San Jose 1/3: The Museum of Art

This past weekend in mid-January I was fortunate enough to have visited San Jose for the first time!

My time here was rather limited since I was here for a big Smash event (in an upcoming post), but whenever I’m visiting somewhere new I always make it a priority to explore the city and its renowned galleries and museums as much possible. Over here, I decided to check out the Museum of Art and the Tech Museum of Innovation. I’ll be talking about the former here.

The San Jose Museum of Art was a cute, quiet exhibition. The art pieces themselves were great and provoked quite a bit of thought; however the museum was rather small in size, and furthermore they were under construction in implementing a new exhibit. The pieces varied greatly from abstract pieces to a maker’s exhibit where you create a sculpture out of anything, from works of clay and humor to even the use of dogs and postcards.

The work below, Heavy Load by Monica Van Den Dool, was my favorite of the day, with the idea of making everything lifeless through black and white, except in the fruit which are by the moment bleeding their life source away. While death is among all the animals and fruits below, the mule simply stares blankly, oblivious to everything that’s happening.

Other ideas include William Wegman’s dogs humorously personified and his use of postcards being recreated into something new (dogs + people, and multiple postcards in one art piece). His largest piece shown involved at least 20 different postcards, all being drawn and painted around their borders to create his own world based off his experiences (with the postcards likely being ones he’s gathered on his own?), making it both whimsical in nature and amazing in sheer size.

My walkaways with this exhibit:

1) Think about opposites. In the Heavy Load piece, opposite meant in terms of the opposite reaction of treating life and death. Unexpected always wins.

2) The art concept of combining separate objects or ideas truly applies to anything. Personifying dogs. Combining postcards of all things? This idea never gets old.

As a bonus, one of the abstract art pieces was paired with this amazing quote which I thought was worthwhile to share and remember:

“All art should have a certain mystery and should make demands on the spectator. Giving a sculpture or a drawing too explicit a title takes away part of that mystery so that the spectator moves on to the next object, making no effort to ponder the meaning of what he has just seen. Everyone thinks that he or she looks but they don’t really, you know.” -Henry Moore

In all, the exhibit was rather worthwhile if, and only if, you happen to be in the area. The size was actually a benefit for me, since I only had wanted to commit an hour or two to here before getting back to my event, and the whole exhibit was only for $10. If you’re here for something else, are a huge art fanatic, and happen to have an hour to spare just like me, give this cozy place a try! (As a bonus, they even have an outdoor ice skating rink!)


Author: Kevin Who

Developer. Designer. Smasher. Reader. Creator.

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