This week, Sophia is our host for Lens-Artist’s photo challenge. The new year inspired her to look back and recognize what changed over time.
When I read her inspirational post yesterday, I started considering how to respond.
In the beginning, many millennia ago, our farthest ancestors took water and clay or mud in their mouths and either sprayed the substance against the walls and ceilings of caves or used fingers and twigs to apply it. They created iconic images from animals around them and from themselves or sprayed negative shadows of their hands. Unfortunately, I can’t find an example of these taken nearly 40 years ago on an analog slide film when I was visiting such a cave.
Then, painting seems to be not important for thousands of years until it got rediscovered by some whimsical people. As their ancestors, they had to create their paint them. They used minerals, saps, and different kinds of clay and mud to create different colors and reinvented the art of painting.
Nowadays, we can simply go to a grocery store and buy watercolors, crayons, or felt pens. Artists instead, go to special stores to buy the raw materials for their paints to have the highest possible quality to express their imagination.
The first paintings were assumingly intended for religious purposes. About 500 years ago, religious and political leaders started demanding portraits created showing themselves. Starting from the 18th century painting found their way to the houses of the common people. By the middle of the last century, a new kind of art came even closer to all common people’s lives: street-art, art in the streets, sometimes covering a complete wall of a large house or building. While the first pieces were considered as daub and scribbling, over time the technics developed further and even the acceptance by people as long as the artists got permission in advance of creating their paintings. Now you can find some of these paintings in many cities.
Although, some of the quite modern pieces seem to remind of their roots millennia ago.
This is also quite old kind of painting: street painting. I can remember to have seen such artists in the pedestrian areas of bigger cities when I was a child. They were painting on the boardwalk to collect money to make their living. This one was taken during the street art festival I visited last summer.
Maybe, I was able to inspire you to dig in your archive and find some images, you can publish your images on your blog and set a link to Sophia’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.
14 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 232: “Looking back””
I loved your history of art. The coffee art is pretty intriguing, and I do follow a guy who does that. It a true talent, isn’t it. I have always loved chalk art on the streets. Again, true talent. I just saw a news story run here about mural walks, and how artist are also covering dilapidated buildings with color and interesting art. Such a great way to tidy up a city. A great post!
Thank you so much, Donna. And you’re right with your opinion on coffee and chalk paintings. I really admire such artists. I also take such guided walks when possible.
What fun, Andre, and I’d never heard of coffee painting. I’ve enjoyed finding murals in a variety of cities and I also love the trend of allowing artists to decorate power boxes. I think the trend Donna mentioned of art covering dilapidated buildings is a great idea.
I met that guy in Lisbon a couple of years ago. He sat on the path up to the castle and he created his paintings with a brush and his coffee. Really amazing. Here are also more and more power and telephone boxes decorated with (often) nice paintings. I also love that.
Coffee painting is new to me, excellent! I love that you went all the way to street art, one of my favourites. The Pixel Pancho one in Lisbon no longer exists. I have a photo of it too and yours is better. I’m glad there’s a record of it for posterity. Great post, Andre.
Thank you so much, Sofia. What a pity that painting no longer exists. But, that’s part of the nature of streetart. Unfortunately. When I was in Lisbon, I visited several of these beautiful pieces of streetart. I also met the coffee painter in Lisbon: close to the entrance of the castle.
Very clever Andre – like others I’d never heard of coffee painting so of course I’m off to see what Google has on it. Yet another technological innovation that has made life immeasurably easier!!!
😁 thanks, Tina. He simply paints with his coffee and thus uses the brownish tones to paint. Very similar to Aquarell (water colors), but limited in the number of colors.
Great photos and thoughtful insights. Love the Hands mural coming through the wall.
Thank you so much, John😊
What a great post Andre! I love the history too. The street art are fascinating and is now also found a lot more here in South Africa. The coffee paintings are also new to me, but can imagine that it is very interesting to see.
Thank you so much, Aletta 😊
Wonderful street art, Andre and your thoughts about how art developed. I really enjoyed it!
Thanks, Patti 😊