A piece of art is never truly finished. It always has the potential to change and be different than it was before or even transform into an entirely new thing. Recently I went with some friends to a pottery studio where customers can choose a pre-made piece of pottery, paint it, and get it fired in a kiln. I was delighted by the transformation of colour that took place in the kiln's heating process.
The clay gnome was made by a potter (or a mold in a factory, which was designed by a potter), sold by a vendor, painted by me, and fired in kiln by a potter. One piece of art involves many people! Even a painting requires paint, which is made by some people somewhere else who are part of a process of creating art.
Like any object of art (and indeed, any object can become art), this gnome could further change. I could Photoshop features of photos of the gnome, or if the gnome breaks I could put the fragments together into a collage, etc. Art doesn't have to 'die' and be discarded. Though I hope my gnome doesn't break.