Harn Museum of Art NICOLE HAO


At the Harn I was enamored by this painting Nets-Infinity by Yayoi Kusama. From afar, it appeared to be a plain red canvas, but as I took a closer look, the intricate circular pattern came alive. The energy and continuity expressed by the work must be seen in person to be properly received. Up close, I could see the strokes meld into one another to create a continuous pattern that could live on boldly forever. I couldn't take my eyes off of it. The work displayed so much movement throughout, but at the same time, it was so simple - just many small circles. I was so startled by the contrast, and it felt reminiscent of when Siddhartha realized that the river flows continuously with no sense of time. The artwork also made me feel curious of how in the world the artist conveyed such meaning into her precise, simply perfect brushstrokes.

Nets-Infinity (TWOS) by Yayoi Kusama


I loved the wing of the Harn Museum which contained the Contemporary collection. The first thing I noticed were the ceilings which stretched to what felt like ten stories, and the rectangular windows at the top lit up neon purple to give a fun aura to the room. The wood floors helped me feel cozy and at home as I wandered through the exhibit. As I walked in, I also suddenly realized that there was so much space that it almost felt wasteful. In the picture below, my friend Rachel is only 10 feet away, but she seems like an ant. Yet, all of that free space imbued me with the feeling that I had all the time in the world to enjoy the art. It felt as though I had left my daily life with its obligations and challenges, and we had entered into an alternate universe where I simply allowed myself to look and feel.

Contemporary Collection of the Harn Museum (Pictured here are my friends Rachel, Kevin, and Julian who all gave me permission to include them in my spark story.)


This print by the Guerrilla Girls captioned, "You're seeing less than half the picture without the vision of women artists and artists of color," really spoke to my core value of equality. As I have grown more knowledgeable of the injustices faced by women and minorities, I have increasingly advocated for equal rights, and I love speaking up to do my part in changing the current culture of America. I love how the caption takes up less than half of the print to visually portray the amount and impact of the missing visions. Also, I really appreciate how they phrased the caption to initially draw in the viewer and then to emphasize the dire need for the perspectives of women artists and artists of color to be shown. This artwork makes me proud to be a woman like the Guerrilla Girls, and it invokes a challenge in me to fight for equality even more.

Guerrilla Girls Print Captioned, "You're seeing less than half the picture without the vision of women artists and artists of color."


The artwork Frida Kahlo on a White Bench fearlessly displays a portrait of Frida, unabashed. I love the bold colors, especially the ones framing her portrait. To me, they scream celebration and embracing the good life. I love Frida Kahlo's inclination for self-portraits because it reminds me that the good life only exists when I embrace who I am and life in general. I feel like Frida really does so in each of her striking portraits but especially in this one which is an explosion of bright contrasting colors. I think this portrait of her exemplifies celebrating the good life by not fearing what others may think of her and instead courageously thrusting herself into the public eye. She celebrates herself, and I absolutely love that.

Frida Kahlo on White Bench by Nickolas Muray from the Mirror, Mirror ... Portraits of Frida Kahlo Collection

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