What Is an Artist's Statement?


Quick Answer

An artist’s statement explains an artist’s theory and practice of art. It can include political stance, philosophical orientation and critical statements about what constitutes art, and information about formal training and awards. An artist statement can also explain where the artist feels he fits into larger artistic communities and contexts.

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Full Answer

An artist’s statement is essential to working in the art world. Because it’s easier for most people to communicate in writing rather than with images, an artist’s statement explains and contextualizes art for viewers and other artists. The artist statement welcomes viewers to study art and ask questions, and it helps them understand and appreciate art more deeply and quickly. An artist statement can even explain why an artist works in the media and with the palettes he chooses. In fact, some artists address their statements to only technical details, technique and craft.

In order to be as flexible and organic as art is, an artist's statement changes often or is written for very specific contexts, such as job interviews, gallery shows or catalogues. For example, if an artist has chosen to build a show around the theme “blue,” the artist’s statement introducing the show should explain why he uses this color in these shades and materials.

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