Thursday, May 12, 2011

Herzog and the cave artists

Yesterday I went to see Herzog's 3D movie: Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Its about the paintings in France's Chauvet cave; 30,000 year old art preserved by a rockfall that sealed the cave's opening for thousands of years. Its a labyrinth of glittering drip formations, skulls coated in smooth diamondesque, ancient footprints, and beautiful paintings. The art is sleek and exact yet loose and fluid. The animals drawn across the undulating walls move with the confidence of an artist's hand that loves and knows its business. There is nothing primitive about them. They have the same glamor as a perfect modern scribble or an Egyptian sculpture. They are wonderfully noisy and active, the movement of wild animal and the human hand coalesced into lines on secret walls.
So cool to see and then walk out onto 6th Avenue in a perfect Spring afternoon.

1 comment:

HemlockMan said...

I listened to him talk about the film on a show on NPR. And I saw some photos of the paintings online. What I find stunning is that the illustrations are so anatomically accurate and that the artists had a complete understanding of construction and perspective in art!