Shop Talk

Open Discussion: Do You Ever Destroy Your Artwork?

Every few years, many artists I know abandon artwork and either toss it out, or completely destroy it in a theatrical burn-a-thon as a sign that their direction or style has changed. Do you see this destruction of work as a cathartic, cleansing process that signals change, or a fiery artistic re-becoming?

Or do you get the heebie-jeebies when you think of destroying original artworks? Does the potential for great loss, and missed artwork mean you’ll never throw out early sketches or rough drafts no matter how how outdated (or potentially embarrassing) they might be.

Let’s have an Open Discussion about this in the comments below.

"Deliberation" by Mario Sánchez Nevado

I think this topic also has something to do with asking us to consider what we value. For me, I wouldn’t burn or throw out my artwork, because I value it highly and think it’s a violent act against something I’ve cared for and created. Is this really a value judgement? Or is this a precious notion?

Do you ever destroy your work? Do you know someone who does? What do you think?

Let us know in the comments below.