Saturday, May 22, 2010

This posting and the "borrowed" youtube video are presented by the proprietors of Aboriginals: Art of the First Person, who also host websites devoted to African tribal art, Australian Aboriginal art, Native American art, jewelry and pottery and art from other tribal traditions.

I stumbled across this essay on beauty and art by Philosopher Roger Scruton. It started me thinking about the role of "beauty" in tribal art.

When we look at tribal art, certainly authentic tribal art, we usually see what the artist perceived as "beautiful" within his or her culture.

I think of exquisitely carved African masks and sculpture, shimmering Native American jewelry, lovely Pueblo Pottery, Inuit carvings that please the eye and Australian Aboriginal art that may challenge Western concepts of beauty but represent attempts by those artists to create beauty in their daily life.

Moreover, given the cultural values of Aboriginal art, why would any artist want to reflect on it with shame or mockery?

So it strikes me that lovers of tribal art are privileged to apply their devotion to fields where art that mocks beauty is rare and seldom seen.

What do you think?

1 comment:

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