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 . . .
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.