Not completely, but largely. I think a good example would be the human form; throughout history, what has been deemed "attractive" has changed in manyÂ ways. Obesity was considered attractive, then near-anorexia. Lighter skin, darker skin, long hair, short hair, and so forth.
But a few things DO remain constant. It's been shown that in basically every culture since anthropologists began tracking such things, men with a shoulder-to-waist ratio of about 1.5 are considered the most attractive; for women, a waist-to-hip ratio of about .7 is considered attractive. Keep in mind that this is very precise -- not .8 or .6, and it's EVERY culture.Â
What this suggests, to me, is that there are some things about taste that change over time, and some things that are programmed into our genes. In the same way, I think much of our taste in art may fluxuate, but there are some things that have remained constant.
The easiest examples: almost all art that's considered highly significant had a complex philosphical, intellectual, emotional, or thematic intention. Another simple thing: it's interesting to note that almost EVERYTHING considered "high art" -- be it modern painting, classical painting, sculpture, opera, or great cinema -- are almost universally loathed by children and teenagers. If they hated old art but loved modern, maybe you could argue that this is a consequence of older people "not being with the times," but the uniformity of the disinterest across all genres and time periods suggests that there are some common trends across all art forms and historical periods. I'm not even going to go into what I think those trends ARE, because it's obviously extremely complex, I'm just saying they apparently exist.Â
Interesting that you bring that up about the human form and what the common themes are amongst cultures. So, you do know your art history. I thought only us illustrators were forced to learn completely useless crap like that. :D
I'm not arguing that there are things that cultures, throughout time, consistently find appealing. That's been proven in various forms a multitude of times.
My ultimate point is this: The most revered art in the future is rarely the art you're focusing on in the present. Often times it's too shocking, new, abstract, whatever for you to acknowledge as great art. But as time passes, future generations will begin to appreciate it and hold it as the gold standard for a generation. And it will influence them. This works for anything from Impressionism to Rock 'n' Roll music or modern writing. At the time, it was crap/spawned from Satan/not fit for human consumption. Only later were trends able to be picked out and analyzed.
Which, in turn, makes any point whatsoever about gaming not being art completely non-existent. Which could bring me back to my point about art being completely individualistic... But let's not get into that again. I'm getting sleepy. :D
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