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Riace Warriors

Todd Powelson

Time is a strange thing. We blink, and years have passed. We all blink collectively, and whole civilizations rise then disappear.

I’ve been thinking even more than usual about history and permanence. And also the cultural legacy that we will leave behind. The truth is, like everything else in the modern world, today’s culture is pretty disposable. I guess that’s no real insight.

Thinking that we, or what we build, can completely withstand the march of time is an illusion though. I look to the Greeks, whose artistic theory and style took generations to develop. Whose artwork was made from materials that we might assume would last. Sculpted marble, or cast bronze. The truth is, there are very few original Greek sculptures left. Most were melted down for weapons or smashed apart. I’ve written it here before but, a lot of what we might consider to be examples of Greek sculpture today are actually Roman copies. The original pieces just haven’t stood the test of time.

I suppose that we should sometimes be grateful for tragic events, because they can help artwork from the ancient world survive. Take the Riace warriors for example. These two sculptures were lost for a couple thousand years. It is thought they were sunk during a shipwreck, lost and forgotten on the ocean floor. Finally rediscovered in the 70s by a scuba diver.

Sometimes I think about how temporary everything is, but I am glad we still have these two sculptures as part of our human heritage. | Riace & Greek Sculpture

Todd Powelson
Todd Powelson works as a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, and Visual Artist.

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