Picasso’s remedy for dust

Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life

 -Pablo Picasso

Lascaux caves, France

Some twenty thousand years ago, in the caves near present-day Lascaux, France  our Homo Sapien ancestors rendered images of their world on the walls.

We know from the fossil record that life was very difficult for the hunter-gather.  While there is evidence that these dwellers and their ancestors may have had some rudimentary cultural and religious practices, and required some level of sophistication to organize hunting, we cannot imagine that they had much time to devote to things that were not involved in survival.

Babylonian Empire

Perhaps six thousand years ago, the first signs of civilization, when people started to settle by water sources, and started to develop farming and animal herding seemed to also develop politics, divine authority, and warfare.  From the ancient records, we know that art seemed to be dedicated to glorifying battles, conquests and religious ceremonial centers.   Then the Greeks and the Romans later refined war, as well as art , politics and literature

Henry VIII
In the Renaissance period,  Europe, twelve hundred years after the last gasps of the Roman Empire,  art rediscovered perspective,  the natural world and portraiture.  Still, most art were renderings of Christian religious significance. Curiously, every subject in paintings of Jesus, His disciples and those who followed Him were all clothed in the garb of the artist’s day. And they were all white, Western European-looking folk.

In the first half of the Twentieth Century,  post-modernism, and unconventional representations of the world around us were popular,   War as an art was practiced and nearly perfected.  That civilization could simultaneously express such a dissonance in culture, in art, in science, in technology,with positive benefits to humanity;  and on the other side, War, genocide, and political disunity and civil war should have alarmed more people. But basic necessities, even survival in many parts of the world was always an afterthought to the more sophisticated world.  Strangely, the only institution having a positive impact on the inhumanity of man for man, the Christian church, also became the focus of hatred and symbolism that were fundamental in world history began to be replaced with a multi-culturalism and loathing of the American democratic experiment of 200 years.

David Choe

Since 2000,  Terrorism based on warped ideology and Western hypersensitivity to ideas has pervaded the culture of half of the world.  Truth has no foundation in fact. Emotions are manipulated in short staccato bursts of Twitter and Facebook.  People are indoctrinated to live according to principles that have no room for any discussion.  Enemies who were once friends don’t even study what they disagree on.  With the tumult, disunity, and even chaos, in a Post-Truth world,  there is even greater need for art to wash the filth of the world away on a daily basis.

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