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Alan Nakagawa, Marie Svoboda, and How We Perceive Ancient Art

How do we truly perceive the art of the past? Do we try to interpret it with a current and modern idea of the world? Or does the art stand out completely on it’s own, a relic of the past that should be recognized?

How far should we be from trying to romanticize the stories of old?

Artist Alan Nakagawa has put together the “Myth Not Myth” project, and it’s a fantastic look back at the history of art.

This lets him deconstruct misconceptions about ancient art through conversation and sculpture. While trying to become inspire these sculptures (which are free to the public in the Getty Villa’s Outer Peristyle on Saturdays for the rest of June), he interviewed Getty Museum staff – including conservator Marie Svoboda.

She spoke with him about how our modern expectations of art influence how we perceive ancient art. And how current conservation ethics seek to make evident what is original about an artifact – and what isn’t.

Check out the full interview for yourself, right here.

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