This time we’ll be covering the issue of the artist’s statement. Part one will deal with why it’s important to write one. Part two will cover how to write one.
Why It’s Important To Write An Artist’s Statement for each Artwork.
From the viewer’s perspective, a little bit of insight as to what your piece is about makes the difference between the blank expression and the “Ohhhh, I see” reaction. Basically you help your audience (whether an art collector, or art enthusiast, or the average individual) understand your artwork and garner a respect for your vision and technique. You want to help your viewers grasp a concept, idea or influence that is central to the work you make. Contrary to popular belief it isn’t necessary that an artist be misunderstood. No amount of confusing obfuscation will get you an audience.
When you write an artist’s statement, the more you can tell your audience about the piece, the more the art viewer gains in terms of a sense of who you are and what your work is about. This is especially helpful because when an art viewer gains a mental attachment to your piece, when they can relate to it, discuss it or form an opinion about it, your name, and your artwork becomes more and more ingrained in their memories.
In the case of the Solo Art Exhibition, your artist’s statement ties together all your pieces. In other words, you let the art patron know how all your art pieces in your solo relate to each other under the title you gave the exhibition. If you have a specific theme in mind, or you work with a philosophy that drives your art, the artist’s statement is a great tool to help reveal and explain it.
Additionally, if you purposefully want to leave the meaning of your artwork vague, or if you want to give the art viewer a nudge in the general direction you want them to think, it’s important to let the viewer know that their interpretation of your piece is welcome. That way you don’t antagonize them by coming off as aloof or creating frustration.
By using the artist statement to inform the art patron that you welcome interpretation or that you have a specific vision, you are opening doors for discussions about your art. When your art is discussed on a level deeper than it’s visual value, you can be sure it struck a chord with the audience viewing it.