Below is the statement from my last local show. It was a two person show with a good friend and the title (which was the title of the show) comes from some words on a wall of one of his photographs. The statement appeared below the image shown here...matted and framed. Just thought I would share something that might not be one's average artist statement...again, written as myself as the primary audience, just like I take my photographs as myself as the primary audience:
Area of Temporary Refuge
A place to return, a place to set forth
A place to renew, a place to gather strength
A place to center
It is this place that allows measurement of extremes
From this ground I look up and know heights
From this place of simplicity I come to grips with complexities
From this center I explore the world of shadow and light
A refuge from which to embark on a simple quest
A quest to understand the qualities and forms of light
A journey to explore the limits of my understanding and my ability to see
My boys at the North Jetty, Humboldt Bay -- they are on an old boiler of a wreaked ship.
Two Diana camera negatives (Tech Pan), carbon print
If a artist statement is not already weird it becomes so by writing in third person.
Originally Posted by Dan Henderson
That is so true.:D
Originally Posted by AgX
Beautifully written Vaughn.
Vaughn's got a good one!
I'd enjoy statements like that at a show, I'd enjoy any statement that gives me an idea of what the show is about or who the artist is, or just gives food for thought that is compatible or enhances the show.
Thanks. It was a lot of work, and one's statement should take as much consideration as one's prints. If I were to rewrite it, these two years later, I would just change one word...but maybe not. In the third to the last line, I might leave out the word "simple" -- tho it is tempting to replace it with "quixotic", LOL!
After all, if one is to go tilting at windmills, then one might as well be using a big camera!
Try not to use the words line and form.
I like yours, Vaughn!
I started mine last night - it's not as poetic, but it does avoid the use of line and form. It isn't shallow and pedantic either (house joke). Thanks for the help!
I'll be the contrarian, at least with respect to the resume, given that it appears you don't have "typical" artist training. I love reading how people come to their photography from other fields, especially when those fields seem opposite to right brain thinking. Maybe it just makes me think I could do it too. Most of all, I like hearing how other incorporate their social/technical/whatever background into their photography (although that veers into the artist statement).
I'd keep it short and sweet and not use the usual resume format. Just a paragraph that describes your background (including education) and how you got to the point of hanging your prints on that gallery's wall.
So, for example, if those classes with known photographers encourage you to pursue photography aggressively they should be highlighted. If not, they might be just mentioned.
An artist statement, bio and current photo is very important for artists wanting to exhibit their work, You will be asked each time to provide this info no matter what gallery you choose or chooses you.
I found it very difficult to talk about my work , so I basically wrote out a very rough idea of what my work is about, plus I made a portfolio of prints and gave both to a competent writer, who then interviewed me and my wife and prepared the two documents, which are much better than anything I could imagine writing.
I feel competent making images and print, but defer to an expert to write about my work.
I have found that every gallery I approach wants to see three things, Bio, Artist Statement, and web selection with descriptions and basic pricing of work.
They will not consider accepting printed portfolios until they have seen these basic things. I was pissed with this as I feel the web images do not represent the final quality that the
portfolio prints represent , but I have learned to get over that.
Most gallery's have strict rules on submitting work therefore having a good (artist package) prepared in advance is important.