Updated: Jun 3, 2021
By Jeff Mukaka | Canada
Some years ago I found myself in an ancient cave staring at a message from far back in antiquity left behind by our long lost Stone Age ancestors. It was only a hand-print of 2 pairs of hands, one belonging to an adult and the other belonging to a child imprinted on the cave wall. And yet those hand-prints were so much more, they were a direct message from those who came before us who lived in another age, before there were cities and civilization, they lived in the stone age.
I think I read that hand print message correctly, from my point of view it said, “We were once”. That for me, hit hard, there were other paintings made with animal blood or fat depicting their world, the animals they hunted or that hunted them and so forth. That art had a clear meaning that was easy for anyone to understand.
This is where I have a problem with modern art. Most of it is too abstract and the message it conveys is vague at best or non existent at worst. It requires years of training at art school to even have a chance at understanding the language. This for me is truly sad because if the majority of the people out there cannot understand it today, how will those who come after us in 10 thousand years ‘get it’.
Even in the classical days when Francisco Goya produced the hellish ‘Saturn eating his Children’ or when Leonardo da Vinci put paint on canvas and gifted the world timeless beauty in the image of the Mona Lisa. Art had a meaning even then, compared to the modern stuff. As an art lover, I consider this to be a tragedy of the highest degree.
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