Decorative Art

I consider most of my paintings decorative art.  They brighten up and add interest to a room.  At least they do that to my rooms.  Not intended to give one a life-changing experience.  Here are a few I’ve done lately.


Marker Pen on 12″ x 12″ canvas mounted on 20″ x 20″ unpainted canvas.


The Forest (Acrylic & marker pen on 2″ x 2″ wood panel)


Street Writing in Staten Island, NY, USA

In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: ALpHabeT

(Above sign appeared in Midland Beach day after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.)


MuRal at Bay Terrace and Port Richmond Avenue


MuRal – Close Up



Senior Citizens Getting it On in the Art World

Seniors in Lisbon meet Street Art

Photo taken from Twitter

Below:  Frank Stella (age 79) Retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art (Oct. 30, 2015-Feb. 7, 2016)

Frank Stella
Photo: Gayle Alstrom
Frank Stella at the Whitney
Photo:  Gayle Alstrom
K37, 2008
Photo:  Gayle Alstrom
Fedallah, 1988, Mixed Media on Aluminum
Fedallah, 1988, Mixed Media on Aluminum
(Photo:  Gayle Alstrom)
[You might want to read my post entitled “The Frank Stella Retrospective at the Whitney,” on my other blog “One American Mind.”]
This is a very short video about Stella that really helps tremendously in understanding his work:
Richard Serra turns 76 on November 2, 2015

Richard Serra, The Matter of Time (2005). Image: Guggenhiem Bilbao Museoa 2015, Richard Serra Arts Rights Society (ARS) New York.
Richard Serra, The Matter of Time (2005).
Image: Guggenhiem Bilbao Museoa 2015, Richard Serra Arts Rights Society (ARS) New York.
Serra’s monumental sculpture, Sequence (2006), is already installed in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s (SFMOMA)  new building.

My Thursday Night at the Whitney

(above:  The Hudson River with New Jersey buildings–from the South side, 5th floor, of the Whitney.  Photo taken around 7:00 pm., which is why buildings are in shadow.)

The Whitney is open till 10 pm Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays this summer.

Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort Street,
New York, NY 10014

An anterior shot of the New Whitney that I took on opening day 5/1/15. The Whitney Museum of American Art building was designed by Renzo Piano.
An anterior shot of the New Whitney that I took on opening day 5/1/15. The Whitney Museum of American Art building was designed by Renzo Piano.


Last night I attended a delightful lecture at the Whitney entitled     Writing Art History: The Whitney’s Collection and Exhibitions, 1970 – Present .  The lecture broadened my art history knowledge, considerably, of what was going on in art in the 1970’s and 80’s, which I had no idea of–really   Not only that, but I had no idea that I had no idea of what was going on

Performance art became a big thing during these two decades, which is something I never really took to, probably because I didn’t understand it.  Performance artists usually document their work with photographs, which many are on display at the Whitney. The lecture lasted about a 1/2 hour, then we went to the fifth floor to look at examples of work on display that had been talked about in the lecture.  All by artists with whom I had been totally unfamiliar until last night.  These lectures are free to members of the museum.  It’s certainly worth the price of joining just for them.

These performance artists express some kind of social agenda, like Aids, or women issues.  The women’s movement became big in the 70’s after the Vietnam war ended, and women performance artists dug their nails into it.  Performance art is a much more in-your-face” type of thing than looking at a painting.  However, when I think of the 80’s in art, the first people who come to my mind are Basquant and Warhol.  I don’t think any performance artist would come to any one’s mind.


This photo of the Whitney shows the different levels and the people standing out on the balconies. The Pink art on the 5th Floor wall is called "Sunset" by Mary Heilmann, who lives in San Francisco.
This photo of the Whitney shows the top 5 floors and the people standing out on the balconies.  The views of the city from the balconies are tremendous.  On the 8th floor is a restaurant where you can take your cocktail out on the balcony.  Bring money.  Multi-colored plastic chairs on the 5th floor balcony help enjoy the view.  Also there’s a ground-floor restaurant that you can sit at without paying to get into the museum.

"Sunset" by Mary Heilmann. These work my Heilmann, who lives in San Francisco, is on the wall overlooking the 5th floor balcony, where the chairs are.

“Museums are places to hang out.”
Mary Heilmann, whose site-specific installation, Sunset, inaugurates the Museum’s largest outdoor gallery


The 5th floor of the museum has two wonderful wall-to-wall windows on each side.  One faces south and the Hudson River, and the other East.  The windows have long couches in front of them for people to sit and contemplate and take photos if they want, which is what I wanted.

This is the view from the South window on the 5th Floor of the Museum. That's the Hudson River with Jersey City in the background. It was about 7:00 p.m. when I took this.
This is the view from the South window on the 5th Floor of the Museum. That’s the Hudson River with Jersey City in the background. It was about 7:00 p.m. when I took this.


Most of these photos I took last night 8/13/15.

Banksy Updates on His Manhattan Tour de Force

Update:  As of October 28, 2013


Banksy Says Latest Greenpoint Piece Is A Response To Rejected NY Times Column

Here we go again:  Update as of 10/27/13–

Life according to Banksy.  (ain’t it the truth)

Here we go again:  Update as of 10/21/13–

A boy taking a swing at a red standpipe on W. 79th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway.  (photo from Tumbir)

Note: for up to the minute updates on Banksy’s in NYC search A.K. Brown on Twitter.

All photos from “The Gothamist” until I can get ones of my own, if I ever do.

See:  Photos, Video: Banksy’s Enchanting Mobile Waterfall Truck: “The Gothamist.”

Yesterday, Banksy announced his latest NYC piece would be a “Mobile waterfall. Touring daily. Tonight – East Village.” The news sent street art fans (Gothamist included) into a frenzy trying to locate the vehicle. Finally, after 7 p.m., the truck was parked on St. Mark’s Place, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, for the Saturday night throngs. (from The Gothamist)


Waterfall Truck Interior

(below) Meat truck full of  crying, stuffed animals touring the meatpacking district.

bansky animals

Stuffed Animals in Meat Truck–Greenwich Ave and 10th street–What was formerly the meat packing district, but now it’s just upscale boutiques and restaurants.

bansky east NY

Graffiti artist Banksy latest art installation in Brooklyn, which has already been defaced.  Beaver ate through No Parking sign.

UPDATE: Banksy Puts Up “Concrete Confessional” In East Village


The Best Billboard in Manhattan

When I walk the HighLine in Manhattan, I’m always happy to see this billboard and what it is showing. I’ve never seen one this witty.


Presently, the same billboard–Created by Brit artists Gilbert & George.  The Highline, an elevated park for strolling, is on the left

88 Pianos Set Up on the Streets of NYC for Public Playing

Last Summer, New York City, including all 5 boroughs, had 60 pianos set up on the streets for anyone to sit down and play if so inclined.

This summer they are back and even better.  Besides being 88 this summer, each one is designed by an artist.

Today I saw two of them, the one located in battery park and the one in front of the Main Public Library on 5th Avenue.  When I arrived at the Battery Park piano, it was still quite early in the morning and no one was around to play. The decoration was a work of art. Above in the header for this post is a picture of how the keys on the piano were decorated.

The Piano in Battery Park at 8:00 a.m. It's between the Castle and the River.

My film I made from my day in Manhattan today. The sound is terrible because there was so much street noise.  After all, it was at 5th Avenue and 42nd St.  The film features Jeff Spurgeon and Naomi Lewin, who are DJs at the New York radio station WQXR, and who were the hosts of this event on Tuesday at the public piano in front of the main library.

Post Script: Below is another piano that is at Snug Harbor in Staten Island that I saw today on 6/26/11. They lucked-out to get a grand instead of an upright, but this piano was being completely ignored. I felt sorry for it. It wasn’t painted with the same artistic integrity as the other pianos I’ve seen.

Piano at Snug Harbor, Staten Island


Public Art in New York City

Today I traveled into the city even though it was raining. I saw a lot of public art which I took videos and photos of and then made the above video when I got home. One reason I love this city so much is the public art that is so much everywhere, plus the great buildings by great architects. Today I rode on this subway car (the shuttle between Times Square and Grand Central Station) that was painted on the inside like a rain forest, even the seats, and on the outside had a frog on it. I always liked graffiti, when it was good, but institutions like the MTA seem to only approve of representational painting. Anyway, I hope you like my little video. I just got a new computer yesterday in order to make better videos. At least now they will be in H.D. Presently, both a teddy bear and a lady bug have an artistic presence on Park Avenue in NYC.

Visiting the Trump Bar

While I was walking around the City, I got very tired. I was near the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. Trump has a bar there called The Trump Bar. Such an original name. I was so tired that I went in and ordered an Irish Coffee. It was the worse Irish Coffee I’ve ever had in my life. The coffee wasn’t hot and the  bartender, whom I can’t believe ever went to bartending school, put a lemon twist in it. Have you ever heard of an Irish Coffee with a lemon twist? And no whip cream on top.  I don’t think I’ve ever had an Irish Coffee anyplace on earth where they didn’t put whip cream on top.  I should have said something, but I never do. On top of that, it cost $13.50, when every where else in New York, it only cost $9.00 for an Irish Coffee even in the high-end restaurants. My advice–when in NYC, stay away from the places that mainly cater to tourists. New York seems too expensive to tourists. That’s only because they don’t know where to go. When I recently visited L.A., L.A. was just as expensive as New York City, as far as the normal places to eat go–not the tourists traps, which usually are in or near hotels.  In New York City, the tourists’ traps are mainly in Times Square, are anything associated with Donald Trump, and around 5th or 6th Avenue and 57th St.–the heart of midtown.

I found this video on Youtube of an Improv filmed in the Trump Tower Building.  The bar is on the level above the escalators and next to them. Of course, I couldn’t be so fortunate as to have something like this happen while I’m there.

I love these improve’s. I wish I could witness one.

Teddy Bear on Park Ave. Sculpture by Urs Fischer, a Swiss Artist

Last Friday Night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Spent last evening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  They are open on Friday and Saturday nights with live music as you can see in my video.  Today worked on my video from pictures I took last night.    In it, I attempt humor.

The Cathedrals of Broadway by Florine Stettheimer (1929)

I like how she put the then Mayor of NYC Jimmy Walker into it.  It looks like a newspaper clipping.   I like the look of mixed-media art.  It’s nice how she continues the theme of the painting with the frame.  I’ve never seen this painting before in the museum although I’ve been going there for years.  Sometimes it takes a long time to get recognized as great.  I also think that after a period of  time, the general taste in what is considered great art changes somewhat.

Manny Moe and Jack from a previous life
Clouds and Water by Arthur Dove

One of my favorite painters is Arthur Dove.

Even More New York Subway Art

[At end of post, view the art gallery opening in a subway station.  It’s hilarious.]

As I wander around New York City, via the subway, I keep finding more subway art. These are a few great things I’ve found since my last post on this subject.  One thing about looking for subway art, is that it gives me something to do when I’m riding the subway:  look out the window for art as we race through a station.  I realize there’s many great works of art at stations that I would never frequent in all eternity, but one only does what they can.

7thAve-57th St. Subway Station

This collage above reflects that this subway station is very near Carnegie Hall.   Each subway station in NYC is designed differently, often with art to reflect the neighborhood above.

These Hats represent the garment district which is in the neighborhood above this station.  Each hat has a placard below it saying who wore that hat.  There are about 20 of these hats in both the uptown and the downtown “N” and “R” Subway Train Stations at 23rd Street and 5th Avenue.

Placard below says Thomas Edison Inventor
Placard says Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Sculptor and Art Patron

The mural below the “Hats”  is another reflection of the neighborhood above the subway station–an area of Greenwich Village which New Yorkers call the West Village, and the mural below is an artistic interpretation of well-known people who once lived in the West Village.  However, it seems strange to me, that an artist would forget about Edward Hopper who lived in this area.

The Greenwich Village Murals by Lee Brozgol and Students of P.S. 41 (1994)

[I suggest you follow the above link to find out more detailed information on this mural and others by Lee Brozgol]

Below is a mural of three mosaic and ceramic pictures. It’s at the Sheridan Square-Christropher St. #1 Subway Station in the West Village. I tried to make a panorama shot of all three pictures together, but it came out too distorted. When shooting, I couldn’t back up any further without falling onto the subway tracks. So below are all three pictures separately starting with the one on the far left.

There are more murals than the one featured here and one in the heading, but I didn’t know that until I researched it on the Internet.  So I will be going back for the others to add here.  The murals all have their own individual names.  The one below is called “Bohemians.”   Below is a chart that tells what famous Village person the drawing  represents.

At the Sheridan Square-Christopher Street #1 Subway Station
Also at the Sheridan Square Subway Station
At the Sheridan Square-Christopher Street #1 Subway Station
Bohemians Chart of Who is Who in Mural

You might be interested in reading my previous post on this subject called “More New York Subway Art.”  Before that was New York Subway Art.