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Keeping the Faith of Graffiti Art

With all its graffiti art, New York City itself is a canvas. A new exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York celebrates this eccentric art form.

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Red (I Mean Read) All About It

Productive Arts! run by Howard Garfinkel and Larry Zeman is an essential resource for Russian and Soviet design materials (publications, posters, ephemera) produced by the leaders of the Constructivist, Productivist and Socialist Realist movements. Most recently, they published catalogs on Soviet newspapers and specifically pages designed by montagist Gustav Klutsis. I asked Zeman to discuss the acquisition and significance of this collection.

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Selfies: Self Portraits With Attitude

From Facebook, to Twitter, Instagram and the retro MySpace modern day self-portraits have been around for well over a decade. Originating in toothpaste-splattered mirrors with digital cameras and pixilated web cams, the modern day “selfies” have evolved with the advancement in technology.

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Instagram 1890

Since the dawn of picture making, the desire for Instagram was built into the voyeuristic nature of mankind. When photography was the new rage, long exposure portraits, shot at photography studios by trained craftsmen, were all the rage. Take a look at some vintage photos.

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Polish Refugees in Iran

Almost half a century after World War II, in an abandoned and dust-filled storage shed beside an old photography studio in Esfahan, Iran, Parisa Damandan found a unique collection of stunning Diane Arbus-esque photographs by Abolqasem Jala that are reminders of war in general and World War II’s human displacement. Four years ago, a book of these discoveries, The Children of Esfahan, published in Tehran, were covered in a book about Polish refugees in Iran during the World War II (1942-1945). The following is the book’s introduction by Damandan.

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The Next Generation of Visual Artists

From Jacob Landau to Andy Warhol, the past 90 years worth of winners in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards reads likes a Who’s Who. Next month the Mahady Gallery at Marywood University is hosting The Scholastic Art Awards Exhibition for Northeast Pennsylvania.

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Two New Photo Books Show Two Different Americas

Photography’s role in shaping American identity can be explored from multiple perspectives. These two new books – “Dorothea Lange” and “The Big Picture” – present both the enthusiastic embrace of distinctly American idealism and the devastating results of how such fervor left too many people with nothing.

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A Sad Smile

While in Paris for the holidays, my apartment was only a five minute walk from the Shoah Memorial, a museum devoted to the Holocaust and the French collaboration therewith. I visited often and experienced scores of emotionally charged displays. Yet the exhibit that most captured my attention, “Scenes From the Ghetto,” was comprised of photographs taken surreptitiously by Jewish ghetto residents and officially by sanctioned German military propaganda photographers in color and black and white.

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Ai Weiwei’s Neo-Reality

A new documentary film Ai Weiwei – The Fake Case by Andreas Johnsen will be out soon and the poster announcing the film is as provocative as the artists. Thanks to Kellerhouse and Johnsen I reached Ai Weiwei through email with a few questions about art and provocation, and how he felt about this particular interpretive depiction.

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“Historic” Historic Preservation

I’m a big fan of architectural historic preservation and restoration, and have involved myself and my studio in the saving of three structures that faced imminent destruction. These include railway stations in Skokie, Il, and Scarsdale, NY, as well as …