The Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art Exploring the art - By: Diego Crespo

Medium of the Art

The piece of art with the most appealing medium to me was John Chamberlain's untitled sculpture of a painted crushed car. At first, this piece would look like a giant piece of metal. However, once you understand that the piece is a giant car that's crushed into a call, it becomes much more powerful. The experience of seeing a giant car, a large object we see every day, confined into the size of a duffle bag makes you realize actually how much space our material world takes up. I believe the artist used this medium because he wanted to demonstrate that the utilities and objects we use everyday, no matter how advanced, are just scraps of material that are gathered from the Earth.

A photo of John Chamberlain's untitled sculpture.

This piece made me feel that humans are very special. Somehow, hundreds of people contributed to putting a bunch of pieces of raw resources to create a vehicle that can takes us anywhere we want at a decent speed. This is something that people take for granted when they drive a car. It is also very sad to see such a masterpiece become crushed into its original self. However, Chamberlain was able to add an artistic touch to make it appealing to viewers of the piece.

Design of the Art

The exhibit that was the most appealing to me was American Abstraction exhibit. There were not many pieces of artwork, but the design of the art and the opportunity for interpretations of their pieces were what caused me to spend most of my time there. The room that this exhibit is located in is a round room that branches out into other exhibits. The lighting of this room was focused on the paintings and sculptors. Almost every piece in this room was lit by their own light. This is strategically placed so that the focus of the exhibit is the pieces. The lights allow the viewers to view the piece as bright as possible to interpret the piece as they want.

Up: A photo of the 'American Abstraction' exhibit title. - Lower-Left:

I felt very excited and motivated to learn with the set-up of this exhibit. The focus on the pieces, the comfortable spacing of the pieces, and the few pieces they had there allowed me to really focus and take in the art as much as possible. Many of the exhibits had so many pieces too close together which made it difficult to focus on one piece at a time. With the American Abstraction, I was able to focus my attention on one piece at a time.

Values of the Art

One artwork that stood out to me due to the representation of one of my core values is a wooden sculpture called Family by Agustin Cárdenas, located in the Latin American section. Coming from a Latin American family, my family is very important and close to me. In Venezuela, where my parents originated from, it was traditional for the children to not move out of their house unless they were leaving the country or getting married. The cultural connection I had with this piece was very strong because I was able to relate to the painting due to my strong family value.

Left: A photo of Family by Agustin Cárdenas. - Right: A photo of me with the sculpture.

The sculpture shows the support and necessity of keeping the family close. It allowed me to see a visual representation of how important one's family is to their lives. The two parental figures in the sculpture are carrying the child figure with one stem. If one of the parental figures is removed, the child is in danger of falling over. This represents that the more family you have, the more safe and secure you'll be.

When I looked at this painting, I felt very emotional. I thought about my life while living with my family and how much I've grown in just a semester and a half of college. I began to miss my family. I even texted my mother asking how she was doing after I saw this sculpture. This piece made me realize that I truly would not be here if it wasn't for my family.

The Good Life of the Art

I picked a very unusual piece of art that represented a key theme of the Good Life. The piece is called How to Draw Scenes Viewed in an Angle by Fernando Galli Bibiena. The piece consists of two pages out of an old Italian architecture book that teaches readers how to draw and design buildings. On the right page, there is a visual aid on how to draw a certain building from angle. On the left page, there was a step by step process on how to complete this task.

A photo of 'How to Draw Scenes Viewed in an Angle' by Fernando Galli Bibiena

The theme that I picked up on was the Sharing of the Good Life. Part of what makes the Good Life possible is being able to be educated and listen to intelligent people share their knowledge. The combination of different ideas and information allows us to become more educated, open-minded people. This insignificant page in this whole book was just a representation of the vast amount of knowledge that the author of this piece gave to his students, or anyone who was interested in his publication. Looking at this makes me think how many paintings and drawings that consisted of a building in an angle are kept today are now shown in museums.

Created By
Diego Crespo
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