Finding the Good Life in Art James DiMarco's Journey to the Harn Museum of Art for IUF 1000

Medium of art / Technique of the artist

"Monet, Claude. Champ d'avoine (Oat Field), 1890. Oil on canvas. The Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, Florida."

Growing up, my family had a print of a painting of waterlilies by Monet, but it lacked the brush strokes and layers of paint that give Monet's work (along with other impressionistic pieces) another layer of depth. Seeing this piece in person captivated me and drew me in. In most paintings, the paints are mixed on the painter's pallet and are then applied; however, Monet mixed his paintings right on the canvas. This allowed for even more types of color mixing and added layers of depth to his paintings. The technique communicated to me the layers there are to life and how the addition of events in our life are not separated from each other. They all mix and swirl on the canvases of our lives.

Design of the museum

One of the most captivating parts of the museum is the Asian Water Garden, designed by Hoichi Kurisu. Most of the art museums I have been to do not have gardens with a bench or two that allow you to think in the fresh air and take in the culture around you. From the sound of the water to the wind going through the bushes and trees, the garden is a peaceful place where one is almost encouraged not to think. It is purely a place of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Art and core Values

"Cardenas, Agustin. Family. 1991. Bronze with brown patina. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, Florida."

A core value of mine is family. To me, family is the one thing you will always have, whether you want it or not. This sculpture by Cardenas describes the unity of a family. As shown the mother and father figures seem to form and endless loop, and between them is presumably a child, the product of the love between the parents. The artist also chose to make the parental figures about the same shape and size. To me, this demonstrates the necessary equality between the spouses of a marriage in order to have a healthy, loving family.

Art and the Good Life

"Jacquette, Yvonne. New York Harbor Composite, Woodcut. Woodcut on paper. 2003. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, Florida"

Looking ahead in the course, the final theme is Achieving the Good Life. This piece offers a view from presumably a skyscraper, looking down on New York Harbor, which is home to the Statue of Liberty. For many immigrants, the Statue of Liberty was the sign that they had made it to the Good Life by coming to America. Even more so, for many, the idea of working in a office in a tall building means that they have achieved a great feat, and are important enough to in the same building as many famous people.

Created By
James DiMarco


Created with images by jared422_80 - "Gainesville - Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art"

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