apexart Fellowship


Anton Osver is an artist based in Baku, Azerbaijan. He will be in NYC as an apexart New York City Fellow from October 21 – November 20, 2014.

David B. Smith is a NYC-based artist who is in Dunedin, New Zealand, as an apexart International Fellow from October 1 - 31, 2014.

Posts tagged with "Eduardo Verderame"

mother tongue at birth

I heard that newborns can recognize mother tongue at birth, so it’s better start this newborn blog writing in english.
For all those of you reading these lines, it must be clear that I am brasilian spending some time in New York, and this blog is intended to be my e-pad somehow.
I don’t actually have a proposal for it, apart fixing my impressions of the city, the people I meet and things that I listen. There will be a bunch of links and some of mine obscure researches, but not only. I hope this place can be useful to place some brasilian stuff in it. Also it can be a start for others to come after me.
Any comments you can leave in the link below, and those interested in contact me personally must adress email to everderame@gmail.com.
Hope you enjoy it.


down here is quite boring
the ground limit, the pavement surface
hurried thousand people
sirens, cars at such speed
and concrete walls
slowly craking

I love the urban sky
departure time
when the first ray of light
touches the glass

the green light of the station
shining over your head
that smile says
if ever we meet again,
I will remenber this day
for the rest of my life

free man in paris - joni mitchell

I received this link from a friend as I just arrived in New York and this song has been my fellow for a couple of days now. Somehow I relate it with myself and my first days here when I’ve been wandering a lot alone through Manhattan.

(there’s actually no video image in it)

The way I see it, he said
You just cant win it…
Everybodys in it for their own gain
You cant please em all
Theres always somebody calling you down
I do my best
And I do good business
Theres a lot of people asking for my time
Theyre trying to get ahead
Theyre trying to be a good friend of mine

I was a free man in paris
I felt unfettered and alive
There was nobody calling me up for favors
And no ones future to decide
You know Id go back there tomorrow
But for the work Ive taken on
Stoking the star maker machinery
Behind the popular song

I deal in dreamers
And telephone screamers
Lately I wonder what I do it for
If l had my way
Id just walk through those doors
And wander
Down the champs elysees
Going cafe to cabaret
Thinking how Ill feel when I find
That very good friend of mine

I was a free man in paris
I felt unfettered and alive
Nobody was calling me up for favors
No ones future to decide
You know Id go back there tomorrow
But for the work Ive taken on
Stoking the star maker machinery
Behind the popular song.

starting over: sefardic jews in New York

One of my first interests in New York was the people living in it. There are so many different kinds of people living here, it can make you really confused sometimes. And even being from São Paulo, which is a very multicultural city, NYC can be more distictive characters. Maybe in Brasil as people are more mixed, we don’t feel this sense of foreigner people living there.
This made me remember an old story about a group of Sefardic Jews that came from Brasil (more especifically from Recife) to New York, at that time, New Amsterdan.
I’ve been searching for this information and found some interesting - although sometimes imprecise- information.
I will post here some Wikipedia information and maps, and some material from other sites too.


New Amsterdam (Dutch: Nieuw Amsterdam) was the 17th century Dutch colonial town that later became New York City.

The town developed outside of Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island in the New Netherland territory (1614–1664) which was situated between 38 and 42 degrees latitude as a provincial extension of the Dutch Republic from 1624. Provincial possession of the territory was accomplished with the first settlement which was established on Governors Island in 1624. A year later, in 1625, construction of a citadel comprising Fort Amsterdam was commenced. Earlier, the harbor and the river had been discovered, explored and charted by an expedition of the Dutch East India Company captained by Henry Hudson in 1609. From 1611 through 1614, the territory was surveyed and charted by various private commercial companies on behalf of the States General of the Dutch Republic and operated for the interests of private commercial entities prior to official possession as a North American extension of the Dutch Republic in the form of an overseas province in 1624. (…)
"On August 22, 1654, the first Ashkenazic Jews arrived with West India Company passports from Amsterdam to be followed in September by a sizable group of Sephardic Jews, without passports, fleeing from the Portuguese reconquest of Dutch possessions in Brazil. The legal-cultural foundation of toleration as the basis for plurality in New Amsterdam superseded matters of personal intolerance or individual bigotry. Hence, and in spite of certain persons private objections (including that of director-general Peter Stuyvesant), the Sephardim were granted permanent residency on the basis of “reason and equity” in 1655.

What is still not clear to me is if these 23 jews that leave Recife were portuguese, spanish or dutch, as the term sefardic basically means they were iberic, but they could be from any of those countries, as Dutchland and Portugal were spanish possession until around 1640.

For those that read in portuguese, there are some other links, although lacks sometimes a more scientifical character to follow the journalistic language:

here the brasilian jews are shown as the founders of capitalism:
(despite of that is a beautiful text anyway)

this is somewhat nostalgic text about the jewish food and traditions that been lost as Lower East End been changing and old population been misplaced:

But I believe we should not go too far in their influence in the city’s development, cause it was invaded by England at some point and regained again by the dutches to be exchanged by Suriname with England again, all this in around a century. Not counting the great fire that destroyed the city in 1776 (marked in the map below).

always steaming

New York is a city that looks like is always steaming, and everywhere there is steam coming out of the ground. I asked my friend Matt what’s the reason, and he laught and said: “you don’t want to know why”. Well, you know, when someone says “you don’t want to know” of course you would like to, but I must confess I could not find any satisfactory explanation for this fact.

Anyway, I have my own weird ideas of what’s going on down there, but I will spare you of images of an underground world with illegal aliens working on strange factories or something and just show you some of their chimneys

Another subterranean factory downtown.

ah, and the portuguese

Besides the sefardic jews that arrived in New Amsterdan ‘back-when-who-knows-anymore’, the portuguese that (self) allegedly made the most important discoveries of the XVI century, also claim to be the first european to be in North America (I suppose they mean it after the Vikings).
Anyway, researching on internet I’ve found this site that explains it all, but I beg you, not take them very seriously! And by the way, they’ve been the first ones in Australia too.

look at

"The engravings on face of Dighton Rock are the TRUE evidence. Any theory that does not have engravings on the face of Dighton Rock, cannot be sustained as a theory. See if you can identify the Portuguese National Symbols on the face of Dighton Rock.”

At the same site you can find the secret discovery of Australia (it seems to have been really secret) by the portuguese.

By Michael Perry

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A 16th century maritime map in a Los Angeles library vault proves that Portuguese adventurers, not British or Dutch, were the first Europeans to discover Australia, says a new book which details the secret discovery of Australia.

The book “Beyond Capricorn” says the map, which accurately marks geographical sites along Australia’s east coast in Portuguese, proves that Portuguese seafarer Christopher de Mendonça lead a fleet of four ships into Botany Bay in 1522 — almost 250 years before Britain’s Captain James Cook (…)

Personally I don’t feel much inclined to believe in these theories, even ‘cause after more accurated studies most of them simply can’t stand for much longer. But in the case of the portuguese you can never tell, because they’ve been really ahead of their time (note at that time, and not for much longer) and spread their empire through Asia, Africa and America.
That makes me remember about a very weird theory about the Viking presence in Brasil, which was evident bullshit, but I will try to find and add to this blog.

Shell Back

Well, I suppose many of you are not used with the sailor’s language and don’t have any a hint of what Shell back is. As I receive a Shell back certificate without knowing exactly what it was, I will share with you this strange navy’s habit for the sailors who crossed the Equator for their first time.

This is a Shell Back certificate, but not mine…

"Crossing the Equator … .

On our way to Singapore, we dipped below the equator to have a crossing the line ceremony. We went from being pollywogs to shellbacks upon completing the appropriate initiation (by the shellback’s on board). The initiation comprised of crawling through a canvas chute full of garbage, while they beat the tar out of you with pieces of old fire hoses, and going through several other likewise unpleasantries (i.e., kissing the greased belly of the baby, dunking in the coffin, taking the truth serum, etc.). I remember I was pushing the person in front of me (in the chute) because he wasn’t moving fast enough! We also lost chunks of our hair, which they cut out with scissors - most of us all got butch haircuts afterwards. It was an experience. Later on, on the USS Chicago, I got to be on the other side.”


Beautiful, hum?
Some more, some more!

Shellback Certificate, Which
Was Really More of a
Shellback “Card.”


Now if you wonder why and how did I get my ShellBack certificate, I owe it to my friend -and very talented artist- Mack Mcfarland, in which company I had a lot of good time in Portland, OR. While I was back to São Paulo and came back again to USA (to NY this time) he sent me this ShellBack certificate that I received here.

my Shell back certificate
Mack, Tricia, Carl and Regina in Portland. Despite of the photo we were not at the sea that time, you can tell by the drinks.

Steam Pipe Explosions

Yes, just the other day I was wondering what’s behind (in the case, below) those hundreds of steam pipes in NY, and so I just heard about it: theres really an underground world goin’ on there, and for sure sometimes bad things happens, take a look:
(I have the feeling everyone knows about that except me)

"A steam pipe explosion beneath a street near Grand Central Terminal yesterday propelled a giant scalding jet of brownish steam toward the sky, sending commuters who had been heading home stampeding to safety.(…)

(all photos by NYtimes)

”(…)The blast, near 41st Street and Lexington Avenue, raised fears of terrorism, but officials were quick to dismiss that possibility. “There is no reason to believe this is anything other than a failure of our infrastructure,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said.”

according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_New_York_City_steam_explosion

”(…)More than 12 similar Con Edison steam pipe explosions have occurred in New York City since 1987. One of the most significant events occurred near Gramercy Park in 1989, killing two Con Edison workers and one bystander, and causing damage of several million U.S. dollars. The utility eventually pleaded guilty to lying about asbestos contamination from that accident, and paid a $2 million fine.
A steam pipe explosion at Washington Square in 2000 near the New York University Bobst Library left a 15 foot (3.5 meter) crater in the pavement on Washington Square South, scattering debris and leaving traces of asbestos in the air. The New York Steam Company began providing service in lower Manhattan in 1882.
Today, Con Edison operates the New York City steam system, the largest commercial steam system in the world, with more than 100 miles of steam pipe. It provides steam service to nearly 2,000 customers serving more than 100,000 commercial and residential establishments in Manhattan south of 96th Street. The utility reported that in 2007, the average age of the steam pipes was 54 years, but some were near 100 years old.”

Well, as I was there, I though could grab some more information about the steam pipes, which follows:

"The New York City steam system is a district heating system which carries steam from central power stations under the streets of Manhattan to heat, cool, or supply power to high rise buildings and businesses. Some New York businesses and facilities also use the steam for cleaning and disinfection.

The New York Steam Company began providing service in lower Manhattan in 1882. Today, Consolidated Edison operates the largest commercial steam system in the world, now known as Con Edison Steam Operations, providing steam service to nearly 2,000 customers and serving more than 100,000 commercial and residential establishments in Manhattan from the Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan to 96th Street uptown. Roughly 30 billion pounds (14 million tonnes) of steam flow through the system every year.

Clouds of condensation can sometimes be seen rising from manholes in Manhattan, although this is usually caused by external water being boiled by contact with the steam pipes, rather than leaks in the steam system itself.(…)”

born loser

Loser (Beck)

Soy un perdedor, I’m a loser baby so why don’t you kill me,

Soy un perdedor, I’m a loser baby so why don’t you kill me
get crazy with the cheez-wiz,

Soy un perdedor, I’m a loser baby so why don’t you kill me
drive, by, body pierce
yo bring it on down

I’m a driver, I’m a winner
things are gonna’ change I can feel it

Soy un perdedor, I’m a loser baby so why don’t you kill me
I can’t believe it

Soy un perdedor, I’m a loser baby so why don’t you kill me
Sprechen sie deutsch, baby

Soy un perdedor, I’m a loser baby so why don’t you kill me
You know what I’m sayin’


quotation on my own personal dictionary:
potboiler \POT-boi-lur, noun:
A usually inferior literary or artistic work, produced quickly for the
purpose of making money.

the menace from the east

This week the paper bombed us with striking news about the visit of Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to USA. I got really bad impression about the way the US media refered about him and the case. I had never seem a paper call a president of any nation “an idiot” or “wily” as I’ve seen this week.
That’s right, front page of the paper calling the president of a foreign nation “an idiot”. This is completely irresponsible and imprudent, and I am quite sad about it. This can bring very uneasy situations for people which there’s nothing to do with it, this can bring instability, this can bring retaliation, in short terms, this is the kind of media that is grounding arguments for justify a military intervention. The power of this kind of media can be nasty. The brasilian media, which has nothing to do with the case was much more professional in the same coverage without leaving its critics behind.

what’s going on Brooklyn? (part 1)

I’ve been to Brooklyn last week and I must confess my inability in moving there. I was told that there is a vibrant artistic scene going on there, as a part of a big renovation that been going on for some time now. OK, the Brooklyn I’ve been was the wrong one. I took the wrong subway and get down in the wrong place. That’s right, I went to the wrong side of Brooklyn. I was supposed to get the Brooklyn Bridge, but I did not. I got into Marcy Avenue. The place I’ve been was very dirty, very ugly. Industrial abandoned area. Much uglier than any in Manhattan for sure, but I could sense I was in a very devalued area. The kind of area ready to be destroyed, ready to be gentrified. I know that, because my city is like that. When you want to gentrify, you just leave the area to deteriorate, and then you get lower prices for that, because no one wants that anymore. That’s what I’ve found.

But I had to continue, of course. I was lost and had to recover my direction, so after a short walk, I realized that i was much north than i should, so I decided go South to reach Bushwick Ave. or Bedford. I mean, I was pretty lost. I went through Penn street and in a moment the whole surrounding area changed completely. Suddenly it was a much more familiar area, with lots of people on the street. but not ordinary people. I was in a Hasidic Jewish community. This mean they are very traditional and hold a strong community there. While and after the II World War they establish this community in 20 blocks around Williamsburg, and I was its very heart. But something still was not in fit. Why all of them was on the streets saluting each other, all dressed alike, with very unusual hats?
A friend of mine later told me I would find lots of Jews in Manhattan, but not like these ones, and he was right. Those were very distinctive indeed. The answer would be just in front of me if i could only read: everything there was written in idiche, so I could not realize there was a kind of a party going on there. It was the very day of the Yom Kippur, one of their major festivities.
At this point I was the only non-jew there, as it already happened to me in some communities in New York City. I just went on until i left that area and went on again into an industrial ugliness again.


what’s going on Brooklyn? (part 2, the insight)

So, what’s going on Brooklyn? After a short walk in abandoned factories taken by vegetation, big avenues and sort of cheap commerce I still had no trace of any art community happening there, although there is, surely is. More and more I had the feeling I was wandering where i shoul not. Suddenly I was took by a very visual - and unusual- message written in a blue tape on the wall. Although I could not understand much at that time, surely there was a clue that Brooklyn was experiencing some kind of transformation, and that was not without questioning.
The message was there, and somewhat clear (quite clear compared to the idiche letterings), definetly someone was trying to call attention to the dark side of the changes the area was passing through.

But What is ATURA, who is Mayor Moo Moo (hehehe) and what about the ‘Ratner Plan’. Well it seemed that I need some more information now. But I knew that on the wrong side of the Brooklyn I could gather something to undestand it as a whole. On the way back - through Lafayett Ave. to Atlantic Ave. I could see more of the area development and take a glimpse of what was written in blue on the wall: the whole area was under severe remodelling.

smart president not for everyone

sorry guys, but that was funny: president Bush declares Mandela’s dead.
at first I though it was a montage but doesn’t look like.

Still Well in Coney Island

It may be silly, but how not connect Coney Island with its extense imagery, produced along the 20th century? This Brooklyn beach is tied to the imaginary of the people here as a dreamland, and it was first conceived like that.
Opening of Dreamland, 1908

This area was known since 1639 by the dutch as a place to hunt rabbits, from which it took the name (konijin=rabbit). It was a resort for fairs and amusements parks since the beginning of the 1900’s. The popularity of the place has declined around the 50’s, and the area has deteriorated.

Those were the days: Coney Island Beach at the 40’s, photo by Arthur (Weegee) Fellig

Although not now in its glory days, Coney Island is far from the dark idea I first have from it, extracted of the movie “Warriors”, which depicted the gangland violence in New York 70’s.
When I been to Coney Isl. I was expecting to see some of that deluded universe, decadent seaside area, but there is no much of it.

I love this film…

Anyway, the Coney Island of today has no much of old days glamour neither of the oppressive and violent outskirt, and it is not bad place at all. I bet for a lot of new yorkers it may be the best place to relax by the sea they can find at a short distance. But despite of it, in the weekend I’ve been there the place was quite empty. Of course there were people, but there were no trace of the crowd of one of the pictures above.

Looked like a mix of Miami with the Old West.

I realized quite quickly that they have their own special days ‘round there. No problem, thou, but I got uneasy with the guns. Why there always have to be guns?
I am scared of guns.

By the way, Nathan’s is the most traditional hot-dog in Coney Isl. and holds the annual hot-dog eating contest. That’s what I meant that was not the day.
I am scared of men who can eat their own weight in hot dogs.

Bizarre enough, I barely had reached the amusement park yet…

That’s not gentle…

What really impressed me was some sort of loneliness there, mainly because there were no many people around, and amusement parks and beaches without people can be a strange scenery. the machines were working and everything there were set to a crowd that simply doesn’t show up.

The machines were ready to go

While I was walking down the beach and stop to refresh, I realize that I was in a filming set. No wonder, NYC is the home of the filming sets, and I believe there is no place in town that had been not filmed yet. But this especial film had a soundtrack so odd, I had to catch up in this little movie to show you, contrasting with the apparent stillness of the beach.

c’mon everybody!

Later on there was an immigrant fair, that I though to be from anyplace in Yugoslavia, but it was indeed a russian raising funds fair. Until we get to the island there is a lot of immigrant communities alongside Brooklyn, that I can broadly imagine ranges from jewish, afro, latin, muslin and asian communities. Anyone left? Eastern europeans, and russians, so there they were, close to Brighton beach making a big noise to get donations. I heard there is a hasidic russian jewish community living there, but those did not look like them.

Russians in Coney Island.

Like anywhere, modernization came to here, and the areas close to the beach are valuable now, it seems. Big blocks has been built as the city grows and pushes the boundaries of imobiliary enterprises.
Big Blocks in Coney Island, but could be anywhere

On my way back I surprisingly found a work of the Gêmeos, the twin street artists brothers from Brasil.
Os Gêmeos in Coney Island

Stillwell? You tell me.

romanian music: Romica Puceanu and Maria Tanase

Romica and the Brothers Gori in recording session, Bucharest, mid 50’s

This is for music lovers: I’ve just found the most beautful site about Romica Puceanu (1928 - 1996), for those of you never heard her, or about her, here follows a brief introduction, and a very precious link for her work.


In November of 1996, the Romanian Gypsy singer, par excellence, Romica Puceanu, died in Bucharest as the result of an automobile accident. Greatly admired by those who knew her singing, she was, nonetheless, the unfortunate victim of a number of circumstances which prevented her receiving the acclaim which she deserved. By the 1960s and 70s she had become in Romania, the unrivaled interpreter of the cintec de pahar, that form of urban Romanian Gypsy song, a combination of Turkish and Romanian elements in a unique Gypsy setting. She possessed an exquisite voice and was singer of great sensitivity and depth. Romanian state policy in effect during most of the years during which Romica was in her prime, made it difficult for most artists, particularly Gypsies, to be heard abroad.(…)”
Robert Garfias
department of anthropology

I was first introduced to Romica by a friend in Viena and her voice and singing touched me forever. This was the best introduction to romenian music one can have.
There are some recordings from Romica that been release not long ago, in a postumous homage to this great singer. I haven’t heard it yet, and I believe it may be very interesting, but if you go to this site, you can listen to a lot more of her songs. My favorite always been ‘Lume, lume’, a very emotional tune, which i got completely amazed when I got the lyrics of. I put then down here in the original and in the translation of two romanians that live in the USA. More information below.

sung by Romica Puceanu

sung by Maria Tanase

Lume lume

Lume, lume, soră lume
Lume, lume, soră lume
Când să mă satur de tine
Când să mă satur de tine
Lume, soră lume
Când s-o lăsa sec de pâine
Şi păhăruţul de mine
Poate-atunci m-oi sătura
Poate-atunci m-oi sătura
Când o suna scândura
Când o suna scândura
Lume, soră lume
Când m-or băga in mormânt
Şi n-oi mai fi pe pământ
Lume, soră lume

Aşa-i lumea trecătoare
C-aşa-i lumea trecătoare
Unul naşte altul moare
Unul naşte altul moare
Lume, soră lume
Ăl de naşte necăjeşte
Ăl de moare putrezeşte
Lume, soră lume

C-aşa-i lumea trecătoare
Unul naşte altul moare
Lume, soră lume
Ăl de naşte necăjeşte
Ăl de moare putrezeşte
Lume, soră lume

World, world

World, world, sister world
World, world, sister world
When will I have enough of you
When will I have enough of you
When I give up bread for Lent
And the glass will give up on me

Maybe then I’ll have enough of you
Maybe then I’ll have enough of you
When they hammer the nails on my coffin
When they hammer the nails on my coffin
World, sister world
When they put me in my grave
And I won’t be on earth anymore
World, sister world

That’s how the world is, transient
'Cause that's how the world is, transient
One is born, another dies
One is born, another dies
World, sister world
The born one suffers
The dead one rots

'Cause that's how the world is, transient
One is born, another dies
World, sister world
The born one suffers
The dead one rots
World, sister world

Maria Tanase

Maria Tanase (1913-1963) according to my romanians friends (the ones which translated ‘Lume, lume’) is better singer than Romica. No doubt she’s an excelent singer. You can listen to a lot of her music in their site, which is totally devoted to romanian culture, and take you own conclusion. They told me Romica has a more urban singing, while Maria has a more tradicional approuch. Both can resume the changes that romanian society passed through the 20th century.


Go to romanian music, and don’t forget to thank these guys for the beautful work they do.