an image of an elevator door [View Image]
An artist statement is a professional document that briefly introduces your work to an audience. It should be seen as a supportive element to your artwork where you can reflect on process and purpose. You should revisit this document every couple of months to keep it current and relevant.
The purpose may vary considerably based on where the work will be presented and for whom.
There are three basic functions of an artist statement:
Depending on your targeted audience, the artist statement may look different. A good artist statement is accessible and provides your audience with your insides when you cannot be present with your work. It creates opportunity, whether that be for personal reflection, potential employment, or gallery exhibition. Therefore, the content must resonate with the target audience's mission, values, and needs.
Imagine yourself in an elevator with a billionaire art dealer or your all time favorite artist. How would you pitch yourself to them in 60 seconds?
The following is an example outline. Not all artist statements will be organized in this way, but this can be a starting place if you're stuck.
Paragraph 1: Discuss yourself as an artist and your work as a whole. Consider your influences, the medium, themes, typical subject matter, and concepts expressed in your art.
Paragraph 2: Describe the process, style, and materials of your art in relation to the concept.
Paragraph 3: Explain how one of your pieces relates back to your work in general (the meaning, goals, etc.)
... to think about when getting started:
... to think about as you write and revise:
Using art jargon and overusing art theory
Starting your statement with "In my current work"