How to write an Artist Statement


What should be in an artist's statement? There is no right or wrong here. However, we tend to think of artist's statements from a point of view of letting the viewer understand what you were attempting, seeing or implementing.

Your artist's statement will be placed next to your hung work. From a gallery's perspective, an artist statement should help the viewer linger longer on your work, see the genius of it, connect with the same feeling that you were experiencing when you created it, and understand your method or your insanity.

So take the viewer into your head. How long should an artist statement be? Long enough for the viewer to understand you, but not so long to bore them.

Some things to possibly add to make it interesting:
  • • Where you grew up? ("I grew up in rural Illinois and spent my youth climbing trees and getting close to nature.")
  • • Where you trained? ("I have a BFA from Harvard University.")
  • • How and why you became an artist? ("I became an artist after an intense interest  for many years looking at insects.")
  • • Did you or do you currently have another career?("My other job is working as a scientist at JPL.")
  • • Why you use the medium that you use? ("Charcoals and pastels intrigue me because of the way they blend and merge.")
  • • What different techniques you like to use and why? ("I often will work monochromatically, but sometimes I will emerge into color .")
  • • How you saw your art internally before creating it? ("I was struck by the light on the fence and saw how the birds moved around it. I wanted to show how nature creates a vortex from the simplest objects.")
  • • How you or others respond to it? ("Many people see just a bird dying, but I see how society has killed him.")
  • • Is there a social, political, or personal statement you are trying to make? ("Society creates garbage that doesn't break down and hence, creates pollution and toxic waste. This is killing our animals, and ultimately ourselves.")
  • • Mention something quirky about yourself. ("I ride a bike and I wear red shoes everyday.")