Art is never finished, only abandoned

Can we ever call a work finished? Leonardo Da Vinci said no; rather, we just abandon. We speak with artists who decide when an artwork is complete.

There’s a popular quote you’ve likely heard before, ‘Art is never finished, only abandoned’, attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci.

In one sense, it suggests an aliveness in the act of creating a work that many artists, writers, and creatives would recognise. In another, it asks us to question what we even mean by finished in the first place and how contexts and the reception of an artists work changes.

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Brooke Boland
About the Author
Brooke Boland is a freelance writer based on the South Coast of NSW. She has a PhD in literature from the University of NSW. You can find her on Instagram @southcoastwriter.