For the rest of the statement, try to summarize your art, and do not worry about details. The funny thing is, the chat you actually hear at a gallery opening rarely uses this language. The most important thing for artists to write is their artist statement. My work, which traverses disparate realms of object-making such as painting and performance, investigates the space between metabolism and metaphysics and the aporia inherent to such a discourse.
This makes it feel current, important, and urgent which is especially impactful when applying for grants or residencies.
The more jargon used the more the work appears insecure. These forms of writing are scattered across the contemporary art world. Academia is only one part of the art world. I want to suggest some simple things to consider when writing an artist statement. You can find preposterously complex, jargon-laden artist statements on the websites of galleries and pop-up project spaces all over the English-speaking world.
Print Email An artist statement, ideally, is a short summary that informs others about you as an artist, and leaves them wanting to know more about your art. It can greatly dictate how people view your work, whether you like it or not.
These are words that encompass big ideas but lack specificity. You must consider the remit of these different places. As a result, a way of writing about art emerged which read the way French philosophy translated into English does.
Once you have a bunch of ideas written on paper, start rearranging sentences. But we must understand how imprecise their meanings are, how easily they can be differently understood, and how tiring and boring long chains of abstract terms can be.
Leave the big technical words for answering questions from the people that understand them.
Who is your audience? What is the most unique? Make it something that makes your art stand out from the crowd. In the s, an increasing quantity of French philosophy was being translated into English, and a number of American and English universities incorporated this material into their research, reading lists and bibliographies.
But are they really necessary in your artist statement? You can use it for galleries, press mentions, portfolios, applications and submissions. Before handing the writing to an outside reader you want to sharpen the writing as much as possible.
A thesaurus is your friend. It may take a while to come up with the perfect artist statement, but once you do, the job will be well worth it.
Be modest about what you are trying to achieve: Words like ontology, epistemology and metaphysics have a meaning and a long and complicated history within philosophy. It should be a summary of you and your art. Explain your work to a child.
Some artists feel they need to embellish language to legitimize their work, but this often achieves the opposite effect.
What collides together and stands out? This is a dialect of the privileged; the elite university educated. Try to make your artist statement about your art now, not then.
Each statement should consider the context for the statement. Commonly artists say who their influences are.The signature of Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh, who would need to think about audience, sentence structure and adverbial phrases if writing his statement today. My own artist statement is six healthy sentences long.
I find that many artists hide behind verbosity, as if the more they write, the closer they can get to the truth. But if people need to read paragraph after paragraph, they might think your work can’t hold up on its own, and that is a big-time kiss of death.
Need help writing, editing, revising or expanding your artist statement? I write for artists all the time-- statements, essays, explanations, descriptions, whatever you need. Call or email [email protected] Apr 11, · Writing your statement can be a difficult process, but it is also an enormously valuable exercise as it can help you to achieve a greater understanding of yourself as an artist.
Here is a helpful guide to steer you in the right direction%(99). Artist Statements: A Quick Guide Your artist statement is a written description of your work that gives your audience deeper less successful Getting Started Writing An Artist Statement BRAINSTORM: 10 MINUTE WRITING EXERCISES 1.
Resources How to Write an Artist Statement Rachel MacFarlane Resources Tackle this necessary evil with confidence. Here are seven steps .Download