In I’d Rather Be in the Studio I lay out guidelines for your artist statement, where I say that my litmus test for an effective artist statement is that it compels people to look at your art.
Think about it: What good is your statement if people only read it and then move on to the next label, the next statement, the next page, or the next artist?
You want more eyeballs on the art!
If you’re not using your statement as a way to engage viewers with the art, you’re missing an opportunity.
Most people do not have a visual education. They are not taught how to look at and appreciate art. Your statement can do this job without being too elementary or condescending.
Every time you teach people how to look at your art, you empower them. You give them confidence to spend more time with the work and to go to a deeper level.
Artist Statement Examples
These are excerpts from artist statements that can be found on their sites. See how they direct you back to the work.
I incorporate the art of blacksmithing in my pieces to give them eye appealing embellishments: the handmade scrolls on the bodice of a dress, the butterflies on a hat, or the crossed fingers of hand behind a woman’s back. – Victoria Ross Patti
- Look for scrolls, butterflies, and other details.
Every painting starts with a grid. The vertical and horizontal lines calm my active brain and provide a structure on which to work. – Dora Ficher
- Look for the structure of the grid.
I fabricate with steel from old tin cans, toys and signs and also use them as a source for color, images, and text. These utilitarian objects have their own histories that speak to the passage of time seen through fading paint, scratches and rust. – Marlene True
- Look for recognizable tin and worn surfaces.
Do you have a similar example from your statement? I invite you to leave an excerpt and a link to the entire statement in a comment here.