Saturday, February 23, 2013

Why Create Art?

Take a look at this painting of a bison from the wall of a cave in Spain:

It's estimated to have been painted somewhere between 11,000 to 19,000 years ago, when ice sheets covered most of the earth and before humans invented writing. It must have been painted by firelight, because it's deep in a cave.

Why do you think the painter was compelled to create it? Do you think the painter had any idea that thousands of years later humans would look at the painting and wonder about it?

Isn't all art like that? You take a photo or write something and you never know who will see it and what impact it will have. Maybe nobody will see it or take note for thousands of years or maybe never and yet the artist persists.

I think the painter was saying "I was here and this is what I saw."


  1. I think the artist just has to. Like birds have to sing and frogs have to jump, artists just have to do what burns in their heart to do.

  2. Frogs have their rear legs bent that way, so they have to jump. Birds always seem to sing the same song. But humans...

    So where have you been? I've noticed you haven't been in-world much lately.

  3. I think we are just not on at the same times lately.

    Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams
    I like what you said, Randall.
    I was here
    I was alive
    Listen to my heartbeat.

  5. "We have been very strenuously conditioned against solitude. To be alone is considered to be a grievous and dangerous condition. So I beg you to recall in detail any times when you were alone and discover your exact response at those times. I suggest to artists that you take every opportunity of being alone, that you give up having pets and unnecessary companions. You will find the fear that we have been taught is not just one fear but many fears. When you discover what they are they will be overcome. Most people have never been alone enough to feel these fears. But even without the experience of them they dread them. I suggest that people who like to be alone, who walk alone will perhaps be serious workers in the art field."

    Agnes Martin

  6. I like the quote. Severe suffering also seems to be a crucible from which many artists arise.