Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist: One piece of art that stood out to me in the Harn Museum was a series of Linocut Prints by Rafael Tufino titled Coffee Portfolio. These images show the various steps and processes of coffee production. Printmaking requires so much detail and precision and I think that it is such a realistic form of making art. The prints represent real life events and people and I think that is why I felt connected to this artwork. I learned that Rafael Tufino was one of Puerto Rico’s “most prominent cultural figures.” From the spectacular detail that is expressed in these prints, it is easy to see why he was elevated to such prominence.
Design of the Museum: The exhibit that stuck out to me the most in the museum was the Highlights from the African Collection. This exhibit is located in the visitors view when they first walk into the museum, so naturally I entered it early on in my tour. This artwork stuck out to me because it was so bright and vibrant and the exhibit contained real life artifacts and stories from African cultures. One piece of art that I noticed was the 20th century Horizontal Mask, or Korubla, shown in the picture below. I found the idea of African Masquerades fascinating because these masks are seen as having to power to transform a person into something or someone else. The Korubla, specifically, was used during funerals of respected elders and is a composite of multiple wild animals. It has the role of a mediator that can move between realms and is used during these funerals to release the dead from the humans to the underworld. The way that this piece of art and the entire African Collection were set up drew visitors in with its large artifacts and pictures and made me interested to learn about what all of these things meant.
Art and Core Values: A piece in the Harn Museum that stuck out to me as appealing to some of my values was Afredo Ramos Martinez's Reina Xochitl. This piece is an image of an Aztec goddess and the reason it stuck out to me was because it shows a strong and beautiful woman. I felt empowered when looking into the face of the goddess because she looks strong, powerful, and wise. When reading about the painting, I learned that the flower that she is holding is representative of life and how it is beautiful but quickly fades. I resonate with this idea because I too feel that there is more to life than just what is on the surface and that we must dig deeper into ourselves so we do not live a life that will quickly fade away.
Art and the Good Life: The Mirror Mirror... Portraits of Frida Kahlo exhibit is the exhibit that I thought related most directly to the good life. These images of Frida Kahlo perfectly display the Embodying theme of the Good Life. Embodying was about how physical health and appearance become integrated into the good life, and Frida had to deal with physical health problems that changed the path of her life. Through these portraits, we see Frida in a strong and resilient light, which reminds us that even though we may face obstacles, as Frida had to overcome polio and a terrible car accident that left her disabled, we can still discover our own path to the good life. I was inspired by this exhibit and all of Frida's self-portraits because even with her disabilities, she still had a positive image of herself and did not let them ruin her ability to achieve her own good life.