Art in the Good Life, Feat. The Harn Museum by: Abigail Stoll

Medium of Art & Artist Technique

Typically, I opt to not go to art museums, often not believing that I can get the most meaningful experience out of it. When I saw “Tokyo Street with Pachinko Parlor II”, it piqued my curiosity. Seeing it in person inspired me to learn more about it and to consider it as a realistic situation. There is certainly something that makes seeing it in person more meaningful, opening the mind to other points of view and the process of creating. The medium of this artwork is oil on canvas, and the artist uses it in an ambiguous way that is defined as impressionistic with a variety of bright colors and fading. Ambiguity in this artwork led me to infer that the details that make this scene are designed to connect the viewer to a common idea; that everywhere in the world, rushing and gambling is a common thread in the human condition. I pride myself on my interest in other cultures, and believe this unites all people under the pretense that we want results in a situation, and simply cannot wait. While there is a positive vibe about this art, it also tells me that this cannot be an everyday occurrence, for I believe that there is excess to anything, especially indulgence.

A Museum By Design

An appealing exhibit of the wing for me was this garden, the first I found in my tour of the museum. What made it so striking to me? I’ve always been drawn to nature, and the organization of this peaceful space helped me to reflect on the artistic capability of, arguably, the most skilled of artists, Earth. By offering a pool with marble, this statue, and a variety of foliage, the simplicity of the environment allowed me to fully take in what was and wasn’t there. Without extensive explanations, which could be found inside the museum, I could truly make my own interpretations, which made me sure of my feelings. Today, we are subject to hearing how we should feel about things, and even facts can be twisted to fit an opinion. I appreciate this exhibit because it was an escape from black-and-white answers fabricated by humanity.

Art: At the Core of Values

Seeing this photograph allowed me to reflect on the constant importance of unity in my life. “Three girls holding hands…” was quite striking for me because you can tell the physical and symbolic bond between these girls. They are looking solemnly into the camera, which I interpret as distaste in the world or general unhappiness with their situation. I appreciate this because despite problems in their own lives or any negative circumstances, they stand together, assuring the others that they aren’t alone. Though they may not be able to do much to help the situation, knowing you are united with others makes it almost-bearable when life knocks you down. This artwork instills in me inspiration and sympathy, because relying on unity means you must accept a degree of vulnerability, which can be challenging. This photograph reminds me that unity is important, adding the strength of individuals so they can overcome what they may not have on their own.

When Life Is Good

This artwork is like others that appealed to me, but I chose it for the idea that being surrounded by people who lift you up aids in attaining the Good Life. Though it may not always help to make necessary changes, it’s my belief that people rely on others to some extent for support. By ambiguously showing an assumed merry gathering, this work demonstrates evidence throughout history of joining with others. A particularly visible connection between these people is cultural expression, which is one of many things that brings people together. This strengthens self-image as belonging to part of a group, which contributes to inner peace, which is one interpretation of the Good Life. My understanding of this theme may be apparent throughout this presentation, but this artwork affirms my belief that sharing something in common with others makes you feel connected and validated, which promotes my concept of the Good Life.


Created with images by tpsdave - "cleveland ohio museum of art"

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