Viewing this Igbo mask in person allowed me to better appreciate it because up close I was able to see the details in the carving. Seeing the intricacy of the headdress and face paint showed me that the carving likely represented a specific figure and thus would have significant meaning to the artist's intended audience. To me, this carving portrayed a stern authority figure, perhaps a chief or a deity, and I was actually a little intimidated by the fierce facial expression, but enough to discourage me from taking a selfie with it.
I love it when art museums have gardens because I think the beauty of art and the beauty of nature complement each other. I also like to step outside and view the museum's exterior because this often relates to the central theme of the museum. For example, the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg has a glass and concrete exterior forming an unconventional structure, representing the surrealist aspects depicted in Dali's work. Unfortunately, I could not find a theme represented in the exterior of the Harn. But at least the garden was peaceful.
This work, "Con todo respeto," was painted by Nahum Zenil, a Mexican homosexual. In this particular work he painted himself, Frida Kahlo, and his lover sitting together on a bus. Zenil often used his paintings as a way to express the challenges that accompanied being a gay man in Mexico at this time. I find it interesting that in the painting Zenil has his arm around Kahlo and not his lover; perhaps he feels the pressure to keep his relationship private? Having respect for people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, etc. is one of my core values, and I admire Zenil for tackling such a weighty issue in his artwork.
I apologize for the blurriness of this picture. The poster shows a pudgy, hairy statuette, and the text reads, "The Anatomically Correct Oscar--He's white and male, just like the guys who win!" The poster then lists statistics showing the pathetic lack of recognition for female and minority directors, producers, and writers. This work and others by the Guerrilla Girls demonstrate the Good Life theme of standing up for oneself. As I learned from the Embodying the Good Life module, we must feel secure and comfortable in our bodies in order to achieve the Good Life. Falling in line with society's expectations does not work. Many women or minorities might feel discouraged by the general exclusion of the art community, but if art is their passion they cannot reach the Good Life by capitulating and finding another line of work. Rather they must believe that their talents are the same even though their bodies are different.