Artworks, like artists, have lives of their own. These lives are not always free from incidents, however, and many artworks end up worn or damaged in some way. With spots of mold, torn edges, holes, and tidelines from water damage, this artwork serves as an example of the colorful lives that artworks may go through.
Does this damage make it worthless, or is it more interesting to see the marks of its history?
If you could erase the damage, would you?
Why This Piece Was Chosen
As an audience, we are rarely able to see artworks that aren’t in the best possible condition. Works may undergo conservation treatment to stabilize, hide, or repair damage. Those that can’t be conserved to an adequate degree may not be shown at all, fearing they are too fragile. Yet, within the damage of this piece lies a story, and acknowledges how curators, historians, conservators, and viewers may view the same piece of art very differently.