The Arts in New York City

MHC Seminar 1, Professor Casey Henry

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It is clear that the gaming industry is overwhelmingly dedicated to violent male characters, despite the potential of video games to create any world imaginable, and it seems that these games result in a more hostile gaming community.

Kara Walker uses symbols and stereotypes to portray the racist views of the Deep South. She creates stereotypical images of black people with big noses and full lips. Her depiction of the white people seemed demonic in a way, as some were painted with horns like the Devil. She displays shadows in most of her works, adding depth to the images.

At first, when you look at her work, it all seems very chaotic. But as you close into one spot, you notice that individual stories are being told. The setting for a lot of these ‘’stories’’ seem to take place in swamps, or otherwise muddy environments. Walker depicts a lot of bloodshed, with innumerable accounts of beheadings, hangings, and stabbings. In some works, she illustrates Confederate flags standing tall, while the American flag lays ripped up on the floor.


The image above sends out a simple, yet powerful message. The religion of Islam has been grossly misconstrued since the wake of 9/11.  A religion whose literal definition is peace today is seen as the forefront for all terrorist activity. The symbolic crescent moon and star of the religion waves proudly on the flags of predominantly Muslim nations. In this picture, however, it is being manipulated,taking on the image of a bomb. A major reason for why the religion has been viewed in a negative light is the because of the media’s portrayal of terrorist activity. Generally, when a Muslim person commits an act of terrorism, they are viewed as a terrorist. If a black person commits an act of terrorism, they are associated with gang activity. But when a white person commits an act of terrorism, the media takes a softer approach, usually blaming it on mental illness.

I found A Doll’s House Part II to be amusing, yet simultaneously illuminating. It touched on issues relating to the rise of feminism in the early twentieth century, while still displaying a sense humor. One example of this was in the beginning when Anne Marie, the Helmer family’s house servant, inquired how it was that Nora, the play’s protagonist, found success. She began listing professions that were stereotypical, like fashion designer, and was surprised to find out that Nora was in fact a writer. After Nora delivers her reasons for returning to the Helmer household, the reason being she needed a formal divorce from her soon to be ex-husband Torvald, the audience begins to sympathize with Nora. Nora prefers to fly solo, and in some instances, that is totally acceptable. However, in my opinion, in her case, it wasn’t. Throughout the play, I developed feelings of animosity towards Nora. The major reason for this was her treatment towards her daughter, Emmy. My rationale is that if you are unhappy with your marriage, and have tried multiple times to sort it out, you have the right to leave, but you do not, under any circumstances, have the right to abandon your children. You brought your children in this world to love and care for them, to put their needs above yours. Nora, selfishly, abandoned her children, and upon encountering Emmy for the first time since she was born, Nora not only did she not want to see her, she made no attempt to apologize for abandoning her. The only reason Nora had agreed to speak with Emmy in the first place was again for her own selfish needs: to get Emmy to convince Torvald into divorcing her. Although I fully despised Nora, I realized that the actress indeed did an exceptional job in portraying her, for I was fuming with rage whenever she spoke thereafter.

In addition to the remarkable acting from all the characters, I quite liked the stage direction of the play. The neon green signs highlighting each character’s name illuminated the dark stage. I thought it was an interesting prop the directors used to segue each scene into the next and to introduce each character’s role in the overall plot. The transition, paired with the lack of a musical score/sound effects, and the occasionally thrown around swear words, made the whole play feel unconventional. Yet somehow, it worked.


Victor grossman Wu Tang Clan

I will start by saying I am not at all a phan of rap. With that in mind, I find the vulgarity of the lyrics excessive and unnecessary, although at times funny.

For example in “Shame On A Nigga”:”I react so thick, I’m phat, and YO!”

I think it is funny that he calls himself fat. In most situations that would not be considered beneficial to ones “name” or “face”. However, in this context, it seems to serve as a sort of elevated adjective label.

I can appreciate how sometimes they just use words however they want. That is really effective and I like to do that too in every day to make a point. For example sometimes I will tell my dad “Stop being such a triumphant tortoise”

This is very similar to when he said: “So I can get fzza-funky for yah”.  It doesn’t mean much in or out of context, but it creates a mood and a response. From my dad in the former example its “What??”

And from me in the ladder, it is “What??”

Stettheimer exhibit Victor

Stettheimer displays her wealthy lifestyle in the subjects of her painting. Although not intentionally about wealth or class, it is still brought to light by the amount of free time she has to paint the subjects. The colors are bright and lively like  a wealthy party. She creates a sense of harmony in her compositions which balances with the idea that she may be a person who values things differently from someone in a different social standing.

Phone Conversations Between Artists

When walking into museum, we observe the work of prodigies who have spent their lives dedicated to creating the art showcased. However, sometimes it is necessary to take a step back and see forms of art by those who don’t intend it to showcase their work in that manner. For example, in the MET museum there is an exhibition going on depicting the use of pictures taken by phones, and creating them into a conversation. Because technology has become such an integrated aspect of our contemporary lives, I thought it would be interesting to mimic this exhibition within the classroom.

What inspired me most about the idea of conversations with just our phone camera, is that it portrays the concept that art does not have to be planned or worked on for years before in order to be a masterpiece.

I aimed to show how art does not have to be planned or perfectly created. It can be in the rush of the moment, yet still intend to connect people with different artistic intentions.



Victor Ohara

Ohara uses the city as a means of inspiration to draw the reader into their world as a means of expression. He brings out moments in time and makes them last as though frozen allowing for one to experience what he did. In this way he draws to the readers attention the idea that a moment lasts only once, but a feeling from that moment can interact with future moments to create a sense of memory which is then influenced by one’s life choices and emotional maturity to produce a result.

This perfectly encapsulates the New York City feel of “The Past” which allows for a broader understanding of the culture which we are submerged in every day but have little time to adapt to.

The video I link to is another means of a similar expression which conveys, I feel, a very similar emotional expression to the poetry in that it allows the viewer to step out of their own shoes and see New York with no reference point but that of a cultural lens in the distant way.


Victor mean Streets

The rap uses strong words to display his discontent with the system and he is very mad about how he can’t get what he needs for no good reason. He uses a lot of curse words because it makes him sound tough and that is good. He is saving face with his word choice. That is a very powerful tool in rap. He is quite loud which creates a connection to the listener. He draws from his life experience which also creates a strong sense of comradery with the listener. He is difficult to understand when he raps but that draws one to check and read his lyrics, should they feel compelled.”Fast pace of a CREAM chasing team” Shows Raekwon roots of New York and New York rap in the fact that he appreciates and draws inspiration from Wu Tang and his production.

Victor Studio Musuem

The Studio Museum has many powerful influences that have shaped the world of Harlem art. Kenneth wiley is a very skilled painter who depicts people in a new light which allows for social commentary. His skill in the compositions is shown by his ability to balance the frame with contrast of light and dark and well placed colors which bring out the subjects and their place. The subjects always have a very powerful expression and the composition usually features a lot of vibrant saturated  colors. The compositions draw from history to show social commentary.


Through the experiences gathered from art throughout New York City, as well as the scenery of China Town , a horizontaly shot
film was made. It became extremely popular in Poland, and even warranted an interview with its director.  Upon being interviewed, the film seems to make less sense that did at the start…

Is this even something worth watching?

“Trouble in Hong Kong is a piece which leaves its viewer feeling mugged.
Much like the time spent in a New York City Art Museum, or a continental
train trip.” – Zealot Lart

It presents a film which is from a fictional director. This director is actually a hack who contradicts himself constantly.

I thank Z M, Bill Haye + friend, Oisin Horner, and my Father

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