View Full Version : artist's statement... does it work?
12-04-2000, 10:55 PM
Statement of Intent
I'm a painter, not a politician. I don't have a brief, a precedent, or
arguments; I only have the complements of aquamarine against cadmium orange, fingertips that mate with color and brush in furious demand. There is no simple telling, no final statement of what drives any artist, only the raucous, incomprehensible ramblings of how a color washes into the heart and unfolds itself with winged impertinence; only a form, preoccupied and belligerent, kaleidoscopic. In the midst of this vibrant, euphoric color, there is woman and man; creeping consciousnesses, sometimes terrified, sometimes brave, but always reaching out to another. Discord and dualism, harmony and anomaly, severity and grace are hand in hand; passion is the destination and the origin. So, we see the story of the circles again.
We invent. Our capacity for language far surpasses the tongue's duty to words -- eyes, brows, upturned chins and hands, wringing, fraught, caught kissing. Laugh lines, crow's feet and love handles, the body speaks. This I paint, the daily motions in true color, emotional color. My figures are actual, what composes them is abstract, and all my work is an essay of the quantum level where these premises meet. (The sweeping groove of let go, follow through and hope to land hand in hand with meticulous, fine-lined exactness. I am a romantic, it shows.)
My paintings gravitate into several orbits; fantastical beings, sleeping beauties, the crestfallen and afflicted, the out and out electric. Legends find their way back in through me -- van Gogh, Rodin, Euridice, Persephone, Bacon, Klimt, and Perseus. So you see the circles.
Is this ok for an Artist's Statement, do you think? I'm working on getting into galleries, and would appreciate your thoughts...
12-06-2000, 03:03 PM
I think this is a little heavy on vague poetics and light on specificity. Don't use floweriy or airy-fairy language. It doesn't impress or tell anybody anything. Be specific as to what your after in a painting. If you are an abstractinist you might be after an interweaving of color and the appearance of a shallow space. You might state who studied with or an artist you admire and why. Is your work inspired by Nature? You really need to think about specifics and be plain spoken. Most or of your potential customers are not artists and artspeak will mean nothing to them.
12-06-2000, 03:58 PM
I gotta agree with Davida. I don't know much about artists' statements, but this, to me, was a lot of work to read. If I were strolling through a gallery, I would not have read past the third sentence.
Not that it's bad -- just difficult, and that might work against you.
12-06-2000, 08:02 PM
Ditto to above posts. Be factual and specific about your background and your goals as an artist. Your post seems almost like a 60's flower child, defiance statement. Please don't be offended.
12-06-2000, 11:41 PM
thanks for being honest, all, my husband agrees with you in that the time and place are not right for this type of prose. Here is my original, which was written in the spirit that you all seem to be reccommending ... what do you think of this one?
My paintings are about the efforts and emotions of people. I find the forms and features to be eloquent and revealing, beautiful and heartbreaking; it is these attributes that I desire to represent in my work, which is firmly based in vibrant color and bold line work. Drawing and printmaking were my initial interests, and I have pulled these into the realm of paints. On the whole, my watercolors are sojourns into chaos, using abstract shapes and patterns as an underpainting for my drawings. On the 'drawings' I use a variety of media; markers, colored pencils, crayons and charcoal to name a few. I am continually experimenting with new tools and ideas. The figures of my watercolors are largely imaginary, and often surreal in some way; distorted figures, winged creatures, and over-sized eyes.
My acrylic paintings are based more on natural figures done from life. I choose unusual compositions, filling as much space as possible with the figure. I use mostly limited palettes with these paintings and keep the backgrounds either very flat and neutral or very full of motion and color, usually still abstract. Many of my acrylics' titles are inspired from Greek mythology, I understand the drive behind the art of that time. It is the same drive of the romantic poets, to create and glorify beauty; it is my drive, too.
I am a student of paint. It is life I am living for. Man and woman are more than a symbol in a painting, they are you, me, our lovers. I paint the moments and flickers between us, the unending story of our gestures …
Much better, reads very fluid and with a purpose.Gives a great picture of what you`re after and gives us a glimpse over your shoulder by letting some one in on what tools and ideas you use to arrive at the final picture.The first one reads like someone not sure of what they are trying to say and if they are not sure then the average public has no clue,but the second one is fine maybe a little long but it`s fine.
Proverbs 12:14 From the lips a man is filled with good thing`s as surely as the work of his hand`s rewards him
12-07-2000, 07:59 AM
12-08-2000, 06:37 AM
Much, much better! I think it still needs a little more polishing but its a much more informative statement than before. You say a few things that really require explanation and rather than expound on those maybe you should cut them to keep the statement short and to the point. For, example saying your compositions are unusual might require your explaining why.
If you can distill this down to one concise paragraph that's even better. You still don't want to explain everything because the viewer can then fill in the rest. People like to be a part of the art by being able to find their own meanings.
[This message has been edited by artwoman1 (edited December 08, 2000).]
12-08-2000, 06:04 PM
I like this one lots better, Jeanette. Agree that shorter would be better.
12-09-2000, 01:17 PM
thank you all so much for your support ... I will tighten this one up a bit. I have a BIG tendency toward the eccentric and obtuse, you're help gave me a lot of clarity about how I should approach talking about my art to other people. Thank you again!
12-22-2000, 11:38 AM
My artist statement takes a somewhat different approach. Rather than describing the artwork, which after all, is right there next to the statement, I explain a bit about my process (airbrush), my education, various shows I've attended, awards, etc.
These are things that can't be determined from a careful inspection of my work.
I briefly mention why I was attracted to science fiction, and why I find it a valid subject for 'fine art', but that's as far as that goes.
Synthetic Sky Studios
Science Fiction Fine Art
12-22-2000, 01:24 PM
Originally posted by Keith Russell:
Rather than describing the artwork, which after all, is right there next to the statement
That's a very good point, Keith.
12-22-2000, 05:43 PM
The artist's statement should be about you and your work...what makes it special for you...why you do it...that sort of statement. It should be fairly short and to the point...not so technical that a non-artist needs an art dictionary to decipher...but not so laid back that it seems unprofessional either.
You've got the essence of what you want to say...now just think it in less time...and write it with less wording.
and I do think the statement can be just as important as the bio...maybe more so since my bio is about three lines...lol.
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