Friday, February 23, 2018

But Is It Art?

Apparently, 25,000 years ago, about the time man was first hanging out with dogs, folks were eating pretty well.

Hmmmm... Maybe it wasn't the the horrible struggle for survival so commonly imagined?

Oh sure, there was disease, child and maternal mortality, infection, predators, and parasites.  Sure there was no electricity, refrigeration, or metal tools.  Sure you had to hunt for all your food and there was no wheat, potatoes, soy, or cotton.  But aside from that....

Meanwhile, The New York Times informs us that "Neanderthals painted on cave walls in Spain 65,000 years ago – tens of thousands of years before modern humans arrived."

Oh sure, it's Neanderthal-made.

But is it ART?

 How can it be ART if it’s not hung in a gallery with 50 percent of the price going to the gallery owner?

How can it be art if there is no fake bidding within in a contrived and artificial market based on familiarity, fashion, and conspicuous consumption?

Let me be clear: THIS is ART and it costs over $32 million.


Lucas Machias said...

love of art "art is not just something that is marginal to our culture, but central to the formation of our cognitive abilities."

Lucas Machias said...

The Nature of Paleolithic Artby R. Dale Guthrie

I saw this book and it is outstanding. It presents a much more common sense view of cave art and paleolithic man. The biggest take away for me was how he explained our continuing desire to hunt as hard wired. Evolution made hunting pleasurable because happy motivated hunters are more successful hunters. That has huge advantages in evolution and it is no surprise that, for some today, the ancient desire is still a passion.

Lucas Machias said...

Fractal edges shown to be key to imagery seen in Rorschach inkblots

When is a Pollock not a Pollock? Computer analysis verifies authenticity of Jackson Pollock's drip painting

Pollocks work is supposed to be fractal which reminds of the fractal patterns in nature or it could be bullshit, like Warhol.

Lucas Machias said...

These drawings could have acted as teaching tools. "Since the act of drawing enhances observational skills, perhaps these drawings were useful for conceptualizing hunts, evaluating game attentiveness, selecting vulnerable body areas as targets, and fostering group cohesiveness via spiritual ceremonies," he writes.

Lucas Machias said...

The con game.

Lucas Machias said...

Jennifer said...

No comment on whether it is art. Some doubt as to whether the obese woman sculpture show is Neanderthal. The "Neanderthal art" photos I've seen have been cave paint hand outlines and simple geometric figures.

Lucas Machias said...

"That stress reduction can be triggered by awe, and also by what physicist Richard Taylor calls a physiological resonance between the fluid visual processing of complex fractal patterns found in nature and the eye's retina (the paintings of Jackson Pollock helped him reach this thesis). Simply put, it's that humans need to look at natural patterns but instead, are increasingly surrounding themselves with "straight Euclidean built environments.""

Lucas Machias said...


"6. A thief made her famous.

Although in the art world, the painting had always been an acknowledged masterpiece, it wasn't until it was stolen in the summer of 1911 that it would capture the attention of the general public. Newspapers spread the story of the crime worldwide. When the painting finally returned to the Louvre two years later, practically the whole world was cheering. "

​Perhaps the greatest art con of all time is the Mona Lisa ​supposedly worth 0.8 billion now. Pre-1900, it was considered unremarkable until a series of events like theft, etc., publicized it.

​See the book below for more. A great book.​

Everything Is Obvious: How Common Sense Fails Us

by Duncan J. Watts

LRM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LRM said...

Perhaps even Neanderthals, (while expressing themselves decoratively) might lean toward idealized forms. In a harsh climate, extra padding demonstrates greater success in hunting, and therefore, survival. I don’t know that it needs to be more symbolic than that (or abstract on the order of Pollack) to be considered Art.

Lauren said...

The sculpture is not Neanderthal, it is only 25,000 years old while the Neanderthal art is 65,000 years old. Which means the Neanderthal painting is further removed from the Venus sculpture than the Pollock is!