The Veneer of Civilisation

in #art3 years ago

The Veneer of Civilisation


"Civilisation is a thin veneer that we smear over society to hide the true vestiges of our animalistic nature. It takes very little to scrape it away and expose the true chaos that lies underneath."


Right click and select "Open Image In New Tab" to see a larger version of it.


The Inspiration For This


This is another abstract experiment in Corel Painter 18. I think the 2 sentences I wrote at the top of the page are a good summary of the basic meaning behind it.

I was again experimenting here with using the Sargent brushes (based on the work of John Singer Sargent).

In this case I tried to go with a more rough technique with fewer layers and coarser brush settings.

Although it is an abstract piece that is completely open to interpretation by the viewer, one potential way of interpreting it is:

  • The warm earthy tones represent nature and the planet.
  • The blacks represent technology and the march of civilisation.
  • The crimson/red tones are blood and chaos.

I hope you like it.

Also (as I usually say) feel free to use it in your own posts if you can find a use for it.




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It's so strange how civil, civilize, and civilization are all used to refer to humans and yet we're the specie that wage wars and invent methods of how to deliver a larger scale of destruction. The art is a good representation of war (for me). The blood red sky, the dust of battle in the air stirred up by the clash of humans (the darker shades) below. You can't make out the soldiers because all there is in war is the chaos (and confusion) like the dust dispersed about. And the humans are simply the dark shades really, a shadow representation of how dark human nature can be while the blood red sky stays a silent witness to how much life has been taken. It's an emotional piece for me. I can't even begin to describe how much this moved me.

I think most animal species would probably wage war if they could organize enough to do it. Pack dynamics are brutal.

I agree. I suppose it's why I put "civilization" as one tag used for humans. I might look it up if terms like that had been used on animal packs, pride, etc. I know "social" is a word used on ants and bees and they destroy competition, too, but I'm not sure about other animal species.

Sad but true. We wage all sorts of wars and even fight in wars that aren't our own, fight for ideals that may have only been passed on to us. Heck even on the internet, forums could get bloody over nothing. So much for humans being "civilized". Must be the primitive part of us that still thrives on being on battle mode. Nice gif. I thought it was a still pic as it didn't move in my buggy phone browser.

The notion that we are civilized is a laughable one. I prefer the term coined by (I think) Robert Anton Wilson, "Domesticated Primates",which is incredibly accurate, IMHO.

Wow I don't think I have anything to add to your superb interpretation.

wow! you're getting better at this!
I love the small dots details
and the tones
before I clicked on it I thought it was a croc with its mouth open and the red is just blood ..
sorry must be extreme but at first glance that was really what I thought
till I clicked and read .. but I still wonder :D

Thanks. I deliberately mixed some different colours that look like venous and arterial blood. Venous tends to have more of a black/blue tinge to it (even after exposure to air) and arterial has a very bright colouration.

Run as you may! You cannot escape...the Almighty Bunghole!

Much as I love Beavis and Butthead please stop this spam.

Do you have T.P. for my bunghole? I would hate for my bungholio to get polio.

Ah, sorry I may have gone overboard. But it was all I could see in the art even minutes after staring at it. I actually had a moment of zoning out feeling all sad and whatnot over it asI also imagined it like a place having just been bombed. It's a heavy piece really. Could be the heavy colors but it sure did pack an emotional punch.

Great Painting!

The "veneer of civilization" is also one of the main subjects discussed in The Dark Knight; the Joker talks about revealing the true nature of the people by subjecting them to situations where, if they didn't act in their interests(whatever the cost), they would die.

I had actually forgotten about that. I must watch it again!

Us as a society create this facade to make it seem like we repress our prominent primal instincts. Most are in denial of this fact and try to put out this front that we are meek and unpretentious. Everything we do in the end is motivated by how it makes us feel. Even those so called selfless acts are ultimately self-serving in that they satisfy some desire within us to exhibit benevolence or justice for humanity.

A superb painting @thecryptofiend. You can clearly see the distinct layers which may be how we try to be sincere but deep down we are black and rotting with desires and passions that we are ingrained with.

Keep up the great work! :)

Thanks!

Us as a society create this facade to make it seem like we repress our prominent primal instincts. Most are in denial of this fact and try to put out this front that we are meek and unpretentious.

Yes.

Everything we do in the end is motivated by how it makes us feel.

Not everything IMO but most things are if we are honest about it. You can see this in people who have damage to the pleasure centres of their brain following strokes (for example) - they lose almost all motivation to do anything good or bad.

Even those so called selfless acts are ultimately self-serving in that they satisfy some desire within us to exhibit benevolence or justice for humanity.

I think this is true. We help others because it makes us feel good. I don't think we would do it if it made us feel awful!

Civilization is always a work in progress. I guess the more advanced we become spiritually and emotionally the thicker the veneer will become. Yet, always at the base is our animal nature clawing it's way through to the surface. Perhaps a part of civilization should be tending to the animal side of ourselves to keep it under control. A hug and a pet here and there. Perhaps throwing the beast a bit of raw meat too. Then...off to the Opera!

I really like the image... I see heat and light and "activity" above this darkness that might be interpreted as our primal selves. Of course, I'm also one of those people who can basically "anthropomorphize a toothpick" so in the whitest patch I also see a reclining lady with wild white hair...

As for civilization? Most people seem to believe that our civilization is only a thin veneer... but I suppose it depends on your perspective. As a species, we have the capacity to employ rational thought (not just instincts) as a means of survival... that allows me to make the judgment call to NOT react with whatever I am feeling in the moment, because it might "end badly" for me. Choices have consequences. That's part of what makes us civilized... we understand that. Even if I am UNcivilized, I still understand that if I pick up a weapon and arbitrarily kill you to get your lunch... one of "yours" is probably going to come after me and try to kill me.

Of course, I'm also one of those people who can basically "anthropomorphize a toothpick" so in the whitest patch I also see a reclining lady with wild white hair...

Lol.

Choices have consequences. That's part of what makes us civilized... we understand that. Even if I am UNcivilized, I still understand that if I pick up a weapon and arbitrarily kill you to get your lunch... one of "yours" is probably going to come after me and try to kill me.

Good points - although in the "heat of the moment" rational thought can very easily disappear or be overridden.

Like the theme and color line abstraction.

I was thinking I will get a psychological post here when reading the title. But I think it is correct, it just take something small to get the true nature of humans exposed. Lately here in South Africa, anger boils over into violence on almost no provocation.

I might do more of a psychology post on it at a later date. Sorry to hear about the SA situation.

Ok ok , my new favorite work of yours !! The colors give it so much meaning it's like when someone hurts you to the point that you see different sides , scrape your skin layers to see the inside . I can't even express it in words as much as I want to . Truly love this @thecryptofiend

Red is my favorite so this stuck out to me even more. Deep down we have layers , all depends on the wound

The colors give it so much meaning it's like when someone hurts you to the point that you see different sides , scrape your skin layers to see the inside .

I love that insight. Thank you.

Thank you for the wonderful art work :)

Love the mood of this piece. You reminded me of a great post-apocalyptic novel called "the death of grass", recommend the read :)

Thank you. Can you remember the name of the author?

John Christopher. It's old but it's really dark! Would definitely hold it's head amongst today's post-apocalyptic offerings.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_of_Grass

The mixture colors and nature of this artwork is awesome..it is certainly telling a story @thecryptofiend , good one indeed.

welcome, always and thanks for your supports.

You have a lot of talents and interests!

Thanks mate - as do you!

I see fire in it. Red sky, fumes...the dark shades bellow remind me of wheat fields. So yes...fields burning. Must say I follow you quite regulary....can't lie. Most of your peaces don't move me (don't mean I don't apreciate em, but they dont raise enough emotions from me). This one did.

Thanks! I'm trying to work on making them a bit freer. I think sometimes if you overwork it the emotion is lost.

I feel the emotion is this piece @thecryptofiend! Great work, you're really quite the artist.

That is very kind thank you!

You're on a roll with these paintings of yours @thecryptofiend, keep them coming.

Beautiful painting

The Veneer of Civilisation. Hmmm not sure what that mean. But your experiment with Sargent brushes seems wonderful looks like surface of mars hot, deep, red, layered. A cloud of dust I really like the texture. Thanks for sharing keep the good work.

Also I am so thankful of you for making steemhelp.net I remember it cleared my doubts and helped me a lot when I joined.

Corel Painter 18 . That looks like a fun program to dabble in . I see that you are no beginner .

Thanks well I have used it on and off for a few years but they keep adding more and more to it.

I've not used corel painter in a few years, had been using it in a work situation. Thinking I need to take a look at the later versions.

Like the quote! I found myself looking at painting and trying to decide which was " the thin veneer". I know you described the feel behind the colors.

I love the movement in the piece, particularly the frothy white, a bit like the ocean waves about to crash down.

Inspiring piece!

Yes the thin veneer is not necessarily illustrated more implied.

Very pleasing to the eye. I wasn't aware such effects were possible in Corel. In fact, I'm pretty unfamiliar with Corel Painter.

I've saved your artwork for possible use as you offered.

Yes it is the best thing about it. They keep improving the brush modelling.

You digital artwork reminds me of the the stages of the civilizations that humanity developed from using simple stone tools to the complex and powerful computers that aims to make our existence easier and comfortable.

Interesting. Thank you.

This actually resembling a battlefield scenario. Early ages mythical war ground.
Really good sir. This one is actually different than your normal design. They were very calm but this one is vibrant. I love it :)

Thanks - I think some of the patterns almost look like barbed wire.

Yes, it is actually resembling a lot of things. It can be used in many areas and with different arts. This one is the best as far as I am watching your art :)

You're welcome sir :)

This is emotionally deep, from one artist to another, your art is beautiful...u get a vote from me

Thank you so much!

An extraordinary work dear friend @thecryptofiend, beautiful combinations of colors that you have used, I really like the idea of earth tones representing life, try to cover or invade the carmenci tones that are chaos, like life itself Fighting to keep order, fighting chaos and stopping bloodshed.
It is incredible what an abtracta painting can test these ideas in the mete of people, thank you very much for it.
Congratulations for this beautiful work, I wish you a beautiful day

Thanks mate you are too kind:)

Very nice piece, and it goes well with your quotation. I wish I had more to add.

WOW :)

Your Always Welcome :)

It is a digital art, but it feels like a it was done with oil. Ironic since you mention veneer, as it does not have a layer underneath just more pixels :). Nonetheless, I love the concept and the outcome -cheers.

Only God knows the condition of the heart and can clean it too!

I like it!l Good experiment! Inspirational work! Thanks!

@thecryptofiend - The March of civilisation and technology blackening the planet and nature - makes me sad. A brilliant interpretation and concept.

It is an abstract that drew me in. The brownish gold captured my eye along with the bold crimson backdrop but the dark shadow of the black in the foreground made me wonder why It was there. Then I went on to read your description and literally shook my head saying "so true, so true". Thanks for sharing this.

As usual - your textures are the magic in your work. Thanks for sharing. Upvoted.

Regards,
vm2904

Thanks glad you like it:)

Nice expression and interpretation :)

Loving it dear friend Up&Resteem

My pleasure dear friend :)

nice painting......... liked itl

nice painting ... i like it

I blame the Russians!! yep they did it! LOL

UPVOTED.
very good.
I would be happy if you like to follow me and give your opinion about my posts.
Thanks.

Thanks but please don't ask for follows/votes. If you make interesting comments people will check you out anyway but this sort of thing tends to put people off because it suggests that the only reason you are commenting is to get more votes.

To mass civilization must succeed a civilization on the scale of the individual.

Very helpful! One thank you @thecryptofiend

How is it helpful? It is clear that you haven't even read the post or looked at it. That is assuming you aren't a bot.

lol. That's true people jumping to newly created posts

you have given link of Steemithelp.net so i find it helpful caz i m new user so any way thanks for your info

Great job @thecryptofiend ! Your art bring me pleasure! My daughter is learning this, she will be interested in your advice!
Enjoy with me in the summer of uraine:

https://steemit.com/nature/@olga.maslievich/i-enjoy-the-summer-fragrant-bed-for-a-beetle-3-original-wildlife-photos

@thecryptofiend - Sir this is indeed a very touchy and helpful blog for our today's society. I appreciate it. Please share more stuff like that. Upvoted and resteemed.

Did you even look at this post? Your comment suggests that you didn't. Please don't spam my blog with pretend comments.

Good job.. Boss

Thank you again.. Boss 👍👍👍

You're welcome!

Good luck & god bless you .. Aamiin

Nice . it was too good

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