Good Life Tour of the Harn By your fabulous student, Victor Espidol

Prism. 2009 Chromogenic Print. Marilyn Minter

Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist: The artwork by Marilyn Minter, Prism, really captured my eyes the instant it was in my eyesight. When I first observed the piece, I felt that it was saying to become as beautiful as these photographs, one must consume the products society to achieve that level of glamour. The two photographs were outstanding to me because of the intense array of colors that surrounded the mouth of the females. It was so prominent and striking that it made me feel that beauty in this society is constantly being consumed. Society itself, is constantly pressuring the mass to be beautiful with new clothes, new makeup, new fragrances, and so much more. The portrayal of the woman having the jewelry in her mouth was such a bold statement to me that the words, “Consumption and Gluttony” came into my head. The way her face looked as if she was sweating, gave me the idea that she wanted more jewels, more anything to become beautiful. And it was the same thing for the other photograph too, the gold paint roughly painted on her mouth, it was as if she was hastily eating her meal, the meal being products of beauty, that it smeared all over her face.

Guerrila Girls, Harn Museum

Design of the Museum: There was a small exhibition on the Guerilla Girls, which I have always been fond of for their mission on bringing gender and racial inequality into focus within the art community. This exhibit was appealing to me because it represented feminism, which is a movement I very much support. What I liked most about it was, as I walked into this room all I saw were small posters of the Guerilla Girls and when I turned my head there was this HUGE poster with such a strong message about how biased the art community is. It made me feel happy that gender equality was being fought in communities that I wasn’t aware of.

Face Mask (Mbop). 20th Century. Wood, natural fiber. Ibibio people.

Art and Core Value: Morals and Values are extremely important to me in such a way that I try to live my life being kind and good to the others around me. I believe that to truly live a fulfilling and happy life, one must be both altruistic and optimistic. That is why the art piece from the Ibibio people, “Face Mask” really stood out to me. The piece talked about how the mask represents both the deceased who led moral lives and were thus allowed to move to the spirit world, or those who were immoral and forced to wander, homeless and unhappy. As I read the little summary I felt a sort of sad contempt within me, it made me realize how important it is to live a “moral life.” I’m not saying I don’t live a moral life, it’s just that the message I got from this piece was that all the negative aspects and chaotic events in my life were because of how I was living. I wasn’t prioritizing what I should be and that was something that should change. In the inside I felt as ugly and unhappy as those two masks looked, so It really made me want to stop living in such a negative way and become more optimistic and productive so it’ll feel like I’m doing something with my life. The idea of believing in myself, my present self and my future self, is what this piece invoked in me.

Islandia, Goddess of the Healing Waters. 1988, Polychrome and gilded plaster. Audrey Flack.

Art and the Good Life: The sculpture by Audrey Flack, “Islandia, Goddess of the Healing Waters” really spoke volumes to me about the good life. In the summary, next to the art work it states that Flack aims to restore balance of power between men and women. The way Islandia extends her arms and offers a gesture of social healing and regeneration made me think how the good life should be. Balance and coexistence between not only genders, but races as well. I believe the good life to be a society in which equality is prominent in everyone’s mind, to be looked and respected as an equal. I’m sort of a minority in this society being poor, gay, and Asian. This makes me inferior in the eyes of societal standards, that being the “white and masculine man,” and that is why I really believe this art piece that represented balance, communicates the Good life.


Created with images by Hermann - "museum art mural"

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