A Day at the Harn Steven Arnold

Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist

I found these two pieces of art incredibly interesting. Tintorera del mar, Plenas Portfolio by Lorenzo Homar on the top and Santa Maria, Plenas Portfolio by Rafael Tufino on the bottom were both created in a similar fashion. Both are based around pieces of music that are surrounding by dark and gothic drawings. What I found most intriguing about these pieces was the sheet music. The two songs were happy and jovial. The first was satirical, and the second was about the Virgin Mary. Yet the drawings surrounding them are dark, like the menacing black horse on Santa Maria. The juxtaposition in these pieces of art spoke out to me. The artwork made me feel uncomfortable. While the general public interprets the songs as happy songs, the artists chose a dark spin on the two songs, different and dismal compared to my interpretation. It shows that songs can have different interpretations, and those interpretations can be opposite of another. The pieces emphasize a difference in opinions. Even though the two pieces were done by different artists, they share similar themes and techniques.

Design of the Museum

The section of the museum that I found to be most aesthetically pleasing was the first part that a visitor would walk into. What specifically appealed to me was how open the exhibit was. The minimalist design helped me to clear my thoughts and truly appreciate the artwork found around the room. I liked how the walls were a blank white, empty from unnecessary distractions. Also, the large expanse of the room made me think in a different perspective. It helped me to realize just how small we can be, and just how much art can symbolize. The lighting improved my experience, too. The exhibit was brightly lit. This helped to keep me calm, but not feel drowsy like some dimly lit museums can induce. Overall, the exhibit made me feel at peace as I browsed the art on the walls. The bright minimalism helped me to focus on the art and clear my mind as I walked through the exhibit. I found it to be the most pleasing section of the Harn.

Art and Core Values

One of my core values is thankfulness. Whether being grateful for friends and family, a stranger holding the door open, or a higher power that I believe is watching over my life, expressing gratitude where it is due is important to me. This photograph, taken by Sebastiao Salgado, titled A thanksgiving prayer to the Mixe god Kioga in gratitude for the good harvest, Oaxaca, Mexico depicts two men giving thanks to their god. This ritual was an everyday occurrence for the Mixe people (as noted in the description found next to the photograph). This particular photograph struck a chord with me since it showed people being grateful for what they had in a relaxed environment. There was no big celebration or party. I appreciated the simplicity of the photo and the action of acknowledgement to their god Kioga. It helped me to better understand my core value of gratefulness. I don't have to express thanks with some grand gesture, nor does there have to be some important occasion, despite there being one in the photograph. This piece of art taught me to express my appreciation for things in my life in smaller and more consistent ways.

Art and the Good Life

Something that we focused heavily on in this course is the effect relationships have on general happiness and the importance of sharing the Good Life. This piece, titled Frieda and Diego with Gas Mask taken by Nickolas Muray shows Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera having fun while Rivera paints one of his murals since he has a gas mask, used to protect himself from the fumes created while he paints. The picture shows two people happy and enjoying one another's company. The photo implies that relationships, while maybe not necessary, help in the journey to the Good Life. Much like Adam and Eve in Mark Twain's The Diaries of Adam and Eve, Frida and Diego shared their lives together. Frida and Deigo with Gas Mask shows the impact of a loved one on one's life. It deepened my understanding of relationships and the necessity of surrounding myself with friends, family, and significant others that can all positively affect my search for the Good Life.

Created By
Michael Arnold

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