Writing an Artist Statement

Words are powerful.



When a buyer is looking at your work what are they thinking? Consider how the work makes them feel. Can you imagine looking at your own work and put yourself in a collectors or buyers shoes. The artist's statement will not only change the way they see your artwork but help guide their feelings for it as well. A statement can change the entire meaning of an artwork.


Marlene Dumas said "I paint because I am a dirty women". As the artist's statement of a very well known painter. It is brief, perhaps too brief, but at the same time now that I've put that in your head good luck trying to get it out. Thats why a one-line statement can be extremely successful. That statement is also engaging, humorous and aggressive as well. Of course she could have written more about her work, but for the purpose of most artists' statements in websites, and even exhibits, this works.


Most artists struggle so much with their statements. The most important thing is to be engaging. You want something that will grab someones attention, like your writing the headline of tomorrows news story. Some people advise that you hire a professional writer. We are saying you don't need the fancy people, just write! Write something that someone without an art background might understand.


Another type of artsit's statement is the bio one that often includes a traumatic experience in the artist's life. One that tells the story of a very personal and traumatic experience that helps the audience to understand the artist's work.


You can also go fiction with it and make up your own story. Begin to create a myth about yourself that is a fictional story that is mixed with the truth. Its simply to get the attention of the person you are showing work to or the gallery that you are showing to. No matter which it is, it is important to make yourself stand out and look different from others in this competitive market.


Now is the fun part! Start writing, have fun with it and remember it could be short or mix fact with fiction. Oh, and you can also write something sincere and real just don't make it boring and all about the history of art. Think engaging and fun to read. It is ok to be weird and strange. The main idea is to write something people will not forget.


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