Art is the fingerprints of God left on the clay of mankind
When a sculptor molds and shapes clay he leaves his fingerprints on the surface of the clay. When he’s done he smooths the surface of the clay so the fingerprints are erased. God didn’t smooth the surface of mankind when He created us in his image. He left his fingerprints all over us.
What separates man from the other animals? So many things. One of them is our artisitic nature. I am currently reading G.K. Chesterton’s “The Everlasting Man”, and the main point of the first chapter is the stark contrast between man the animal, and man the mind. He explains, “Monkeys did not begin pictures and men finish them; Pithecanthropus did not draw a reindeer badly and Homo Sapiens draw it well. The high animals did not draw better and better portraits; the dog did not paint better in his best period than in his early bad manner as a jackal; the wild horse was not an Impressionist and the race-horse a Post-Impressionist”.
Chesterton is saying here that although there may be evidence pointing to the evolution of man the animal, there is no evidence of the development of man’s mind. All the earliest, rawest evidence we have of man’s early mind shows that when man came on the scene he already possessed the ability to express something artistically, i.e. cave drawings.
When we create something artistic, we are reflecting the creative nature of The Creator. Even when the artist doesn’t know it, or refuses to acknowledge it, there is no getting around the fact that even the most sophisticated animals, be they monkeys, dolphins, dogs, pigs, etc… show no desire, nor the capability, to express their emotions, thoughts, experiences or understanding through artistic creation.
We are not an accident. We were intentionally made. Our Maker’s fingerprints are all over us.