Exhibiting artists are sometimes asked to supply an “Artist’s Statement”. This is a document between 1 and 5 paragraphs in length introducing them as an artist, and explaining why and how you make your art. It may pertain to a particular work, or to the artist’s entire body of work.
Here is the “AS” I submitted for a show I’m participating in in Westfield, NJ next month:
Photography has always been very personal to me. I use it not just to document but also to explore the world around me and record those experiences to share with others. My unique perspective is shaped by interests as diverse as geology, drag racing, and steampunk. I don’t limit my photography to specific genres or styles. Instead, I let each experience speak to me in its own way. Topics I have covered extensively in the past include farm life, abstracts, and motorsports.
Not too fru-fru,, right?
Some artists ramble on at length for 4 or 5 paragraphs about their inspirations and how it SO affected them and what that did to their frontal cortex, blah blah blah… For me, short and sweet seals the deal.
For those wishing to (or required to) give longer prose about contextual this-and-that, there’s some easy ways to do it:
- Plagiarize someone else’s
- Make up a bunch of convoluted sentence about how you are SO talented, how you are SO affected by your experiences, and how your work is SO pushing the boundaries of modernism/post-modernism/experimental/abstraction/etc.
- Let someone else create it for you.
Artybollocks Generator (http://www.artybollocks.com/#abg_full) – This site provides a more tongue-in-cheek take on Artist’s Statements than does 500 Letters. There’s even an option to create Statements for Twitter and produce your very own Artist Certificate, perfecting for framing to show that you are indeed a certified artist.
500 Letters (http://500letters.org/form_15.php) – Enter in some basic biographical information, check off a few boxes about your favored mediums and themes, and the system then generates your own Artist’s Statement. Like Artybollocks, you can keep refreshing the screen to generate new variations of the statement. There are also several dozen example statements inside the right sidebar which you can also peruse and draw inspiration from. Perfect for someone who likes/needs long-winded statements.
I haven’t used either site for an actual Artist’s Statement (yet) but it’s very tempting.