Good Life at the Harn by Julianna Chaput

"Every production of an artist should be expression of an adventure of his soul." -W. Somerset Maugham

The Harn Art Museum is a place where people are not only able to learn more about the artist and their pieces, but also about how people interpret the world. I enjoyed walking through all of the exhibits and seeing the different mediums, designs, and cultures that were represented through pieces of art. In art there is a reason behind every aspect of the work, from the final look to the material used to create it. From looking beyond just the artwork itself, you can learn more about the artist and their world.

Medium of the Art & technique of the artist

Artwork: "Nets-Infinity" by Yayoi Kusama

Above is a piece of art work that quickly caught my attention. When I first saw it from a far, I thought it looked simple, just a red canvas with white polka dots, nothing that I would expect to see in such a major art museum. But, as I got closer, I was able to see the uniqueness and dimension that it possessed. Kusama created this piece by starting with a white canvas and made strokes in all different directions to produce many unpainted dots. Each dot was unique in its size and shape. He also left clumps of the acrylic on the canvas to add an aspect of dimension to the otherwise flat piece of work. This piece of art reminded me of how quickly people (including myself) can be to judge something or someone. If I had kept walking I would have continued thinking how this work was underqualified and unworthy of it's spot in this museum. It was when I took the time to get closer and learn more about it that I was able to see its individuality, and value. It reminds me that we all need to take the time and invest it in people, all kinds of people, to learn about what makes them different and special, rather than only investing your time in you and those similar.

"Elusive Spirits", African Masquerades Exhibit

design of the museum

I found this African exhibit intriguing, not only because of the pieces themselves, but by the arrangement of feel that you experience in this exhibit. The yellow multi-colored costume at the front of the wing, caught my eye first, and set the perfect tone for the rest of the collection. Walking through the collection of African artifacts and masquerade outfits, I felt that I got to see all aspects of the African culture. The colors and boldness that each piece brought excited to see go and see the next one. Having so may different pieces scattered throughout the room rather than in one spot or lining a wall added the experience as well. I felt that anyway I looked or turned, I was still immersed in the African culture and spirit. They were also playing videos of dancers in these costumes, which allowed the guests to see into their world. It turned the art pieces into more than just costumes, it gave life and meaning. I enjoyed learning about this culture and feeling brought into their world, understanding and experiencing their rituals.

art and my values

Artwork: "Plate 2, Coffee Portfolio" by Rafael Tufino

This graphic work is of a large group of adults and children, all together, smiling and listening to the men play music. When I look at this I see families gathered around the music and enjoying the time spent together. One of my core values is family. My family is the closet thing to my heart and every decision and action I do, is kept with them as a priority. Looking at Tufino's work, it reminds me of the importance of family and how valuable the time with them is. The memories made with them shouldn't be spent contesting or defying them, but celebrating and laughing. Family will always be a core value of mine. They gave me the life I have today, and my days without them wouldn't be the same. Tufino's graphic is a representation of this.

Art and the good life

Artwork: "Frida Kahlo Rivera, painter and wife of Diego Rivera" by Imogen Cunningham

This piece of art is simple. It's just Frida as who she is. Although this work is of Frida, she also is an artist known for making pieces of herself. Knowing this before, along with seeing it at the Harn, reminded me of the Good Life and what it is. In this course we having been asking what is the good life? What does it consist of and how do we find it? Ultimately the good life depends on us. Just as Frida Kahlo does when painting of herself, we must look at our selves and discover what we see. To achieve a Good Life, we must decide what our values are, who and what is important to us, and find a way to happily mix them into the life we want. So, in making our Good Life we like Kahlo must paint a portrait of ourselves and the life that fits us best.

Art Comes in Many Forms

people use all way to search for the good life

All Photos taken by or of Julianna Chaput


Cover Photo:


Created By
Julianna Chaput

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