A Catskills Lake
While surfing the Internet back in 2020, I found a vintage, black and white photo of a lake scene. I have no idea if it was really in the Catskills. I’ve been to the Catskills though and that region was the first thing that came to mind when I saw it. These scenes cause me to take a deep breath, like one does when they get out of the car on a long road trip to the mountains or seashore. I think that’s what they mean when they say art should evoke emotion in the viewer.
I think any type of art can do that. Sometimes it’s awe, sometimes empathy, sometimes disgust and sometimes just plain old appreciation for being alive and allowed to actually see it. I think that’s how I would feel if I was standing in front of the Mona Lisa or any piece of art from that period. And what about the cave art on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, or the drawings on the walls and ceilings of the cave complex at Lascaux, France? All I have to do is think about those and I sense emotions about our history and origins.
I doubt the individuals who created them entertained any thoughts about who would see them in 20,000 years. But it can’t be denied, they are art. I remember one which was literally created by the artist sticking his hand in whatever was being used for paint. The result was the handprint, clearly intentional, in a red pigment, on the wall of the cave. Makes me mutter under my breath, ”damn!” whenever I see or think of that image. The expletive being used in total awe of it ever being found and the profound meaning of its existence.
Not to hint that this image would garner such emotions. In the 21st century, many folk who see it might first judge whether it would match anything already adorning the Study, Master Sitting Area, or Guest Room. And likely it would not, given society’s seeming addiction to loud color these days.
My, my…we’ve come a long way haven’t we? We modern humans. 😉