Rock Art : Art And Art Essay example

1982 Words May 5th, 2015 8 Pages
To fully understand the concept of rock art one must strip away all of the different and complex meanings placed on the word art by people of European descent. The European idea of art, art for art’s sake, or art whose only purpose is to please the eye, does not always apply to rock art. In many ways rock art is pleasing to the eye, and many tourists are attracted to it for that purpose. However, much rock art is used for a specific purpose or was made during a specific period of time and means much more to the people that created it than an impressionist landscape painting used just for decoration would to a common layperson. Rock art has a higher purpose than just being pleasing to the eye, though in many cases it is aesthetically beautiful. It is essential to view rock art within the context of the culture that created it in order to fully understand its true purpose, meaning, and beauty. “Art” is a western term that cannot in many ways describe the petroglyphs, carvings in rock and pictographs, paintings on rock, that make up rock art all over the world. In many non-Western cultures there is no such thing as “art” as “art” implies that a group of artifacts that has “non-utility” and a “special status for disinterested appreciation” (Heyd within Mcdonald & Veth, 283). This is not to imply that rock art is not aesthetically pleasing but that it has a different function in indigenous societies than just looking pretty. Much rock art has a use and is not just meant to be…

Related Documents