Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cave Paintings

Between 15,000 and 30,000 years ago people painted animals and depictions of hunting expeditions on cave walls and ceilings using charcoal. Picasso said of the Altamira cave paintings, "After Altamira, all is decadence."
The wonderment people have when they look at these simple pictures of animals transcends the art and I've recently pondered why that is. What draws us to these striking images and what inspires us about them?

I think they represent an essential humanity that has inadvertently been written as history because it no longer exists. These images were records, tributes to a way of life that was meaningful and I want to point out that 25,000 years ago these might be the only pieces of visual art that were being produced. It wasn't commercial and it wasn't for sale and these details add to our present day observations. No popes were involved; No pop culture; Hollywood was a sheet of ice. We see these images as modern day capitalists and they don't fit our concept of art anymore...and they don't fit our concept of survival. Seeing the cave painting is like hearing what a blind person hears.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.