MEDIUM OF THE ART AND TECHNIQUE OF THE ARTIST
"Newspaper S" and "Akikan" by Kimiyo Mishima
Kimiyo Mishima is a contemporary artist who uses trash as inspiration for her work. The artwork she had displayed at the HARN included a crumpled up newspaper and three aluminum cans. This artwork intrigued me because you could interpret her message in two ways. From one perspective, you could see the trash as things once loved and then discarded, as if you were in some sort of time-capsule. Another interpretation would be society's dirty habit of enjoying and then abandoning. We are quick to chose convenient methods of entertainment without considering the environmental impacts of our wastes.
If I had seen this art only online, I would not have given it much thought. Seeing it in person at the museum allowed me to really think about what the authors goal was, why she chose the objects she sculpted, and how the materials she used helped get her message across. Mishima used a heavy and fragile ceramic in her sculptures to symbolize the weight of our consumption and fragility of the environment. This made me feel like I needed to be more responsible and choose greener options over what's more convenient.
DESIGN OF THE MUSEUM
American Abstraction wing of the HARN
The Abstract Art wing of the museum was the most appealing to me because of the unique artistic methods on display. Each piece was so creative and really required me to think about what it's message was. The museum was thoughtful in its design by spacing out the art works, giving the viewers enough room to stand back and really admire each individual piece. This wing left me with many questions and feeling ready to examine the rest of the art the museum had to offer.
"Green Square" by Richard Anuskiewicz
ART AND CORE VALUES
"Sheep Wranglers" by Justine Kurland
Justine Kurland's painting of "Sheep Wranglers" showed young schoolgirls running around a pasture. It questions identity and stereotype by depicting a "girl word of free-spirited, innocent intimacy uncomplicated by the other sex." This represents one of my core values of spending life surrounded by people you love enjoying the world around you. The girls in the painting are soaking in the sun completely carefree. This makes me take a deep breathe, relax, and remember all the good things there is to enjoy. I spend most of my days outside, so this painting reminds me of stepping outside into a beautiful day. It reminds me to cherish the moments I get outside and realize how lucky I am to be here.
ART AND THE GOOD LIFE
The HARN had on display numerous works of the Guerrilla Girls, a feminist activist artist group. The artists wear gorilla masks and use facts and crazy visuals to show how prominent gender and ethnic bias is in our culture. This represents the Good Life theme of fighting for the good life. These feminists fight for equality in art, pop culture, and politics in a peaceful and comical way that grabs your attention. What I find so intriguing about these pieces is how calmly they get their message across and how baffled I am after seeing it. In the picture above, it states that less than 4% of the artists in the Modern Art sections are women, but 76% of the nudes are female. By just reading a simple fact, I am left feeling outraged and confused by this extreme inequality. It makes me want to fight back with the Guerrilla Girls to seek action against these injustices. I respect and admire these artists for standing up for their good life in a calm, intelligent way.