What is an Artist’s Statement?
Many times on different art sites, or when talking about an exhibition, I have been asked to incorporate an artists statement with my work.
When I first started out I was nonplussed…. a What??
Asking people pays dividends when there is something you do not understand and so it was in my case….except, I got many different responses. Most were wrong.
So here is what i conceive an artists statement to be, after years of showing my work.
An artist’s statement is the piece that tells people about a work or body of work. It is that work, or collections description. It is the what, why and how. It helps a viewer understand the concept behind the work.
The statement should not consist of long arty farty words, but be simple enough for a layman to understand. You are writing for buyers and not for other artists.
How have you created the work people are looking at? What medium are you using?
What kind of images are they? Seascapes? Animal photography? What is it?
Why are you making this kind of work? What was in your head when you created it? Are you making it for a specific reason, such as political, religious, etc? Is there a cause involved? Or is it something just close to your heart? Why? Keep this short and simple.
One of my favourite Artist Statements is on this page, http://www.poppishop.com/
poppi adds a splash of color to jeans or an extra spark to ignite a little black dress; heck, it’ll even brighten up a trip to the grocery store. if nothing else, it’s a statement.
poppi laughs. poppi flirts. poppi screams. poppi says it all without you saying a thing.
I love this as it paints a picture of the work before you have even seen it. It is a happy quote. The work feels happy before looking and, most important, it makes you want to look! (go on take a peek)
The most important about this example is how short it is. You did not get bored reading it. It is not a long list of achievements and tuition on how to do the work. It tells you quickly what it is, why it is and how it is without any boring bits. It captures other artists and buyers alike, no matter where your skill levels lie.
So to recap.
- Keep it short!
- Do not tell people what they should be seeing in the work
- Do not lecture
- Do not list awards
- Have a different statement per body/image
I hope this helps
We are a collection of artists, photographers, writers, who like to share our knowledge, or stories, or art.From life through to tips and tricks, we will share it all.
Will you join us?