Art Visit- Things are Not Always What They Seem

I was able to visit the University of Texas at Arlington Art Museum
on campus. I have walked through this gallery before, but never truly stopped to give the art a chance. I have never really enjoyed art to see the least, and I have trouble understanding what the artist is trying to say. I was surprised to find that there was actually a special exhibition going on while I visited called, The Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition. It was interested to see pieces done by master’s students that were done at UTA. One of the artist’s featured was Josh Dryk, who had the piece I was most intrigued with. Looking at it, I didn’t even realize it was considered art. I just had a preconceived idea that most pieces were either sculptures or paintings, but this was more different then anything I had seen before. It was a darker room with a circle of small figurines in the middle. There were different objects in the circle such as a woman and small bird. Looking at them at first glance, you can barely tell what they are because they are so small. There is a light on all of the objects so they all end up reflecting onto the wall as large shadows. It was amazing and beautiful! The shapes of the objects came to life, and you could see more about the object that you couldn’t see before.

This visit to the exhibit made me see the similarities between the piece we read called, “Like Mexicans” and the artwork represented in this exhibit I was standing before. The theme of “Like Mexicans” was that you couldn’t judge someone by their race, because they are not always what they seem. The main character is taught to believe that a Japanese girl must be wealthier than him just because of her race alone. He learns in the end that this isn’t true, and she wasn’t wealthy. This made him realize that we are all more similar than we are different. Taking one’s race into account to establish beliefs about a person inaccurately give us an idea about them that is not true. This art piece by Josh Dryk seemed to establish the same idea. When first looking at the objects they are small, and barely seen. We establish them as not important and might judge them by their small size and tiny details that can’t be seen. When investigated further, viewing the enlarged images of the objects change our perceptions about what we believed to be true about them at first.

In the end, this piece of art, and “Like Mexicans”, can serve as a reminder that we are all more than we seem, regardless of size, race, background, and other characteristics we might be known for. It is important to remember these lessons in order to move to a more unified society! I attached an article that talks about a book, written by psychologist Alex Lickerman, that teaches us how we can teach our brain to bypass biases we may see in others based on their looks.

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2 comments

  1. As a Hispanic that has parents that were born in Mexico I concur with the fact you “can’t judge a book by its cover.” Just because someone is Japanese just like the female in “Like Mexicans” it does not mean that she is rich. The grandmother of the main male character was told by his grandma to marry a Mexican. He ends falling for a Japanese girl. It tells you that he did not care what race she was. You can’t help who you fall for. Yea looking at that piece of art I have trouble figuring out what to make of it as well.

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  2. I loved your blog post! I am excited to see that someone else had a similar idea as I did. I, too, used art and compared it to the “Like Mexicans” story! I agree with you that we cannot judge a book by its cover! It was neat to read how the narrator was bombarded with opinions about what kind of person he needed to marry but ultimately, he allowed his own experiences and truths to choose who was right for him. He was so scared, when he was going to his fiancee’s house, that he was going to see that their two families would not be compatible. That their differences would perhaps be too much for his family to bare. But he realized, once he experienced it for himself, that their families were more alike than they were different. He could have chosen to just adopt his grandmother’s opinions and views – and those of everyone else he grew up with – and he would have never allowed himself to open up and be with a woman that loved him, gave him joy and completed him. He decided not to limit himself to what others said was the right thing for him. He rejected the misconceptions and judgements made by others, and allowed his truth to be his guide.

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