Is art about expression, or is it history?

I have been pondering this thought and have not brought it to fullness yet, but hope someone will dialogue with me.  For a long time I believed that art was about expressing yourself, which to some degree it is, but the reality is for that expression to come forth, it issues out of a time and place in history, a cultural setting, all of the experience you as a person bring to the table from life, and a thought of some nature as a point of communication. 

Had I been born 100-200 years ago, or even before that, I would not be expressing what I express in the way I do, my thought process would not be the same because the cultural context would be so very different, and my focus would likely be very different from today. 

So those expressions captured on canvas, in notebooks, on pages, on walls of caves…wherever there has been historic finds from places all over the world, at one point, you had an artist with a train of thought…with his/her life experience and surroundings…deciding to make a mark courageously,  good or bad, and share his/her voice with the people around, and perhaps unaware, with people of the future.  Just as I do today when I dip a brush into some warm oil colours, or sketch a picture in my journal.  Today, for me it might only be an expression, a passing thought, a fancy on the wind.  But tomorrow, that very same thing might become a mark in time and history that defines a culture…how weighty, how important to realize our voice is…

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