Good Life Tour of the Harn Museum By Olivia Faupula

Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist

Minter, Marilyn. Prism. 2009, chromogenic print, Harn Museum, Gainesville, FL. By Olivia Faupula. "A photograph of Prism and myself." 2017. JPEG.

While exploring through the Contemporary Collection at the Harn Museum, I stumbled upon this piece of art by Marilyn Minter. It's vivid colors and extreme detailing of the human face, perspiration, and jewels caught my attention. I was utterly amazed at the high quality of the picture, and gained a sense of appreciation for the super-camera that was able to capture every pixel in this photograph's framework. The jewels in this work reminded me of lust, the woman's red lips reminded me of beauty, and the perspiration on the woman's face reminded me of pain. These three elements seem to be consuming not only the woman in the photograph, but the majority of young women in today's society. I myself succumbed to the painful processes of what it meant to become "beautiful" : the constant cycle of putting on/removing makeup, getting my nails painted, waxing, shaving, losing weight purely for physical attractiveness, spending money on the trendiest clothes/accessories during that time period, etc. Someone can most certainly be beautiful without any of these steps: inner beauty trumps all. The standards of beauty are distorted yet the photograph is crystal clear, and maybe that is the reason why Marilyn Minter named this piece Prism.

Design of the Museum

Faupula, Olivia. "A photograph of myself in the water garden outside of the Asian Collection at the Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL." 2017. JPEG.

The Asian Collection at the Harn Museum was my favorite exhibit. The layout of the room with the sculptures and statues was spread out very spaciously across its warm hardwood floors, and the giant glass windows looking into it brought in light that enhanced the pieces in an aesthetically pleasing manner. "Seeing in a new light" as one may say. The smaller foreign trinkets were stored tightly together in glass display cases, but in a way which seemed more uniform than crowded. Meanwhile, larger sculptures were held in glass cases so big that the work itself screamed of importance. My favorite part about this exhibit was the outdoor garden because the most visually pleasing image in my eyes is that which involves nature. The garden was strategically designed to give off a relaxing ambiance with its trickling waterfall, luscious evergreens, and sturdy wooden bench. I visited the museum on a bright sunny day with blue skies and puffy white clouds which made the garden beam with life. The purest most rewarding art to me is nature itself.

Art and Core Values

Kurland, Justine. Sheep Wranglers. 2001, satin finish UV laminated C-print, Harn Museum, Gainesville, FL. By Olivia Faupula. "A photograph of Sheep Wranglers and myself." 2017. JPEG.

Looking at Justine Kurland's collection of works on display at the Harn Museum, I found one of my most important core values in her piece Sheep Wrangler: friendship. In this piece, Kurland shows us a glimpse in the life of some playful young school girls frolicking in a peaceful meadow. The innocence these girls evokes a sense of sisterhood, and this had a profound effect on me. Friendship is the foundation of all relationships, and that bond holds special ties. Pursuing any further in a relationship before laying that ground foundation has no stability. When conflicts arise, shaky kinships such as those are bound to fail. What once seemed so perfect quickly becomes replaced with mixed emotions of a harsh reality. This photograph interestingly shows a juxtaposition between fantasy and reality that corresponds to my previous statement. No friendship is perfect, but the friend makes it worth it. This is the sisterhood I hope to achieve some day with my younger sister, future nieces, future daughters, and future granddaughters.

Art and the Good Life

Monet, Claude. Champ d'avoine (Oat Field). 1890, oil on canvas, Harn Museum, Gainesville, FL. By Olivia Faupula. "A photograph of Champ d'avoine (Oat Field) and myself." 2017. JPEG.

To me, the Good Life represents peace and serenity, whether it's watching the sun rise at the beach or airplanes fly across your bedroom window late at night. Small moments that create total tranquility like these get me through long strenuous days. When looking upon Claude Monet's painting, a calming sense washed over me. His painting portrays a colorful field of flowers blowing in the wind on an early morning. Pink, purple, and blue pastels streak across the sky as the dark evergreens stand by for shady comfort. The composition of the work created that moment of total tranquility for me, and the regal gold frame holding it together gave off a sense of finery. I think this is funny, because the painting is so simple yet it is wrapped up in something so incredibly expensive and materialistic. Some people believe that the Good Life can be achieved with such things and get wrapped up in such treasures, but forget to simply smell the roses. Small moments create deeper satisfactions than objects. This is why my Good Life is based around finding peace within those little moments.

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