The Unfinished Image

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is currently having a wonderful exhibition called Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible running from March 18 through September 4, 2016. I originally found out about this exhibition through a tour shown live using Facebook's new live broadcasting feature, so I was able to follow along on a short tour of the exhibition.

Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible is an exhibit surveying the idea of the "unfinished" in visual arts. Of course, many artists leave artwork unfinished and even some play with the idea of the non finito or intentionally unfinished. There is probably not a productive artist who have ever lived that have completed every single work they set out to complete in the beginning. Actually, I would think it would be sometimes hard to classify what piece of work would have simply been labeled a mistake and discarded. The work of an artist (especially a painter) is often constantly in a state of flux until the artist decides that it is finished. Photography is seemingly instant and captures a frame from a constantly moving world but a photograph can also be edited until the photographer deems it finished. Artist Jerry Uelsmann composited his images in the darkroom and has scores of images that he didn't deem worthy of displaying. Other photographers edit their images in Photoshop and digital images can be in an infinite state of flux.

The Heavens are Yours, the Earth

The Heavens are Yours, the Earth by Marlon Mayfield

The image above is what I would call non finito or intentionally unfinished. I wanted it to be left with an unfinished aesthetic. The process I used to make it involved making an exposure with a pinhole camera over a transparency. If you get a chance like the Metropolitan Museum of Art Facebook page. They have tons of interesting posts and live broadcasts.

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