Monday, February 16, 2009

The Human Drive to Make Art - Tribal and otherwise

WHY do humans make art? It can be lovely. It can be stimulating. It absorbs some of the finest minds in any society. It can change hands for ridiculous sums of money. And dizzying edifices of commentary have been built around it since the time of the Greeks. But all those aspects of art beg a fundamental question: why do we do it?

An article in The Australian, Australia's national newspaper, reviews a new book by Dennis Dutton, The Art Instinct, that discusses the subject.

Dutton suggests that because all humans make art, and people from many different cultures appreciate similar subjects in art, art is an evolutionary adaptation, helping humans survive as individuals and as a species. Eventually, over the millennia, art-making traits have been absorbed into the repertoire of human instinct.

To read more of this article, click on this link -,,25035538-16947,00.html

At Aboriginals: Art of the First Person we revel in the spirit of art executed by tribal peoples, and present examples at,,

1 comment:

wind mage said...

personally, I make art to keep myself sane. Any form of expression can be considered art, be it graphic or verbal. When you want to say something that you know no one else will understand, since it is too different, a person makes art. It s like a conversation with the canvas, or paper. People have an intrinsic need to be understood. When one is incapable of putting it across directly, one makes art. When I do this, I feel more at peace with myself. The paper does not respond, so it can not make it obvious that it does not understand, since we crave that understanding, the mind automatically assumes (subconsciously) that it has been understood. There is, after all, no evidence to the contrary.
That is why I make art, I may be alone in this reasoning, but that is my answer to the question, "Why do people make art?"