Recently it was brought to my attention that I need to write an artist's statement, so I may include it with bio and portfolio when applying for shows, grants and residencies, etc.
He who smelled it- dealt it...
You: "An artist statement?"
"Pompous Bastard" by Tanner Morrow
If you are not familiar with this type of thing, let's investigate it together...
One man describes it as thus: "Artist statements are simple descriptions of intent taken over by a literary form of cancer."
Nice, no? Does not make me want to take the task on.
And another person agrees: "Unless an artist statement is kept real short or is to describe some process method, I would just as soon not have to read what is usually a philosophical description that is so full of BS its hard for me to not stick my finger down my throat and vomit after doing so. Let the viewer decide what ‘statement’ any artwork makes."
No wonder I have not done this in all these years! EEK!
When I was working at the art supply shop, we would read the artist statements in the Artsy Fartsy magazines, often taking turns pompously dictating them in funny false foreign voices. Sheer bullshit. (The portraits of the artists were often equally as rediculous.)
One painter shares this with us:
"My work is inspired by the natural world. Its beauty and its cruelty. Its hostility and its hospitality. Its paradoxes and its contrasts. When looking at nature, one can't help but see its destruction at the hands of humans. It is virtually impossible to find unspoiled nature. Our planet's ecological balance has been severely compromised, and phenomena such as global warming and the deterioration of the ozone layer affect every inch of the planet. I feel strongly that each of us must use the tools at our disposal to preserve and restore the natural world. As an artist, I employ visual language to address these issues with the goal of awakening interest and inspiring my audience to action. I also work with groups such as the IPCC (Irish Peatland Conservation Council), and biologists, to learn more about each series' subject in order to better understand and communicate its essence. Those who cannot be reached by depressing news about the dire state of our world may be reached by images of its beauty (Ansel Adams successfully showed this) and the threat imposed on it. Art has the power to make one see things in a new light. It allows us to develop a love for places and things that we would otherwise not have noticed, or thought of as ugly or boring. It helps us discover the beauty of the ocean floor, the dirt that is bog, the bark of a tree."
The woman goes on:
"Rather than re-creating a landscape on a canvas, I aim to express its essence. Obviously, no single work can hope to distill the complex spirit of a landscape, much less the infinitely sophisticated ecology that sustains it. So, in order to capture this richness, I work on a large number of paintings concurrently. This allows me to transport strong elements and effective techniques from one piece to the next. Each multi-layered rendering shares some details with the other works in the series. The overlap of elements enriches each individual expression and deepens the cohesion within the series. Ultimately, each piece captures some fragment of the landscape's power until the larger body of work coalesces to express its deepest essence."
I stopped reading after the first sentence, honestly. I did not even look at her paintings based on my adverse reaction.
This above statement unfortunately is the norm- thankfully, there are exceptions. But they are difficult to find. I want to cavort among the latter. Duh. But if one's statement precedes their art being viewed, then you had better make an impact, using honesty and character.
~ INTERLUDE ~
The following images were examples of "Art Snob"a'la the Google:
Kids are the worst Art Snobs EVER!
I call her Paris
AXOLOTL is the Snobbiest!
So, how do I share/bare my intent with an outsider, without sounding boring or snooty like everyone else? Obviously one must play the dang game to get the carrot, no? I know that speaking from the heart/core is important, but I am slightly clueless otherwise.