About 17,000 years ago, a few highly skilled homo sapiens artists were doing what I am trying to do today: tell a story by painting and engraving on stone walls. The art was discovered in 1940, in Lascaux cave in Dordogne, a region in southwest France. After Picasso visited the cave in the 1950’s, he reportedly emerged and exclaimed: “We have invented nothing.” Miró once said, “Painting has been in a state of decadence since the age of caves.”
But I have been intrigued by more than the value of cave paintings. These were drawn about 14,000 years before the invention of writing!... What a long learning process to transform visual drawings into symbols - letters - words and sentences with meaning.
Observing our way of life today, at first I was worried: we are reading less and less, we are using icons, short messages and bird sounds to communicate. We no longer use our pen and even our purchases are signed with a finger. On second thought and maybe third, I changed my mind. Maybe we are not regressing, maybe we are in a process of elaborating a new language that will include literal and pictorial fragments; a universal language of the mind transcends countries and cultural borders.
Today the cave’s stone has become a building and I am drawing visual poetry using
light rays on its façade that, similar to a human face, has a lot to reveal.
September 22, 2018