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"1+3" (sketch)

"1+3" (sketch, hunter's head)

It was always like this – something is being done first time ever. First planes and cars, first telescopes and watches, first tools made of metal and stone. First pictures and songs, first prayers and spells. Anything we know has its starting point in time. Including numbers.


Commencement of using numbers was no doubt an important break in development of human mind – a remarkable transition from figurative and substantive thinking to non-figurative and abstract one. Most likely, this transition became possible because humans had been able to think symbolically. In other words, they not only could work with objects and phenomena of their material and spiritual worlds, but also learned to use and depict the respective symbols. 


Symbolic thinking of ancient people is bleeding through cave paintings, knick-knackery, amulets, ritual pictures. Not to forget the first “map-like” images saying “caves are here, river is there”. It seems that human aptitude to operate with the symbols had prepared human mind to numbers some time before people actually started to count.


One stone means one human. Two stones mean two. Three mean three. And when there is a baby to be born soon, then it would be four stones…


Here is the story behind the painting titled “3+1”. Ice Age. Cold keys and shades, and only bonfire flames cast warm gleam over the walls of narrow-sided cave. Huntsman will have a new child soon. And he is thinking. “This pebble is me. This one – my woman. And this one is my son. And here is the one to come along soon…”


He laid the forth pebble down, strangely looking somewhere aside – quite probably, doing the first math in human history. Three plus one…


Schizzo: hunter’s head