Appreciating Others Interpretations of Life By Taylor Gautreau

(Public Art Piece ,photo taken by Taylor Gautreau)

Visiting the Harn Museum was a pleasurable experience. I visited once last semester for a Spanish class, and was instructed to look at the Frida Kahlo exhibit in Spanish, which proved to be a difficult endeavor. However this experience reminded me of those I've had in New York and back home in Tampa. Overall it allotted myself time out of my week to take a break from studying and appreciate the hard work of others.

Medium and Technique Of the Artist

During the walk through the museum, I didn't force myself to stop at each individual art piece and read the description, rather I spent time with the works that sparked my interest from across the room. Naturally, these were the pieces that weren't typical paintings, but rather unusual pieces of different mediums or perhaps they were common items that are seen in an everyday life but arranged in a novel way. The one that enamored me most was Celeste Roberge's "Geographies", which consisted of three large eggs, each made of different elements, one of stone, one iron, and the other hair. These are representative of the core elements needed to make up society. The aspect that caught my attention from across the room was the wad of hair encased in an iron egg. The picture doesn't dramatize the simplicity of these three eggs sitting on a white pedestal, amongst a room full of vivacious colors. Having long brown hair, it brought a sense of surlily to how fundamental each person is to society.

(Geographies by Celeste Roberge, photo taken by Taylor Gautreau)

Design Of the Museum

The design aspects of this room were taken into careful consideration, everything from which art exhibit was placed directly outside, to the interior lighting. All the artwork displayed within the room were stone or some derivation or extrapolation of it. The entirety of the room itself was composed of wood, and directly outside, was a garden with a small waterfall. Not to mention to enter the room one had to walk through a collection of pottery. It's obvious that these are all very central to nature, but the attention to detail on wanting to create a natural flow to the room, as visitors are forced to walk in, their gaze is immediately directed towards one of two major stones sitting on the floor, then to the natural backdrop. They are encouraged to walk around the room almost in a cyclic style as the art work is presented on the walls and crevices of the room, leaving the center of the room empty. The outdoor portion offers the bridge where people can complete the circle, by appreciating natures untouched art, and how artists can enhance nature.

(Asian Collection, photo taken by Taylor Gautreau)

Art and Core Values

Browsing through the art in this room, initially I thought this piece was part of another work, but upon reading the description I realized it had an entirely different meaning. Louise Bourgeois was the "most eminent and provocative artists of the 20th century" and was known for leaving her mark of feminists legacy. The part of her work I specifically identified with the most, was where she expressed her focus on the woman as an individual, rather than a social construct of what society dictates they should be. She decided to represent this through the male gaze; so in her piece there are objects and symbols of what the classic female is traditionally perceived as through the male's eye. I however took her statement and perceived it in a slightly different light, I am to be perceived as a person holistically; not solely through an academic sense, not through just a visual sense, and not just through my background. So I in turn took her specification on the male gaze, and took it to societies gaze, and the pressure they have put on me as a person to behave and act a certain way in order to be deemed acceptable.

(Louise Bourgeois- The Feminist Legacy, photo taken by Taylor Gautreau)

Art and The Good Life

Initially walking into this room, two thoughts entered my head. I wondered if these dishes had ever actually been used, and one of them reminded me of the same dished my grandmother liked to collect. Traditionally in American culture, when people get married, they are given or passed down "fine china" that gets used on special occasions, or never gets used at all and is only for decorative purposes. In my opinion, these plates, though very exquisite, should be used for celebratory purposes because if they're never appreciated or used, it seems like they're forgotten. Not to mention eating in of itself if an action that brings people together. So, even though these plates and vases are in a museum and are considered art, to what extent is it wrong to use something of such high value for celebratory purposes in order to bring us closer to the good life?

(Asian Collection, Food Vessel, also featuring me, photo taken by Taylor Gautreau)

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