My Tour of the Harn Martin nguyen


Bertram Hartman's City Blocks was particularly striking to me because his technique of a view of a city like a view of something equally expansive such as the Grand Canyon. When you see the Grand Canyon you're caught in awe as you see the expansive ravines that travel for miles, which in turn makes you feel dwarfish. City Blocks manages to portray a sprawling urban landscape layered out in a scope such as one would see with the Grand Canyon. A key difference between the Grand Canyon and this city is that the urban sprawl can cause environmental complications, while the Grand Canyon itself is natural. This difference both captures my awe and discomfort when I look at it this way; which is to consider the sheer size and impact cities have on our environment and society.

The Frida Kahlo Wing

I never found anything striking or appealing to me when I looked at Frida Kahlo's work. I do however have an interest in her life. I knew before I visited the exhibits that she had contact with Leon Trotsky, one of proponents of the Russian Revolution, who taught her the doctrines of Communism. This exhibit was interesting to me because it did not feature Kahlo's artwork, but rather it featured snapshots of her life. I liked this exhibit because it showed me what kind of woman Kahlo was through these snapshots. I saw strange pictures which included her holding exotic animals, and I saw pictures which I had expected to see such as a portrait of her which contained the Soviet hammer and sickle (the reference to her support of communism). While I don't like Kahlo's work in particular, I was attracted to learning about her life. This exhibit did just that by providing these immortalized photos of her.

Art and Core Values: Hammering Man

I chose the Hammering Man by Jonathan Borofsky for Art and Core Values because the piece of work is a tribute to the working man. The Hammering Man appeals to the value of hard-work, which to me is a very important value to treasure. The art instills the emotion of determination and dedication, even though the art isn't functioning properly because the man isn't hammering as he's supposed to. If he was hammering, it would've been constant which to me represented determination. Hard-work through determination and dedication often reaps the best rewards in life. It's what it got me accepted into the University of Florida, and it's what will lead me to success in the future.

Art and the Goodlife: Seated Bodhisattva

This intricate sculpture of Bodhisattva seemed to be the best choice to represent one of the well-known ideas of the "Good Life". He also appeals to one of my important core values of helping others, as he refrains from entering enlightenment in order to help others reach his same goal. Bodhisattva however is shown to have all the characteristics of someone which has achieved enlightenment: the slight smile paired with gentle eyes (which was shared by Guatama and Siddhartha). The Good Life theme evoked by this sculpture is that the Good Life can be achieved through internal peace and serenity, by detaching oneself from worldly pleasures through teachings of Buddhism. It communicates that theme through the striking features of Bodhisattva's facial expression, and it adds to my appreciation to that theme because I thought Buddhism was an entirely selfish religion (only seeking enlightenment for yourself and feeding yourself through the alms of others). Bodhisattva however proved otherwise by refraining from achieving enlightenment to help others.


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