Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist
John Chamberlain | American, 1927-2011 | Untitled
If I saw the above artwork in a picture, I would think it just looked like a big piece of scrap metal. Seeing this piece in person allowed me to appreciate the different colors of auto lacquer and polyester resin that were sprayed on the aluminum foil. I can also admire the size of the piece in person. Pictures don't convey how large this piece is; when standing beside it, you realize that this ball of aluminum foil is almost half the size of a human. Chamberlain uses scraps from crushed cars. This is striking to me because this particular piece of scrap metal could have come from a terrible car accident. There is no description that says this, but that plays in to the mysteriousness of the artwork. This piece allowed my imagination to run wild about the origin of the metal and made me reflect on all the terrible car accidents I've seen. Of course, my beliefs about the origin are just speculation, but it's nice to imagine.
Korean Section of the Asian Art Wing
Gilt Wood Seated Bodhisattva X-Rays
There are pages from the Lotus Sutra (sutra in which many of the various schools of Buddhism were established on) inside the head of the sculpture. Museum staff did not want to damage the sculpture, the pages, or both, so they worked with Shands to produce x-ray images of the bodhisattva. This is very interesting to me because it shows the link between art and technology.
Design of the Museum
Paula and Marshall Criser Garden | Designed by Aaron Lee Wiener
This exhibit is particularly appealing to me because it is an outdoor space indoors. The designer is a UF graduate from the Master of Landscape Architecture Program. This garden immediately caught my attention because it stands out among the sea of paintings and pictures on the walls. It is the most original piece of art in the whole museum in my opinion. The lighting is interesting because at first, you think the exhibit is actually outside. Then you realize, the light is very bright and it's staged to look like an outdoor setting. This exhibit makes me feel like I'm outside enjoying a warm, sunny day instead of feeling like I'm in a cold, quiet museum.
Art and Core Values
Buddhist Plaque | 1738 | Wood with polychrome and gilt
This artwork shows a shocking symbol, the swastika. Western viewers see this as a symbol of hate due to the Nazi regime. This symbol makes me remember World War II and the aggression and cruelty of Adolf Hitler. My feelings toward this symbol are due to America's involvement in the war and my own personal history in school. This history of WWII is taught in every middle school and high school in America, so I've always had a negative outlook on the swastika symbol. The actual symbol translates into "it is good," which is completely different than my views. It is ultimately a sign of peace and goodness and remains that way in East Asian countries today.
Art and the Good Life
Marvin E. Newman | 1970s | Gelatin silver print
This print stimulates a feeling of patriotism for me. I believe this art conveys the theme of a good life because it makes every American reminisce on a specific point in history. It brings everyone together and makes us all realize how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful country. We all feel the need to protect each other from terrorists, such as the ones who destroyed the World Trade Center pictured in the print above. It makes me appreciate living in this country because we all assemble after such a tragedy and then proceed to grow stronger. Our country is one of the greatest on earth and the print above contains a symbolic icon of this nation.