The Statement Piece
I have no artist statement. It’s not that I don’t think they’re valuable; I like to laugh as much as the next guy. It’s just that so many come across as hilariously pretentious. I once read an artist statement which included references to both The Peloponnesian War and frog dissection. For years I kept a collection of my favorites. In good times and in bad, they were my funny friends.
But galleries love them. And yes, I have written one or two in my time but I was much weaker back then. And yes, they were a special kind of stupid.
In all honesty, if I had things my way…and I rarely do…I would eliminate the artist statement altogether. Let’s face it, the public wants to view the work, not read about the artist’s divine moment of clarity the first time she dipped her brush into a jar of Phthalo Blue. Personally speaking, I prefer that the public look at a piece of art and interpret it in a way that pleases them. If they hate the work, let it be for the purest of artistic opinion, not because the person responsible for said work once had a dream about achieving world peace. (Although, full disclosure, I would like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.)
So, all I ask is that you judge me by my work, not by my rather lame opinion of myself. And, that failing, there’s always the story about the first time I saw the sunrise over Machu Picchu and its invaluable effect on my creative process.