Totem, the painting on canvas by Adolph is a perfect example of the concept of primitivism. Adolph Gottlieb was an America artist who painted this totem in 1947. The over simplified figures in the boxes of this canvas represent the western way of thinking about African art. Many westerners had distorted views of Eastern art. Westerners view eastern art as primitive because it is more simple than the art that they are used to seeing. This idea of our art being more sophisticated than eastern art is entirely untrue. The sense of cultural superiority that western cultures have over eastern cultures comes from the fundamental difference in art. The art from the east is simple compared to the art in the west, This was not because the eastern artists were unable to make paintings as detailed as those in the west but because they did not want to. If we look into the past we see examples of art from Nigeria that are beautifully crafted and very realistic. This proves that eastern artists are fully able to create realistic art that is thought of as so western, they just chose not to. The sense of superiority that the west feels over the east manifests itself in ways other than just art. One of the reasons that the west found eastern art more barbaric may have been because the first encounters they had with eastern art was during colonization. Colonization was an attempt to westernize the nonwestern world. Many of these western cultures who colonized eastern countries and found there art already had a sense of cultural superiority as they were imposing their western culture upon others. Those who first discovered eastern art found art in a place that had to be helped by western powers because they are more primitive. This misconception happens all too frequently in art. Pieces that are simply painted are not always that way because a culture is less advanced, it is because that is how the artists choose to depict their art.