The Harn Museum of Art at first was very intimidating. It was very quiet and much larger than I expected. To go through it all took a very long time. I went with a couple friends so they made the go easier. I thought it was just a modern art museum but there were many pieces from a myriad of cultures. There was a lot more to it then I originally anticipated. The security guards were intimidating as well. Luckily no alarms were unintentionally set off. It ended up being very enjoyable seeing art that differed so greatly from each other. There was an outside area that was very peaceful, however the heat outside made me skip that part. I liked the way the museum was organized and the different types of art work. I appreciate that there is even a cafe in the museum. I'm glad I went and learned about the art and I will probably go again.
American Abstraction area of the museum, first area that was seen
El Encuentro was a piece done by Angel Botello. At first I thought the art was just another abstract piece using many colors and no actual shape. When I started to read the plaque next to it said "Oil on burlap" as the medium. Once I read this I looked at the piece again and I saw many more details and the texture of the art. The skill used to make that was amazing. I may not completely understand abstract art but I can appreciate the textural skill that was used to create the art. It needed to be seen in person because on a 2D photograph the texture cannot be seen and the canvas is hardly noticed. The medium was so fascinating to me because I would have never really thought of burlap as a canvas, it is more like a sack. It communicated to me that this is probably a statement on the poverty levels in Haiti at the time he did this piece. They didn't have any money or anything so they would never have spent the little they did have on an actual painting canvas. So he used a burlap sack, something I'm sure that was lying around that didn't have to be paid for. When I started to actually analyze the artwork and the dots started connecting in my head I felt pretty surprised. I didn't think so much thought went into art to communicate an idea. He made his thoughts and feelings of the time and place come across pretty well just by using burlap instead of some other kind of medium.
El Encuentro by Angel Borello
An exhibit that was appealing was the African collection. There were many 3D pieces such as headdresses and masks which I thought was interesting. When a person thinks art they typically think of paint on a white canvas, but this is art that was used to wear and represent a culture. I liked the way it was laid out because when you walked in the first things you saw were little statues and headdresses with a wall behind them. At first I didn't think anything of the wall but as you walk around you come across a mannequin sort of art piece on the other side of the wall. When I saw it I thought it was a real person and was scared for a second. The way the designers used that wall to then draw attention to that certain piece was clever. The exhibit made me feel alive and at peace. African art seems to have a peaceful but happy vibe with the use of nature, colors, and interesting ideas in the art. Most of it seemed to be something that was used as a celebration or a praise to a god. It was a different kind of art than I am used to seeing and I enjoyed it.
The entrance to the African Collection of the museum
One of my core values is family. I am particularly close with my mother's side of the family is Cuban. There was a piece called Idolo by Wilfredo Lam, a native Cuban artist. The art itself doesn't represent family and I'm not entirely sure what the art is of, but it reminded me of my family regardless. I better understood that core value because it made me miss my family and reminded my of how important they are to me. I appreciate my family and I'm excited to see them over spring break, so the art and the artist made me feel more than just about every other piece of art just because of where the artist came from and where his influences came from. It helps me better understand what I cherish because I was able to form a connection with an art piece I don't completely understand because of the artist. The artist and I have a connection, and in turn I have a connection to an art piece. A simple mention of a place and I am filled with emotion. I believe that any connection is important if it makes you feel something and I'm happy I saw this piece.
Idolo by Wilfredo Lam (top)
In the Asian collection there was a golden Buddha which immediately made me think of Siddhartha. There is the common theme about seeking the good life, Buddha does this by trying to reach nirvana. The piece added to my understanding of the theme because the art piece looks empty. There was no emotion added to the face. Peace just surrounds the statue and all of his muscles look relaxed. He has found enlightenment in this art work. He is even holding up his hand in a way the represents peace. I enjoy this depiction much more than the happy fat Buddha many people depict him as. It is much more realistic. In Siddhartha it does not tell of him reaching ultimate happiness. It tells of him reaching enlightenment, the true goal of the Buddha. The art piece also reminded me that this isn't just a story. It is an actual way of life that people believe in. The
Buddha sitting in a traditional style with a peaceful hand gesture