Regardless of what your artistic medium is...it appears that an "artist statement" is nearly a requirement for every artists' portfolio. I have been doing lots of reading of various books and articles on what I need to do to get my art out into the world. I know I have a voice worth hearing; it's just a matter of continuing to hone my skills as a ceramic sculptor and preparing for when the day comes that I feel I am good enough to apply for an exhibition.
I have asked several clay buddies on their views of artist statements, and the views of them are as diverse as the subject matter. Some have several different statements based on the themes of different series'. Some despise them and refuse to give in to industry norms. And still others range somewhere between the two extremes. Me? I think I'm in the middle. Do I feel like I need an artist statement for my dragon pieces? Most likely not. They are just fun and whimsical. But for my statement pieces, like Lady Liberty? Likely. Most of the general public may not be able to relate or understand my point of view, and an artist statement explaining where I am coming from can only serve to enhance the viewers' experiences when viewing the piece.
So how did I finally end up being able to write my generic artist statement? I read many different artist statements from many different artists of all different kinds of mediums. I also read the articles available on ArtBusiness.Com (EXCELLENT resource, by the way). Then I read....and re-read the very first artist statement I wrote over a year ago. As I read it, I realized it read more like a biography than an artist statement. So rather than try to edit it...I scrapped it and started over. It's still fairly generic, encompassing where my inspirations are at present, 2014. And I may choose to include a small narrative with my statement pieces WHEN (not if) I get into galleries and exhibitions. But at least now, I feel that I have a more professional looking statement that says more than my "biography". (You can read my artist statement HERE)
I have found that it is important to catch the readers' attention, to pull them in so they are enticed to continue to look through your gallery of images (on your website if you have one), but not to reveal TOO much information. Too much information can be just as bad if not worse than too little. I am by no means finished learning, and I know I shall continue to critique not only my art, but the business side of things; the CV (which I have yet to start...that's next on my list), my artist statement, and my portfolio. But if this has helped anyone in any way, this too shall be a success. :)
What are YOUR thoughts on artist statements? Are the a necessary evil for us artists? How do you approach them? Looking forward to your thoughts and feedback!