Good Life Tour of the Harn by: Melanie Veramendi

Me in front of "The Acrobat" by Lorenzo Homar

The image seen above by Lorenzo Homar is an obviously striking piece. The movement found within it done entirely in black, creates an overwhelming feeling of discord and showcases a fragmented reality. However, it is because of this darkness that the finer elements of the picture can be lost in translation. The facial expression of the acrobat which this image centers on, can be virtually unseen or ignored in favor for the overall dark motion of the image. Even in the photo I took, I disregard it in favor of the more compelling aspects of the picture. However by standing it front of it, physically standing in front of it, and resting my own eyes on it, I am able to truly see the image. The dark lines do not blur together but, stand out. I am able to move away from its distracting paint strokes, to actually understand what the artist wants me to see. I see an acrobat in mid flight, a jumble of limbs, yet still striving to continue, to move. It is a beautiful painting because, it captures the struggles of life in such an unusual way. And because of this, I feel a sort of harmony with the painting, as one can often feel like an acrobat in motion in such a chaotic and dark world.

Me standing inside Gladys Harn Exhibition Hall

The Gladys Harn Exhibition Hall was one of my favorite areas in the museum. Not only because I found the art compelling, and very well organized but, because I loved the structure of the room. The room is not your typical gallery, an open room filled with paintings and sculptures. Instead it is broken up by two walls that rest inside the center of the room. This not only holds a functional purpose, so the museum could house more paintings, but I found that it created an interesting effect when inside the exhibit. The walls create the illusion of being inside a room, which made the collection that it housed really stand out. I enjoyed the space of the exhibit, moving around from corner to corner surrounded by art. The little "rooms" created by the walls gave the entire space a more intimate feeling. Instead of feeling engulfed by the largeness of the area, I felt at home with it. I felt more drawn to the art that rested on its artificial walls, and I wanted to learn more about them.

Me standing in front of the "Funeral" by Puser

"The Funeral" is a painting that standouts naturally with its evocative portrayal of a funeral. Death is one of the central focuses in any culture. Our lives revolve around the idea of it, and we are always in a constant state of worrying over it. Death is something to avoid, to ignore, until you just cant. "The Funeral," is interesting because it does not attempt to escape death in any way. The image is stark and raw, and the painting itself attempts to express that. The colors are bleak yet typical, the sky is not overtly black and twisted. It is a blue yet it is a muted blue, with streaks of darkness that speak so strongly of death. The figures who stand surrounding the body are faceless yet, their grief is felt through their body language that speaks of the highest sorrow. It is an honest saddness one that is not clouded with crying or hysterics but, of stinging pain. This painting with its simplistic imagery, invokes that emotion in me. It reminds me of the plainness of life, how its cruelty is simply a product of its neutrality.

Me in front of "Los Diparates (Los proverbios)" by Goya

This etching by Goya is just one of a larger series entitled the "Follies." Like the name suggests the images mainly center among chaos, and each possess a foolish and whimsical element. The image above is no different, as it pictures a woman being thrown off a bucking and twisted horse, with a demented and half-crazy look on her face. The image is arresting in a very obvious, ostentatious way. It draws a viewer in with its depiction of this fragile woman, in the process of falling in a horrific manner. There is no color in the image which, furthers this macabre. However, the image still possess this element of discord that I relate to strongly when understanding the good life. I am especially reminded of this when considering "The Picture of Dorian Gray" a text that seems to highlight the disharmony found in the world. The unnaturalness, that can be expressed with Dorian's immortality and beauty. In my opinion one of the most significant themes that conveys the good life is that idea of a journey. That to achieve the good life you have to experience the world, and all the discord it has to offer. This image to me represents that in such a strong and bizarre manner, that is very memorable to me. In a figurative way, so many people meet obstacles that make them feel like the girl on the horse. Achieving the good life means, achieving those obstacles and reconciling life's chaotic nature.

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