Evolution of the Artist
Denis Dutton, philosophy of art professor at The University of Canterbury, has published a book building off his standard-bearing art theory website Arts & Letters Daily. The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution is a look into evolution’s role in the artistic process. Dutton contends that humans are drawn towards the creative as a means of displaying a societal fitness, differentiating the artist via skill and individuality. Namely, as Damian Da Costa points out in his review of the book, “style in art evolved as a means of distinguishing the exceptional individual from a crowd of suitors.” According to Dutton, it is these motivations that provide the scaffolding for our artistic impulses and appreciations, and these motivations that render forgeries invaluable, as they imply no evolutionary positional good. Mr. Dutton is currently on a book tour in America, promoting the work.