Making Art with the Grunts
BCE 61,978, Cáceres, Spain*
Grunt wakes when sunlight pierces the cave. He forces himself on his mate, rolls off when he’s done, pisses outside, dons his bear-skin, grabs a sharpened stick, goes hunting.
Mrs Grunt (let’s call her that) tidies their bed, pisses outside, slips on her goat-hides, goes gathering.
The sun at its zenith, Grunt returns with a rabbit. They dissect it with a flint, kebab it over a fire she’s kindled, eat it with berries she’s collected. Her palms go red as he guzzles from them.
Stomachs full, they sleep spooning like bear-cubs.
He wakes from a dream, grabs her right hand, presses it against the cave wall and strews her fingers with black ash.
Mr and Mrs Grunt gaze at their handiwork and are happy.
*A hand stencil in Cáceres is listed as the oldest example of cave art.
Making Art in 2022
CE 2022, Ferney-Voltaire, France
Adam and Eve buy an abandoned house used by teenagers to enjoy sex, drugs, rock and roll, etc. They force the trespassers to leave.
One youngster expelled from paradise scrawls on the garage door: "Closed by fascists." Others leave handprints in red and black that cost time and money to remove.
Keen to foster the creativity of his three-year-old daughter, Adam clears the garden of used condoms and spliff butts, unrolls surplus wallpaper, opens two pots of finger paint. His little marvel dunks her fingers and splays them on the paper, left and right in red and black.
She beams with pride and claps her artist’s hands.