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News from the Self-Representing Artists Community
Alyson Stanfield urges you to Shake things up with another Artist Statement
From Alyson's weekly newsletter:
I'm going to muddy the waters a bit and tell you that you might (gasp!) need more than one artist statement. Before you panic with the thought of writing even more about your work, let me assure you that it's often easier to break down what you have to say into separate statements than it is to try to fit everything in one document. After reading a share of artist statements that is more than fair, I have found that the weakest statements are those that try to cover many different works that have little in common. There are two remedies for this. 

1) Do a little soul searching to figure out what one body of work has in common with another body of work. This often takes time and discussion with other people. What is the thread that holds these seemingly disparate works together? Sometimes it's there; sometimes it's not. When that common thread is there, define it clearly for viewers of your art. When it's not there . . . 

2) Write two or more statements to go along with two or more bodies of work. These don't have to be dissertations. In fact, they shouldn't be. They should be short and to the point.
When you submit work for an exhibit or gallery, use the statement that goes along with your selection. When you have work on your Web site, you aren't bound to having one statement. Break up your pages of images to go along with each statement. It only makes sense! If I'm looking at works from Picasso's Rose period, I'd be dumbfounded if the words beside the images went along with his Cubist paintings.

Know This . . .
You might need more than one artist statement.

Think About This . . .
In trying to say too much, does your artist statement end up saying nothing? Could it easily apply to another artist's work?

Do This . . .
Shake things up by adding another statement. When you have a new body of work, old words rarely will do. It's time to find new words to go along with the new work.

Copyright 2007 Alyson B. Stanfield. Alyson takes the mystery out of marketing your art and making more money as an artist. Visit
http://www.ArtBizCoach.com to get articles just like this one delivered to your inbox. 

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5 comments or Leave a comment
From: toucanne Date: October 15th, 2007 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Do a little soul searching to figure out what one body of work has in common with another body of work. This often takes time and discussion with other people."

Good point. It is always easier to be objective with other people's work than one's own. You see it more clearly. I have as much difficulty as anyone to write my statements, but I often see what others could/should have said in theirs. If anyone would like to pair up with me to look at each other's work, comment and come up with better statements, please let me know.
wickedgillie From: wickedgillie Date: November 15th, 2007 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Working with another artist is a great way to hone those analytical skills as well as get a fresh perspective on your own work!

Edited at 2007-11-15 04:16 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 19th, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Do you have an EYE for ART?

I would like to invite you to participate in an exciting research conducted by MIT and ArtForecast.
The research examines the myth of the term “Eye for Art” by presenting a set of artworks images to various participants.
Participants are challenged to choose the most promising artwork out of a given set and to try to predict which artwork will be the most valuable in one year.
I would greatly appreciate your assistance by telling others about this unique and exciting research.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 15th, 2007 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Total beginner

Don't laugh. Well... you can if you want to, who am I to say? How many works should you have under your belt before you attempt to write an "artist statement". If feel really intimidated by this, but I do want to get my work "out there" at some point. UGH!

wickedgillie From: wickedgillie Date: November 15th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Total beginner

Mechelle, I don't think there's a "magic" number for the pieces of art under your belt. My personal philosophy is to write a brief statement for every piece you do (particularly if you have them online since your artist statements are how your work is found in the age of the text-driven search engines) and then look at the commonality of what you're writing for each. Chances are, you will have the beginnings of what your art is about.
5 comments or Leave a comment