seen. They’ve become so famous, that there was recently an article in the New York Post featuring them. Here’s the link:

Here’s them playing, enjoy!


Hopefully you will all keep on the lookout for them next time you’re at the 14th Street Union Square Station!

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Coming into this event, I did not know exactly what to expect never having experienced this type of modern live dance. At first, I was a little disappointed that we were sitting in the top row close to the corner, but once the curtains opened up I was surprised by the many physical specimens in front of my eyes, reminding me of Greek sculptures. I was in awe with how much the dancers were able to stretch out their lanky, muscular bodies out. I was additionally very impressed with how (especially in the first scene) all the members of “The Company” were dancing completely in sync and how they were able to remember every single subtle move.

With each new scene came a specific color of attire that all the dancers wore, giving the impression of organized uniformity, however although they wore the same colors, the types of attire varied – from tight pants to tight shorts which added the dimension of individualism and uniqueness.

The dance made me ask myself a few questions:

How did they have the flexibility, stamina, and talent to continuously perform flawlessly over the course of hours?

How did they all walk with a perfect posture on their tippy toes with all  of their body weight pushing down?

How were they able to slide their feet on the ground, or come crashing down on their feet with a loud thump that can be heard from all the way where we were sitting – without hurting themselves?

These questions can all by answered by the sheer talent that these dancers all have and the amount of hard work they put in.

Lastly, I felt that the music was almost as important to the performance, as the dance itself! The music set the audience’s mood and provided us with a lens with which we interpret the dance – whether it be happy, lustful, or sacred.

My first trip to see a modern dance was definitely a success, and I hope to see more performances like this in the future!

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Pace Gallery

Today’s trip to the Pace Gallery provided an interesting, new experience.  Walking in, I was already struck by the luxury; the golden lobby, the elevator man, and the customers suited up.

Although I was not allowed to take photos, three works of art resonated with me, as they chronicled Picasso’s later life.

Jacqueline in Turkish Costume, 1955:


This painting was only 2 years after Picasso met Jacqueline. Picasso was still expressing his younger exuberance, and energetic art through bright colors such as the yellow, red, blue.  This was an example of Picasso expressing the beauty he saw in Jacqueline. Through his use of these vibrant colors, Picasso was communicating his love and affection toward her.

As Picasso was nearing death later on in his life, he realized that things will not be the same in the future for the both of them, and he began to express much more somber, serious, and gloomy portraits of Jacqueline.  The “Jacqueline With a Headband I” painting got my attention as it expressed these very somber feelings that Picasso and Jacqueline were beginning to feel. Unlike his earlier paintings which were much more vivacious, this portrait was a dark, gloomy portrait of Jacqueline.  Dark colors such as black and brown dominate the portrait, and a seemingly serious and worried look on Jacqueline’s face is portrayed.  This is just one of many darker and more serious portraits that Picasso does of Jacqueline.  When he began creating these somber portraits, it marked a stark contrast to his earlier more energetic, colorful, and sexual portraits.

Lastly, the “Face of a Woman” portrait, 1962 got my attention as well.  At first glance, I thought it was a rather simple work as it was simply colored pencil that outlined her face.  I realized however that this portrait looked similar to the “non-linear” work that we saw in class!  This portrait differs from many of his other ones in that he doesn’t portray to us Jacqueline’s physical beauties. Instead what we see is a tall, narrow, expressionless face.

Overall, I’m extremely happy I got the chance to visit the Pace Gallery and learning more about one of the most influential artists in our history!

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Tom Smith's Art

Our class trip to meet Tom Smith and see his artwork was in my opinion the most engaging and exhilarating trip yet.  Being able to first absorb the brightly colored paintings and then being able to get explanations and insight from Tom Smith, himself was what made this trip a unique experience.  The first thing I noticed when walking in was the digital style of many aspects of the paintings.  It was almost like from far you could be led to believe it was digital art even though it wasn’t. This effect was especially seen with the perfectly straight and equal cuts of paper in the straight-line patterns in some of the paintings.



Although Smith places such importance on technology, as in his video-art and his paintings that look digital, we can’t be fooled to forget that Smith’s main focus is on the physical beauties of different parts of the world, and that’s where he  gets inspiration to create his art.  The painting that resonated the most with me was the painting that seemed to look like a map with red water and green, elevated land.  When I asked Smith about that piece, he said that his trip to Iceland gave him the inspiration.  Iceland has many volcanoes with molten rock and lava, which is depicted as the orange lava in the painting, and this creates the thick moss, or the elevated green wooden pieces.  This seemed very unique to me, because it was not a 3D sculpture, but it was also not just a painting.  It was a hybrid of the two.


After hearing from Tom Smith, I learned some things about the paintings that interested me.  Firstly, how he doesn’t “predetermine the art.” Instead, “it’s exploring and going from there.” He allows the flow of the art take him to the completion of the piece.  This struck me as a different approach than what I thought was the conventional way of creating art.  Another interesting aspect of the art was how he implemented colors of light, which when mixed create a vibrant white color, as opposed to when physical colors are combined, they create a darker brownish color.  I was definitely cultured and enlightened after the visit!

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Jason Rhoades PeaRoeFoam

The part that seemed most interesting to me from today’s trip was the PeaRoeFoam, by Jason Rhoades.  When I first walked in, I have to admit feeling a little confusion as to how such inexpensive material was, and how it was just nonchalantly mixed together and then called “art.”  However, as I tried to understand the deeper meaning of the art and what type of work was put into it, it helped me understand it a bit more.



The art featured peas, fish eggs, and foam, all combined with glue.  At first glance you might think just how different this art is. The purpose of the art was never specified. I think the reason for this is that it gives us the liberty to develop our own opinions and inferences from the art.  As I tried to understand and find meaning in the art, I noticed that all the materials in the art are only of use to us when we use it, but once it’s used it up, it’s worthless. I think the message may have been for us to realize the amount of non-biodegradable things we throw out, and how it’s detrimental to the environment.  I especially got this message from the boots filled with old bottles.  I think it also helps us understand and recognize how much we take for granted such as a pea; in spite of the food shortages in others parts of the world, we waste so much.


Pea3            Pea1


Another interesting part about the art was the fact the artist makes everything look all sealed, manufactured, and official by using the “Not for retail sale” cardboard boxes, shrink wrap, and pallets.  This is all in spite of the fact, that the objects used in the art are all valueless in there own right.  This was where I began to wonder how this could be sold for such expensive prices! It wasn’t until I saw the video about the art, that I began to understand the value of the art. So many laborers were getting paid to make the installation. This is what a buyer is also paying for when purchasing a piece.

Lastly, I found it extremely clever by the artist to be able to create such valuable art that sells for exorbitant prices all from cheap, useless materials.  What I also found different about the art was the fact that when I think of art, I usually think of one artist, but here, their were so many people who worked together to create the art!


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Taking the Subway everyday to work and now to school has made me lose sight of the many different aspects of art there are in my daily routine. Upon taking a step back to reflect about where I encounter art, I noticed that there is a moving picture of many different colors creating an image while the train is moving.  This is called the  Masstransiscope.  There are 228 hand painted panels in the area between Dekalb Avenue and Canal Street, and when these panels are seen as a cohesive unit, it is a spectacular scene.  As the train moves, an illusion of an animated movie forms.  Now I see my daily life as more than just the “routine.”

I took a video of it, but the file was too large to send, so here’s a 30 second Youtube clip of what I see every day.

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