Tour of the Harn Museum of Art by Matthew mellies

TECHNIQUE OF THE ART: Immediately upon entering the Harn, I noticed the larger-than-life portrait of an iconic historical figure, Frida Kahlo, painted by artist Nickolas Muray. The portrait's grand size illustrated the sheer size of Frida's artistic contributions to human culture. As her gaze met mine, the function of the art--immersion--became known to me. Just as this portrait encapsulated me and allowed me to empathize with someone from a completely different era, the function of much of the art in the Harn Museum is to encapsulate its viewers, and allow them to experience what is beyond the border of "fine art".
DESIGN OF THE MUSEUM: The museum had a very intricate and unique blend of both being a place of remembrance and also a place of artistic expression. The space had a variety of pieces of art, exhibited in a museum-like fashion (under glass cases, preserved through the ages). However, most of the paintings in the Harn were definitely showcased in a more artistic fashion, being hung on the walls and displayed upon white backgrounds to allow no juxtaposition to outside sources. Many paintings popped due to this simple yet effective choice in background coloring, including this red abstract painting, "Nets-Infinity," by Yayoi Kusama. The design allowed for a true showcasing of art; a demonstration of art that both showcased its artistic roots while also allowing for a piece of each work to be preserved at the museum: which is a metaphor for what happens to human culture today.
ART AND CORE VALUES: Looking at the work by the Guerrilla Girls, it is clear to observe that most art exemplifies a key time in human culture. This large piece of work is one that is not unfamiliar to me. I learned about the Guerrilla Girls in my theater class last semester, and how their fight for equal rights as women ultimately was demonstrated in their work, placing grotesque gorilla heads on top of a woman's bodies in order to showcase how the objectification of women leads to sexism in the art industry. Because I sensed a familiarity with the art, I found myself easily drawn to the work as a whole. This piece of art simply reinforced the feminist ideals that I hold dear to me, amplifying my character. It is clear to see that artistic demonstrations ultimately help identify and help to amplify core values.
ART AND THE GOOD LIFE: Finally, gazing at the picture of a city skyline, I similarly found a sense of familiarity as well, but to something that is not my inspiration, but my aspirations--to live in a large city one day as a college graduate. This art work reached deep into my brain and found a familiarity that I have not known--city life-- and merged it into my aspirations for a familiarity that I ultimately want to know. This picture reminded me of my trip to New York back in 2014, and ultimately reminded me of my pursuit of happiness and goals that I almost forgot while distracted by the happenings of freshman year. However, just as the people in large cities have their own goals, my goal lies within my own deep introspection. And that, too, can be achieved. This art not only showcased my own "Good Life" to me, but it also allowed me to realize that art can reflect this idea of human aspiration for all of human culture as a whole.


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