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Primitivism in Art

             During the years of 1885 through 1914 some artists used a type of art known as Primitivism. This primitive aesthetic was designed to get away from the industrialized and urbanized subjects of pieces. Many artists traveled into uncivilized cultures to experience in full the connection between man and nature. After enlightened the artist would then be able to express thought through painting.
             One of the most enthusiastic painters to travel to far away cultures was Paul Gauguin. He was considered to be the rebel against modern society. Gauguin loved the presence of nature and natural form and a longing to travel to far-away, exotic places. With that, he could reinvent what he saw and express what others couldn't see. .
             Gauguin traveled to Tahiti in 1891 to experience the native ways. In Tahiti Gauguin was shocked to find that Western missionaries and colonials had infringed on the native culture life. A place once characteristically known to be settled with people, who mainly lived off the land, was known filled with French government officials. In addition, clothing trends had changed in the inhabitants as most women were now seen wearing long dresses as opposed to more revealing clothing. Tahiti also didn't have the native carvings or idols as it did before. So in turn Gauguin set out to make his own idols through his knowledge from Egyptian and Buddhist photos. .
             Paul Gauguin's best known piece that personifies his love of natural culture is called Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? 1897-98. I think the title itself has primitive connotation because it brings us back to an earlier time asking why we were put on this earth and by whom, and so on. It is a very large and wide painting that seems to have a type of narrative to it. Pictured is a Tahitian paradise filled with females of all ages that are enjoying what nature has to offer. They are not wearing the ankle length dresses brought in by European civilization, nor are there any other signs of westernization.

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