Following their visit to the Lowe Art Museum on October 13th, 2017, the FIU Honors students of Aesthetics & Values 2017-2018 shared their voices and opinions through photographs and personal reflections.
Neutral and soothing pallets served as an introduction to the Lowe Art Museum. Smooth and conventional forms created a pattern that distinguished early art from what was yet to come. Portraits of royalty and paintings with nude figures were seen next, giving a sense of prestige and sexuality to a new era. Dark and hollow-like paintings broke away from the light-hearted mold seen earlier, opening up a door for a somber mood to seep in.
The next exhibit was secluded by a set of transparent doors, which teased the eye with snippets of impending cultural changes. Entering the room felt like drowning in a sea of color, like a color saturation overdose, like a manifestation of your wildest dreams. The contemporary and pop art exhibit felt like viewing a saturated sunrise.
Brush strokes of blue clashed with splatters of red, and hues of green were immersed in tints of yellow. And then I found this artwork. This piece mixed unconventional metal material to contrast the vibrancy of the neon lettering. This kaleidoscope of color, contrast, highlights, and clarity submerged the viewer into a contemporary hallucination reminiscent of what Miami is.
Luminous and iridescent forms created through unconventional silhouettes shaped the contemporary and pop art exhibit into what it is. This piece is only a fragment of what this colorful exposition encompasses.
I spent a fair amount of time thinking about how bad I am at looking at art. How every time I visit a museum or art piece, I think, “No one appreciates this art like I do,” and then, inevitably, I learn something new about it and I think, “I had no idea what appreciation was until now.” Nothing struck me like the Chinese ink paintings and how, in this medium, there is no eraser or possible cover-up if the artist made a mistake. The artist knew that each stroke was irreversible and the cost of the material. The only chance the artist had was to make minute calibrations as he went, fully aware that there was no redoing his last stroke. This made me think of how even the mediums that were flexible enough to cover up gaffes still held the memory of that error- even if the artist were to plaster over a mistake, the painting would never be the same exact painting that it would have been, it is permanently altered. Humans are infinitely strange creatures who know how to take something so unforgiving and make it bearable, tolerable, and so beautiful you can hardly look away.
As I stand in the frigid museum, pulling my sweater tighter to my body, I stand awestruck and captivated at the beautiful works I see around me. I quietly question “How could something so beautiful come from a mere mortal?”, captivated by the thoughts that threaten to consume me. For a first time visitor to any museum, I am not alone in my thoughts, especially at a museum for rich people. My first glance is at an unfinished painting and I am simply captivated. People from the hood don’t get to see this often- scratch that- never. I am blown away by room full of incredibly expensive art, art that could pay my tuition a few times over, expensive. Why isn’t this available to everyone? If others could be exposed to such beautiful pieces, they’d have somewhere else to expend all of their energies, somewhere to be captivated. The reason we can’t go to places like this you may ask? We can’t afford it. Where I’m from, we are captivated when you have the chance to escape abject poverty. When you come from a place of barely scraping by, you learn what it means to not have any of life’s luxuries- and art? That is most definitely a luxury.
Tucked away in the corner of streets lies the museum, feeling somewhat shy. Its doors open themselves to its empty spaces of scattered work. I’ve become so that I never know on which bar to set my expectations on anymore. The dark hallway guiding us toward the great reveal fills the space with an intermingling of anxiety or excitement. Luckily, the pieces that await are there to catch my silent sighs of relief.
The pieces we fleetingly stare at give us the small peek of the past thoughts and inspirations of humanity, but it feels like they cannot truly be reached. Their ancient hearts are too far removed from our present. As we walk through, I feel awe at the creativity and skill of the others before us.
Suddenly, it is all but an abrupt end. The rich spaces of culture open to an empty and expansive floor. The further we continue to move to the end, the less I feel. Increasingly, it becomes more disconnected abstraction until the bright light of the outside welcomes us back to reality. Just like that, we are herded out and through the doors. We hope you enjoyed your visit. Goodbye.
Why does it feel like something was missing?
A&V Fall 2017 Student Gallery from Lowe Art Museum