X-ray style art is a manner of depicting animals and humans by drawing or painting the skeletal frame and internal organs. No x-ray machines are used in the creation of this type of art; it is a very old art form known since the Mesolithic era. Many different prehistoric hunting cultures produced x-ray style art, and some contemporary peoples are still creating this type of art today. There are for instance notable examples of now-living artists belonging to the Indigenous peoples of Australia who are still producing x-ray style art in accordance with their cultural heritage.
The size of the old x-ray style figures that have survived into our time varies greatly from one location to another. Some of the largest ones are around 2.5 meters in length.
The style also varies. Some x-ray style paintings do for instance feature delicate polychromed depictions of the interior cavity of animals, while others only have an outline and a skeleton, while the interior organs are symbolized by a lifeline that runs horizontally from the mouth to the anus of the animal. Sometimes, the lifeline only runs from the mouth to a dot that represents the heart or the stomach.
Modern X-ray art has never really found widespread appeal, and it is still very much a niche scene. You can find a lot of print that is sold as interior design but you see a lot fewer true art prints on the market. The works of many artists can still be bought rather cheap. High-quality x-ray art might be a good investment.
Investing in X-ray art
If you want to invest in X-ray art then it is essential that you know that it is a high-risk investment. This is true regardless of which pieces of art you choose to buy. It is far from certain that the values will go up. Buying X-ray art is like buying binary options. It is not like buying blue-chip stock. When you buy a binary option you might make a large profit but you might also lose all the money you paid when you bought the option. You are slightly more likely to lose your money then you are making money when trading binary options. The situation is the same when you buy X-ray art. You might earn a large profit down the line but you might also lose your entire investment. IE it is a high risk, high reward type investment.
If you are looking to invest in the blue chip stocks of the art world than you should buy art by artists that have allready established themselves as great artists. You should be looking at art by artists such as Picasso or Andy Warhol. Appriciated artists that produced a lot of art. Some of it is still affordable for regular people.
Examples of regions where very old x-ray style art has been found:
- Northern EuropeX-ray art was produced here during the Mesolithic era, from circa 8,000 to 2,700 BCE.
- The Arctic Circle
- North America
- New Guinea, including New Ireland
In many parts of the world, x-ray style art seems to be connected to hunting cultures.
X-ray style art in prehistoric Korea
Evidence of a Siberian x-ray style art tradition has been found on the Korean peninsula and dated to prehistoric Korea. In 1970, a rock-cut drawing was discovered at Pan’ gudae, near South Korea’s southeastern coast. It contained pecked line drawings and silhouettes of animals and humans, including land mammals such as tigers, wolves and deer, and marine mammals such as whales and dolphins. The humans depicted included hunters, a fisherman and a shaman.
The drawings had been made on a large (circa 8 meters by 2 meters) smooth vertical rock surface. Some of the animals have the characteristic Siberian x-ray style lifeline that runs from the mouth to the anus.