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Sid Tafler

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What does cave art mean to you?

Stone Age art has fascinated people around the world since some of the first discoveries of cave paintings in France and Spain in the 19th century.
The recent Werner Herzog film "Cave of Forgotten Dreams," showcasing the spectacular panels of lions and horses at Chauvet, brought new attention to Paleolithic art.
If you haven't gazed into the deep past recently, do a web search for Lascaux, Chauvet or Altamira cave.

What do these arts forms mean to you?
Do you find them beautiful, primitive, artistically inspired, or something less?
Are these drawings art for art sake, an attempt by Paleolithic people to reproduce the world they experienced?
Or do they have some deep cosmic or spiritual significance?
Why did these people of 15,000 to 30,000 years ago often create these works in places that were difficult to access?
Were they trying to communicate with each other, access worlds beyond their own, or engage in hunting magic?
Or were they just enjoying themselves scratching and drawing on cave walls?


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    May 8 2012: For me, cave art is a prototype of art and culture, but I think it is primitive. I'm surprised at "a technology" of painting on rock.
    It's very amazing.
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      May 9 2012: mateusz

      It is very very very far from primitive in execution, conceptualization and expression...and it has enormous spiritual power and expression as well.
    • May 10 2012: I'm also surprised that you would consider it "primitive" A close look at the panel of Lions, for example, shows extraordinary feeling and sensitivity for the subject; there are indications of composition throughout the cave, using buttresses and wall structure to convey sign, all done in dimly (?) lit space. We have no idea what other activities went on (music/bullroarers, ritual??), if any. And, after all, it was Picasso who strove to return his art to the primitive, to more childlike expression. It may have been a prototype of fresco, most definitely "a technology of painting on rock", with rock (ground minerals). We have yet to tap out the form, fortunately.
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      May 15 2012: Explain to me what you mean by "...but I think it is primitive"

      I'm curious... ;-)

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