Essay about Art As a Shared Experience

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Art, even in its simplest form, has a culture embedded on it. It cannot be separated from the artist’s way of life. It differentiates a culture from all the rest and defines itself to an extent where nobody but the artist can even grasp. Traces of art forms have been identified alongside the evolution of mankind and flourished since the establishment of civilizations. These earlier art masterpieces in the form of sculptures, cave paintings, petroglyphs and the like were found from different parts of the world. These represented the perception of the people in the ancient times about their way of life and so despite its uniqueness in form, the similarities in these perceptions became the binding thread that connected every culture to…show more content…
Members of the tribe are surrounded in a small fire as the two men, accessorized with animal skulls, shields and spears remain unconscious throughout the ceremony. George Catlin was a Pennsylvanian lawyer who pursued painting and traveled in the early 1830s following the US expedition trail of Clark and Lewis to the Pacific coast. In his exploration, he was able to visit about fifty Native American tribes living in the Mississippi River. During that period, the Indian Removal Act was just passed by the US Congress requiring the resettlement of Indian nationals from the southeast to the west. His interest in the Native Americans was influenced by his mother, who was briefly captured by the Indians during the Revolutionary War. Catlin was the first artist to create works that show the way of living of the Plains Indians. Regarded as the embodiment of the Enlightenment ideal called the “natural man” who lives harmoniously with nature, Catlin was inspired by the rich culture of the natives. More than 500 of his works showed portraits, scenes of daily life and landscapes of Indian bases. Believing that the resettlement created great pressures on their culture to either adapt or vanish, Catlin captures in his works the corruption of the Indian way of life. On a political sense, finding a link between The Cutting Scene, Mandan O-kee-pa Ceremony painting and
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