It’s easy to see why the show is so highly anticipated, and why it is considered “excellent art”. The cave paintings were created in the Paleolithic Era (c. 50,000 – 10,000 BP) primarily in the south of Spain and north of Africa. These paintings were created with red and yellow ochre pigments that were made by grinding rocks. This was very rare at this time as most painting materials are organic. It has also been proven that many of these paintings had meaning as they contained drawings of large animals and hand prints which represented a “spirit” or “soul.”
The Early Stone Age people believed that these paintings would provide them with a way to communicate with the spirit world after death. The art was used for ceremonies and rituals that are still unknown today. These paintings are extremely important as they represent a time before writing was invented.
Some have argued that these paintings are not actually art because they were not created for aesthetic purposes, but there is definitive evidence that some of the animals were painted after death as a way to honor them. Because of this, many consider this a type of ritualistic art.
The locations where these paintings were found are not known to anyone any more because they have since been covered by water
The art show, “Paleo-Inspired,” was recently held at the lovely Paleo Cafe in Seattle. The show featured 11 artists, including myself, and all of our pieces were inspired by ancient cave art. The fact that the art is “paleo” means that it has been interpreted to be of prehistoric origin. In other words, we’re not claiming to have found this art in a cave–we’re only saying that if it had been found in a cave, it would look like ours.
The opening night of the show was a huge success and was crowded with enthusiastic attendees from all around town! If you weren’t able to make it out for the opening night (or if you had too much fun to leave), here’s a little taste of what went on that evening . . .
I am really happy with how my piece for the show turned out–it’s called “Bird.” It is based on the story of Icarus, who flew so close to the sun that his wax wings melted and he fell into the sea and drowned. I used acrylic paint to create thick, smooth layers over canvas; I used a combination of tape and glue to add details; I printed pictures on my computer and then glued them onto the painting; I
Because of the controversial nature of the show, it is recommended to book a ticket online in advance. The debut of the art exhibit “Prehistoric Art” at the Paleolithic Museum will be held Saturday February 9th. The event is promoted as “highly anticipated” and it has been described by some attendees as an “excellent art show”.
The museum is located at the south-eastern tip of Manhattan (W 42nd St & 11th Ave) and tickets cost $10 each. Online purchasers must provide a valid credit card for ID verification. Tickets are available at PaleolithicMuseum.com and include admission to both this exhibition and the other permanent collection, “Paleolithic Times”.
New York City’s most famous art critic, Hank Yerkes (NYT, 2010), commented upon the great expectations for this kind of art in his article “Art from Old Times: What’s old is new again”, where he states that this style might become a trend among modern artists.
Yerkes highlights the importance of having an open mind when viewing art from before our current time period: “If they can get over the initial shock”, he says, “people will find that antiquity has much more to offer than just old things.” He adds that
“The first wave of Paleo-art was basically just a bunch of artists trying to look like they knew what they were doing.”
Paleo-art is the process of using Cro-Magnon methods to draw pictures. The term refers to the use of simple tools, such as the “thumb tacks” and “paper clips” shown above, in the creation of art.
“”It’s kind of a game, and you have to play it exactly right,” said George Lucas, who has been drawing for about six years and who goes by the name “Ooga Booga.” “I tried drawing once with a pen and I couldn’t get it done. It just didn’t work.””
Paleo-art is one of the most talked about art forms today, especially on Facebook and Twitter. But many people are confused about what Paleo-art actually is. What is it? Is it a joke or is it serious? Is it art or just plain copying? Most importantly, why do people like it?
According to Lucas, “”Well, that’s an important question. Obviously, you’re asking because you want to know what the answer is. And I can tell you why. There’s no big secret.””
Lucas went on
Are prehistoric cave paintings art? Are they even paintings? They are neither. They are drawings—and drawings of animals, at that. You can’t stick a label as highfalutin as art on them unless they are possessed by a spirit of such artistic integrity that it overwhelms their very nature as drawings. And yet we have no evidence that the Paleolithic peoples who made these drawings had any such aesthetic intention. And so it is critical to first ask: what is it about these images that makes them good artworks?
What makes an image of a horse “good” has little to do with the horse itself and everything to do with its context: specifically, the ways in which the image reflects both its making and its cultural setting. The image’s quality is determined primarily by how appropriately it carries out its function as a drawing.
The most impressive things about prehistoric art are not the images but the sheer quantity of them, and more importantly their ubiquity in human culture. Art is everywhere—on clothing, on household items, on tools and weapons—because it fulfills basic human needs. It works to communicate identity, promote group solidarity, and express emotions. But the Old Masters knew all this already; they were just working in a different medium.*
The exhibit is a collaboration between Ugly Labs and PaleoTech. The former is a small, creative design shop in San Francisco; the latter, a large tech company in Silicon Valley. Both have been working on the project for over a year.
The team, led by PaleoTech founder Steve Jobs, was initially inspired by the discovery of prehistorical drawings in caves and rocks along the coasts of France and Spain. They are believed to be approximately 30,000 years old, making them some of the oldest known examples of human art.
The famous Lascaux cave paintings were discovered in 1940. The importance of the discovery was immediately understood, and the public response was immediate. The cave was closed to protect it from damage, but it wasn’t enough: the cave was vandalized repeatedly over the next few years. A replica of the cave was created nearby to give visitors a sense of the paintings without damaging them.
So far as I know, this is the only well-preserved example of prehistoric art that is still in its original location. There are paleolithic sculptures in museums, but none of them are complete enough to give a sense of what they looked like when they were new. In any case, if you want to see a sculpture from before 3000 BCE, you have to go to a museum.
The Lascaux replica is so close to the real thing that it’s hard to tell which is which; it’s only near the entrance that you get an unobstructed view of one or the other. That gives you a good idea how well-preserved the real cave is: every scratch on this replica has been inflicted on the original too.
There may be other caves with as many or more paintings, but they haven’t yet been found or studied. We have no idea right now