Monday, March 12, 2012

artist statements: why bother?

I fully admit that artist statements are not my favorite thing to do. I get  it. I want to make art, why do I need to talk about it, too? This weekend two artist statement related things (ASRT)happened.

I had a deadline to submit an artist statement for an upcoming show in Chicago. This is different for me because I am making a piece that will be included in an installation with 14 other area artists. I am making the letter I in the statement YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL

That's right, I'm putting the I in beautiful.

The tricky part of writing the artist statement for this piece is...uh, I haven't actually started making it. yet. I will soon. really. soon. really. I have a whole month before I have to deliver it, so I actually have plenty of time. I've thought a lot about it, and that's a good start. More on that in a future post. In the meantime, I sent a generic artist statement.

The second ASRT is I am now curating pop up galleries for my home town. (yay! I'm very excited about this. The more opportunities for artist to show their work and for the public to view art, the better.) To this end, I've been contacting artists that have previously expressed interest. I have asked for artists to send me a resume, artist statement and 6 jpgs. This is standard stuff.

So far three artists said they don't have resumes. One artist, a digital photographer, doesn't know what jpgs are or how to get his photos into his computer. And one artist sent me this:
I do not have a “style” or a “series” of paintings… I have no interest in constant repetition or doing variations of the same concept... for me that does not promote creativity and fresh ideas… I am here to create not to try and see how large my cash value will reach… that will take care of itself.
sigh. The point of an artist statement is to inform the viewer, to give a little bit of extra information. What drives you? Why do you do what you do? What inspires you? What media do you use, and why?

Unless your work is about money, images of money, the mortgage meltdown, the financial crisis, or the recession, you don't need to mention cash. Your artist statement isn't a bill of goods and services. This artist statement says: "I might be a painter. I don't care."  If you don't care, why should anyone else? Why bother?

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