The anti art statement
I have been reading a lot of art statements lately. (Actually 213 for a juried call at the Diary Arts Center to be exact.) Most of these statements fall into one or two categories. The majority read like a bio and turn into a front row seat to the artists emotional journey through life. Alternatively, a handful are so esoteric and convoluted you can't follow along or possibly begin to see how it relates to their abstract painting of grass. And, thankfully, a few are able to provoke interest, explain perspective and provide relevancy.
I love learning about what inspires an artist and how they work. But in this compulsive, content-driven culture, most people do not read to the end and they prefer something easy to digest. For years I've advocated that artist statements should be as long as a Twitter feed. Inspiration + Process = 140 character statement. Clear, simple and to the point.
Now I’m wondering if we need them at all. I’ve worked with some very thoughtful artists that struggle with the right words for their “statement”. Their work stands on its own, inviting a reaction to an unadulterated piece of work. No written statement, just raw, pure artwork exposing you to an unfiltered view of their true expression.
It’s a beautiful thing to witness an artist that can follow each whim with the freedom of choice every step of the way, without worrying about what they are saying, just using their inspiration and process to say it.