The Harn Museum of Art Good Life Tour By Lynette Fisher

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist

After learning about Frida Kahlo in Good Life, it was amazing to be able to see her physical portraits up close. The portrait I chose was a print by Nicholas Muray created in 1941. Muray was born in Hungary and had a ten year affair with Frida. The reason why I chose this piece of art is because after learning about Frida, I gained a certain admiration for her. In this portrait, Frida looks nonchalant, confident, and poised. Because these are the qualities I admire most in her, I was particularly drawn to this portrait. I think this portrait embodies her essence along with her well-known physical appearance. My visit to the museum allowed my respect and awe for Kahlo to grow.

Design of the Musem

I appreciated this section of the museum which was entitled "Paula and Marshall Criser Garden". because it stood out next to all of the other exhibits. I typically imagine a museum with big, open spaces. However, I was enticed by this area because it was closed off yet peaceful. The designer is named Aaron Lee Wiener and alumni of the University of Florida. The way that he designed the exhibit accentuates the sculpture which is at the center of the space. He uses plants to create a peaceful environment. There was a sitting area facing the exhibit, which I also found interesting because most exhibits are looked at standing up. The ability to sit down while viewing this allows for more time and energy for contemplation.

Art and Core values

A topic that rests at the core of my beliefs is gender equality. For this reason, I chose to take a picture with this print by the Guerrilla Girls. The Guerrilla Girls are a group of women artists started in the 1980's who strive to equalize the gender field, especially the art world. The print that I chose is simple; it is a dollar bill. We see this object everyday. However, the work exploits the dollar of its social gender injustice. I believe that women and men should be seen as equals, which should be reflected in salary. Women are no longer trapped in the expectation of being a homemaker. Although many more people accept this notion now than in the 80's, society still struggles with putting a stigma on women in the workforce simply because of gender. The Guerrilla Girls work to end this injustice through works such as this that contain simple pictures with powerful messages.

Art and The Good Life

Art is a means in which we "celebrate" the Good Life. It allows us to convey are complex human emotions in a way that extends beyond the capabilities of words. The work I chose is a book called "Ode a l'Oubili" created by Louise Bourgeois. It is a collection of hand-sewn stitched cloth with lithography. It is a culmination of the emotions she associates with her childhood memories and negative experiences. It represents a reconciliation and acceptance of the past. This relates to the Good Life because it gives off the message to celebrate life rather than to dwell on the past. The past, including both the positive and negative experiences, mistakes, regrets, and relationships, makes up who we are. Focusing on our past mistakes prevents us from reaching our full potential. Bourgeois shows us that we must appreciate our past in order to celebrate our present.

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