There’s a Wikipedia page about sculpture : Non Finito. We could begin with this.
Non finito is a sculpting technique meaning that the work is unfinished. Italian in origin, it literally means “not finished”. Non finito sculptures appear unfinished because the artist only sculpts part of the block, the figure sometimes appearing to be stuck within the block of material.
An unfinished piece of Art can be caused by the death of the artist, obviously, but now it’s also an esthetics purpose. You can imagine many ways of reading it :
- Showing you a little of the act of creation
- A failure, fatigue
- No more money/no more inspiration
- A refusal to decide it is “done”
- A way to say it could be improved indefinitely
- Impossibility to find perfection
- Something finished or “too beautiful” is exhausting, disagreeable
- It makes the audience think and wander within the “what could have happened”
In some fields, the “never finished” thing is constant : there are, for example, no finished Cathedrals in France. And I should explore it about Orson Welles, for example, who constantly seemed to be away and off with the idea of finishing and editing a movie.
Of course, there are problems with that concept. The “unfinished” thing can make the artist appear as a smart-ass doing is “non finito” thing. If it’s a trend to do this, what’s the point?
“This can be finished later” : some composers (or theater plays writers) constantly work on their stuff, and Proust, the French writer, is well known for his “quillings” : he added and added hundreds of little papers, adding fragments of texts to the existing text, and, as says Wikipedia : Proust died before he was able to complete his revision of the drafts and proofs of the final volumes.
In fact, it’s difficult for an artist to know, therefore to decide, when a piece of art is DONE. Some artists, like the painter Turner, decided to come back to work after a long time, and to put it further. Thus, you can finish is… many times.
Of course, this makes you think about the way it’s done. You can work back on a poem, even on a movie, but it’s harder to do it on an album – I read an interview of Peter Gabriel who was telling that he would love to redo some of his CDs. It can be remixed, remastered, but the record companies would unlikely allow him to change them really.
Mike Oldfield did it with Tubular Bells. He said in an hilarious interview that the original album was full of mistakes and flaws, so he redid it completely with a perfect sound and digital recording. Decades after the 1973 one, the new version was a success, but after a few months, the good old one was back on the shelves…
Tools & Dials :
What about YOUR art? How do you blog? How do you write? When do you know it’s over? Do you ask someone? Do you think about it if you paint?
Thanks for reading!
(So sorry for my bad English)
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