What is the Good Life? Tour of the Harn Clayton Music

Swimming Gator by Hiram Williams

This is one of the first paintings displayed on the tour of the Harn Museum and its color caught my eye first. The bright yellow water made me think of the sun reflecting off of the back of the swimming alligator and the areal perspective makes the painting unique. Also, Williams applied extra paint to the ridges of the back of the gator which gives the painting a lot of depth that makes the "swimming gator" seem very realistic.

Latin American Section of the Harn

The structure of the Latin American section of the Harn was a little different than the other sections but the subtle use of spotlights on the art makes each piece stand out against the uniform colored walls. The section is titled "Spotlight: Latin America" and the picture above shows the use of spotlights to emphasize the art. There were columns with art work on each face of the pillar and a different spotlight shined onto each piece. It created the effect of a light glow around each piece and I enjoyed this light, almost subliminal emphasis on each artist's work.

The piece above depicts a sugar cane cutter, barefoot and holding a machete above his head to cut down another stalk in a seemingly endless field of sugar cane. When examining this piece, I can't help but think that the artist must see some value in a hard work, otherwise why would he create a piece of art about it? Hard work is a value that I hold very close to me. In everything I do, physical or intellectual, I do my best to give it my all and do the job correctly, so I don't mind when I have to roll my sleeves up and do manual labor if that's what needs to be done. My father has always been a man of hard labor and I respect those who can wake up and do work like this everyday. I believe that the artist shares this respect of those who aren't afraid to go to work every morning and try to chop down an endless field of sugar cane.

I found the Guerrilla Girls section of the Harn very interesting because I hadn't ever thought about a feminist art movement before because art has never held much of my interest before. In this section there were two walls that were completely filled with pieces of art that argued the point that female artists were underrepresented in most large and highly reputable museums. I never even knew that this was an issue in society before going to the Harn and it made me think about how many of society's problems today are simply ignored or not thought about if one isn't directly effected by the problem. This made me think about the human condition today and how human beings are flawed in that we tend to not think about things that don't effect us directly. I think that the Guerrilla Girls art works are good representations of the "fight for the good life" because they create an entire sub-genre of art to argue for equality in the art world. These pieces of art are basically fighting for themselves to be recognized and appreciated as well as for other works of art by female artists to be fully appreciated and not pushed aside.


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