Artworks in Progress

Artworks in Progress

How do you know the artwork is finished?

If I had a penny, for every time I was asked the question, I’d be taking my long overdue vacation right about now. And it would most likely include a visit to this exhibition at The Met Breuer Museum in Manhattan, “Unfinished- Thoughts left visible”, exploring great works of unfinished art.

It’s a deliberate decision sometimes, as the writeup suggests. Other times, the decision is made by fate or circumstance. Or you’re just too plain old bored to stay with it any longer.

The Unfinished-ness of many of my works, unlike the ones part of the exhibition, is not so obvious to another, and is mostly just a missing “click” of things falling into place, in my head.

Over the years, a section of my artworks have grown to have complex personalities of their own. Not very unlike how a person evolves, they have evolved over time, gathering new layers of paint, textures, new stories. Each layer peeled off these works would reveal an emotion, a moment in time, give a glimpse of how I have evolved as an artist, how I have changed as a person even. It is a constant work in progress, and an immensely satisfying process.

“Rembrandt was once asked why so many of his works look half-finished. He replied: “A work of art is complete when in it the artist has realized his intention.”

And Paul Cezanne, who was never satisfied, rarely signed his works. In a letter to his mother, he wrote that finishing things was a goal for imbeciles.”

And the most practical, “Warhol may have had the best answer, to how artists know a work is finished. Warhol’s response was: “when the check clears.” ”

| You Gonna Finish That? What We Can Learn From Artworks In Progress

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