Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist
I will be the first person to admit that in the art world I am not cultured. This is partly because I have not made the time to study art and simply because it is not something I find particularly enjoyable. I was dreading my assignment of going to the Harn museum for this reason and how fast my viewpoints changed. Before going to the museum, I researched a few of the paintings I would find in the collections and nothing particularly jumped off the page. Walking into the first room, the Zandavoort by Frank Stella literally jumped off the wall. I was drawn to the bright colors and the way that nothing was done perfectly. I was unable to get this viewpoint from a book or a picture online. Viewing this piece was one of the first times I actually felt something. The seemingly random pieces on the piece coming off the wall, the bright colors, and the seemingly random brush work made me think of life. Life is something beautiful. It is full of color and excitement. Even when you think something isn't going the right way, life manages to find a way to work itself out and become something beautiful, just as this abstract piece of art did. I felt inspired after viewing the piece because I had never gotten a feeling like that from a piece of art in my life.
Design of the Museum
The David A. Coirine Asian Art Wing was a part of the museum that I found particularly appealing. The high ceilings, the wood on the walls and all of the natural light in this exhibit made the room feel very spacious and clean. The artwork was placed around in the middle of the room and on the walls. The openness of the room gave a very inviting feeling to the visitors. There was also a zen garden off to the side of the exhibit. Walking outside made it feel as if I was no longer in Gainesville. I am not exactly sure where I felt I had gone to but it definitely wasn't our city of Gainesville. The plants and the rushing water again caused me to feel a great sense of peace. Entering back inside the feeling of peace continued. I do not believe there was a particular part of the exhibit, but I feel it was the overall experience of the large room that drew me to this part of the museum.
Art and Core Values
One of my core values was self expression. Every piece in the Harn appealed to that in a sense because each of them were a product of the artists’ imaginations. Champ d’avoine by Claude Monet particularly appealed to this core value. Throughout my life, I have been drawn to nature. If you look in my room, there are photographs I have taken of nature and my travels. A peaceful lake in Georgia, the Redwood Forest, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Blue Ridge Parkway are just a few of the images on my walls. Taking those photographs is a way I express myself. The Monet is a painting of an oat field at dusk. The pastels and the light colors of the setting sky remind me of something I would have taken a picture of on a trip if I was faced with the opportunity. The artwork instills a sense of desire in me because I get the urge to travel more, to see more of our beautiful world. Again, I never thought a painting could make you have these feelings. It helped me to better understand that self expression is a very important part of my life. As a dancer and singer, expressing myself through music has always been something I am used to. I never believed that I valued expressing myself through paper but this piece of art went to say otherwise.
Art and the Good Life
There was a photograph that caught my eye. This picture was taken by Marvin E. Newman and was a photo of Roadways Leading to the Brooklyn Bridge with the World Trade Center Towers and the Woolworth Building in the Distance, from Open Spaces, Temporary and Accidental.” It depicts a scene from NY City from an overhead view. The city is bursting with life and there are cars going in every which way, all on an individual journey. To me, this photo depicts that everyone is on their own journey to find the “good life.” There is no set thing one can do to find it and everyone’s journey is going to be a little different. In real life, there are so many different ways to get to an individual place. The physical path you take is based on where you live, the traffic, what roads are closed, the time of day, etc… This has so much to do with the Good Life because no matter who we are and where we are coming from, our journeys will all be different. The photograph as depicts the city of New York as something beautiful, large and temporary in the case of the World Trade Center Buildings. The Good Life is not forever and what we do find is something inspiring and breathtaking. I am able to understand this theme better because the black and white of the photograph shows the overall simplicity of life and the beauty is something I can appreciate.