The Art of Unfinished Art

If you explore books, quotes, articles about Art, you always meet the concept of “finished/unfinished“.

And this is what you find :

ONE

A whole lot of “simple” authors who seem to have common sense and think Art is like a normal part of society. They all say that a piece of Art must be finished :

  • “Never show unfinished work.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  • “Behind unfinished art cries an unfinished artist.” – Terri Guillemets
  • “Finish the work, otherwise an unfinished work will finish you.” ― Amit Kalantri
  • “I know the sag of the unfinished poem. And I know the release of the poem that is finished.” – Mary Oliver

This sounds very good, right? It’s very satisfying. Everything must be finished, otherwise the world goes to chaos…

TWO

Another whole lot of artists, of course, say the contrary. Suddenly it becomes interesting :

  • “I always believed that my work should be unfinished in the sense that I encourage people to add their creativity to it, either conceptually or physically.” – Yoko Ono
  • “When I’m playing, I’m never through. It’s unfinished. I like to find a place to leave for someone else to finish it. That’s where the high comes in.” – Miles Davis
  • “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  • Put your energy into ‘finishing’ – and you’re missing your next great painting. (J.R. Baldini)
  • In talking about the necessity to finish a thing, we said American painters finish a thing that looks unfinished, and the French, they finish it. I have seen Matisses that were more unfinished and yet more finished than any American painters. Matisse was obviously in a terrific emotion at the time and he was more unfinished than finished. (William Baziotes)
  • I don’t like finished things, because finished is over, dead. (Norbert Bisky)
  • To the impressionist, the work was finished, no matter how casual the execution, when the idea was completely realized on the canvas. (Richard J. Boyle)
  • How do you complete a painting, really? There are paintings by so many different artists that are interesting precisely because they haven’t really been completed. (Peter Doig)

 

Many masterpieces are unfinished : symphonies and cathedrals, Proust “La Recherche”, but most of modernity artists and thinkers know that finishing a work is killing it, it masks the work, the soul…

I found dozens more quotes. Each one could lead to an article…

What do you think?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Cf Non Finito : Inchoateness in Art

 

 

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Bastien Vives, French comic book artist

Bastien Vives is a Type. I use his work here to talk about these artists, who are :

Fast. Talented. Minimalist.

Economy of means is fascinating. As you see, a hair (or a face) is made of a few lines. No need for eyes sometimes. It says something, it showsonly what is needed, it also shows also an attitude : let’s be fast, casual, and genuine.

I wonder who I’d put into this splendid basket : Musicians? Movie directors? Writers? Do you have an idea?

Thanks for reading!

 

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One-Lined Ideas for Writers, Part II

The suites of transformations you need to express things, respecting the conditions your have to respect.

You write, you read what you just wrote, in a loop. A closed balanced between you and you. A pleasure can resonate.

Pull weapons out of other people’s work – to use you own resources.

Find the person you write for – even if this person does not really exist. Golem it.

Use what is made for use. Find a drawer : open it. Break what is fragile. Push what tilts.

Try what has never be done, but appears as possible.

Your work can always been gone back over. This is your job. Find your “until”.

Try a thousand ways to write an idea until you meet a favorable words figure.

Find a force. Find where to use it. Apply a force.

At one moment you are attracted by what is needed, by what goes forward to the goal.

You dream to write, you desire to write, you call. But it’s not to be confused with the state where you MAKE.

Our most precious states are unstable – the artist answers trying to stabilize them.

What you feel. What you do. What you want to make feel.

 

All these microseeds come from Paul Valéry‘s Poietis (Poïétique). They aren’t quotes, I kneaded them for your pleasure. Have fun.

One-Lined Ideas for Writers, Part I

Thanks for reading!

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Juan Martínez Bengoechea, #painter

It’s about people in the 1920s, doing things you don’t understand, or posing like in front of an imaginary photograph. My eyebrows are moving up, that’s it! I kind of like the movement it triggers in my mind : a wonder, most of the time…

http://juanmartinezbengoechea.com/

Have a great day!

Jean-Pascal

 

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Alex Coxville, Canadian painter

Alex Coxville (1920-2013) was a Canadian painter. I like him because of the uncertain mood we often find in his work. It’s troubling but harmlessly. It’s quiet but strange. It’s daily, but like in a dream – notice his use on “there’s no shadow”. And I love his way to choose a funny point of view, hiding things we would like to see…

 

Here are 10 paintings :

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You’re great / You’re not great anymore : has your talent evaporated?

Break-ups are interesting – for this little dial.

When your lover is your lover, he (or she) admires what you do. And who you are, obviously.

You’re a great poet, a “great photographer”, a great musician, a great lecturer. “You’re great my love!”. “I love your work to much!”.

That’s cool, that’s common, that’s very invigorating : you have talent!

But after the break-up you’re not. You’re not “anymore”.

Blehhh!

You’re not that good anymore. You’re not a good photographer. You music is boring. You poems, lame. Shame on you, now! It seems that exes are exes.

Well, so what? Where’s the truth, Brady?

Your mind wonders. Your brain thinks. Your engine engines :

  • Maybe you “suddenly” are not good anymore really. You lost it!
  • Maybe he/she changed his/her mind.
  • Maybe he/she was fake from the beginning : you’ve never been good! Bim!
  • Maybe you stayed talented, gifted, but he/she won’t admit it. Pride.
  • Maybe you’re good, but he/she’s not interested now.
  • Maybe he/she found better. It’s relativism. You’re good but less good than.
  • Maybe he/she HAS to stay silent. Because.

 

What do you think? What happened?

Thanks for reading!

 

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