Minimum Length: 300 words
Your artist statement should reference your body of work this year and how your Techniques (Media Art Elective) Class informed your work. Your Artist Statement must be featured in your final portfolio photobook. Please proofread before printing.
What is an artist statement?
An artist statement is text that accompanies and explains the artist’s intentions of their body of work. A strong artist statement supplements the visual information in a portfolio or exhibition so that the reader/viewer can better understand it. Your artist statement should stand on its own so that the reader can imagine what your work looks like even if they have not seen it. length of an artist statement An artist statement generally ranges between 100 – 300 words.*
A longer artist statement might describe a large body of work, accompany an exhibition or be used by curators, journalists, publicists, and critics A shorter artist statement might be used to address very specific information about your body of work, and can be used as an introduction to documents or applications A super-short artist statement, or “elevator speech” should be more-or-less memorized, so you can clearly articulate to viewers what your work is about, both verbally and in writing
*NOTE: always follow all application instructions. If an application asks for a 500 word artist statement – do what they say!
DOs and DON’Ts
• DO write a strong, compelling statement that connects the viewer to your work
• DO develop a strong first sentence
• DO keep it as short as possible
• DO focus on topics that may not be apparent from viewing your work
• DON’T use ‘artspeak’, overly flowery or pretentious language, or art jargon
• DON’T try to impress the reader with vocabulary or extensive knowledge of art criticism
• DON’T announce what the viewer should feel, just clearly express what you have accomplished
Exercise/Q & A: The best way to get started with an artist statement is to begin writing about your work in a 10-minute brainstorming session.
Do it quickly, and don’t worry particularly about grammar or word-smithing. There is no structure or format to this. Just write or type everything that comes to mind about the piece. some questions to get you started:
• What does it look like? (Size, colors, shapes, textures, light, objects, relationships, etc.) Make your description visual.
• What inspired the piece and/or where does the impetus for the piece come from, personally speaking?
• Talk about the work from a conceptual, thematic, and/or emotional point of view
• Is there a central or guiding image or idea?
• What are its different elements and how do they affect each other or interact?
• What kind of materials did you use/are you using to create the work? Why?
• What was the process of development for the work?
• How does the work use space/relate to the surrounding space? What would be the ideal space in which to exhibit or present the work?
• How does this work fit into the overall flow of your development as an artist?
• Where does it fit into (or relate to) your awareness of other contemporary work?
SAMPLE ARTIST STATEMENT
I began using a typewriter for its obvious function- to record my thoughts and ideas. Communicating is a crucial yet constant struggle for me. The more I typed, the more the letters and words on the pages began to take on a new function, a new language. My discovery of this new language created with my typewriter and paper was one made up of patterns and grids formed by punctuation marks: commas, colons, apostrophes, and brackets. It was as if the typewriter was experiencing a breakdown, and this breakdown was my breakthrough. I had discovered a new way to communicate. There is an endless source of information that can be created through a limited use of materials: paper and a typewriter. I became, and am still, intrigued by this process. -Allyson Strafella (Taken from The Artist’s Guide by Jackie Battenfield)