I should have stood.
August 17, 2019
Looking at the history of human civilization, and for those purposes the art of mankind, one subject stands above all, and that is Man himself. An exception is the cave so-called art of Neanderthals. The subject of animals dominates that scene, hunting being the main occupation of prehistoric man, not non-essentials such as art (as we know it). With human civilization, the main preoccupation of Man is Man. The art of the human form says to the viewer, “This is you.” Whom else could the subject be, other than the immediately present? It would be trite to summarize the artistic representation of people of a given time and place as historical record. In many examples, the artistic figure looks little like a human being, much less anyone in particular. What seems to make the artistic representation of the human figure is the reduction of all that is not essential in the human form. It is parsimony of expression, telling as much as possible by the least of means, that transforms a likeness into a statement about the human condition.