Artist Statements

Who/What/Where/Why/How Approach:

1. Who are you?
Where are you from? Where did you receive training (if any)?

2. What do you do? What is this work about?
What do you conceptually focus on? This is the idea, theme, message, or concept for your piece. Think of this as the thesis statement for your work. What media do you work in?

3. Where do you work?
What countries/regions have you shown your work in? Which notable museums/galleries have you shown at?

4. Why do you do this work?
What/who are your influences? This is your explanation of the importance of the work and what it means to you. This is the outcome or experience you anticipate for the work.

5. How do you do this work?
What approaches do you use? This is how you envision the piece happening—medium/a, actions, texts, audience/performer relationship, etc.

3 basic questions = a stronger artist statement:

1. What do you want people to see in your work?

2. What is a distinguishing characteristic of your art?

3. Based on your conversations, what do people find delightful or surprising about your art?

Watch out for the following:

1. Don’t say your art is “unique.”

2. Remove the things that every artist says.

I am excited by . . .
I’ve always been an artist
I have to make art
My work is about the human condition.
I love . . .

3. Beware of redundancy. Say it one way and move on.

4. Get rid of the lists.

5. Reduce the number of personal pronouns. (I/me/my/mine/myself)

“Rework Your Artist Statement with 3 Answers” by Alyson Stanfield on Art Biz blog
“5 Painless Fixes for a More Potent Artist Statement” by ALYSON STANFIELD on Art Biz Blog