Jump to content


Photo

Artist Statement


  • Please log in to reply
38 replies to this topic

#1 Rebekah Krieger

Rebekah Krieger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 553 posts
  • LocationWisconsin

Posted 10 March 2014 - 03:32 PM

I am filling out applications for juried craft shows and am writing my first artists statement.  Could some of you share yours? I wrote mine and was hoping maybe one of two of you would privately give me feedback? Thanks 

 

(My husband is a writer, but not familiar with these statements. I do not write)

 


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#2 Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

    clay stained since 1988

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,225 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC

Posted 10 March 2014 - 04:02 PM

I'd be glad to read it and comment.
Chris at ccpottery.com

Chris Campbell
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
http://www.ccpottery.com/

https://www.facebook...88317932?ref=hl

TRY ...   FAIL ...  LEARN ...  REPEAT


#3 bciskepottery

bciskepottery

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,523 posts
  • LocationNorthern Virginia

Posted 10 March 2014 - 06:53 PM

http://iweb.tntech.edu/wpitelka/

Vince Pitelka has a guide for writing artist statements on his website; might be helpful.

#4 JBaymore

JBaymore

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,993 posts
  • LocationWilton, NH USA

Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:30 PM

I second the recommendation above.  Vince has a VERY good take on the process there.  KISS.

 

And if you need a little help sounding intellectual...........

 

http://www.pixmaven...._generator.html    ;)

 

 

best,

 

....................john


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#5 Rebekah Krieger

Rebekah Krieger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 553 posts
  • LocationWisconsin

Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:59 PM

I second the recommendation above.  Vince has a VERY good take on the process there.  KISS.

 

And if you need a little help sounding intellectual...........

 

http://www.pixmaven...._generator.html    ;)

 

 

best,

 

....................john

Thanks John!  That is hilarious!  I probably should throw a few of those generated phrases in my statement, It seems I might have kept it too simple.  


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#6 JBaymore

JBaymore

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,993 posts
  • LocationWilton, NH USA

Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:04 PM

Glad you liked that. We nail our students for that pretentious artspeak gobbledygook when they spew it forth.

 

best,

 

................john


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#7 Min

Min

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 544 posts
  • LocationCanada

Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:28 PM

 

I second the recommendation above.  Vince has a VERY good take on the process there.  KISS.

 

And if you need a little help sounding intellectual...........

 

http://www.pixmaven...._generator.html    ;)

 

 

best,

 

....................john

Thanks John!  That is hilarious!  I probably should throw a few of those generated phrases in my statement, It seems I might have kept it too simple.  

 

 

Too funny! 

I agree with some of the things that have just been said, but the reductive quality of the facture brings within the realm of discourse the inherent overspecificity. (44444)



#8 Benzine

Benzine

    Socratic Potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,655 posts
  • LocationThe Hawkeye State

Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:41 PM

Glad you liked that. We nail our students for that pretentious artspeak gobbledygook when they spew it forth.

 

best,

 

................john

Rightfully so.  There's a difference, between being able to express the concepts of your work and process intelligently, and sounding like a pretentious "tool".   I've encountered plenty of students and faculty, who behaved as such.


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#9 Rebekah Krieger

Rebekah Krieger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 553 posts
  • LocationWisconsin

Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:57 PM

Why does it seem every article warns away from using "artspeak" but then 80% of the statements I find are riddled with it? 


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#10 GEP

GEP

    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

  • Moderators
  • 852 posts
  • LocationSilver Spring, MD

Posted 11 March 2014 - 09:34 AM

Why does it seem every article warns away from using "artspeak" but then 80% of the statements I find are riddled with it? 

 

Sad but true. In Vince Pitelka's guidelines he provides a good explanation for this:

 

"Artspeak is very different from intelligent art writing, and involves the use of fashionable jargon that deliberately conceals and confuses truth and useful information, usually in an attempt to veil a lack of true substance and significance in the artwork. "


Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
http://www.goodelephant.com

#11 Benzine

Benzine

    Socratic Potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,655 posts
  • LocationThe Hawkeye State

Posted 11 March 2014 - 09:45 AM

involves the use of fashionable jargon that deliberately conceals and confuses truth and useful information, usually in an attempt to veil a lack of true substance and significance in the artwork. "


AKA, every paper, that I wrote in college.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#12 GEP

GEP

    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

  • Moderators
  • 852 posts
  • LocationSilver Spring, MD

Posted 11 March 2014 - 10:00 AM

 

involves the use of fashionable jargon that deliberately conceals and confuses truth and useful information, usually in an attempt to veil a lack of true substance and significance in the artwork. "


AKA, every paper, that I wrote in college.

 

 

Haha whether that's true or not Benzine, I think most of the jargon-filled artist statements come from students, or those who are early in their careers. When an artist has worked long enough to feel comfortable about their work and their accomplishments, they can describe their work without needing to inflate it. So maybe the proliferation of jargon-filled statements is due to the small percentage of artists who make it that far.


Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
http://www.goodelephant.com

#13 Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

    clay stained since 1988

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,225 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC

Posted 11 March 2014 - 10:09 AM

There has to be something between "I am inspired by nature" and the purposely obtuse verbal garbage that lets the viewer know the artist also learned how to use the thesaurus feature of Word.
The very best ones tell you quite simply what, who and why. Forget about the how.

Chris Campbell
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
http://www.ccpottery.com/

https://www.facebook...88317932?ref=hl

TRY ...   FAIL ...  LEARN ...  REPEAT


#14 GEP

GEP

    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

  • Moderators
  • 852 posts
  • LocationSilver Spring, MD

Posted 11 March 2014 - 10:13 AM

Here's what I think is an outstanding artist statement for a potter, by one of my favorite potters Robert Briscoe:

 

http://www.artist-li...rname=rlbriscoe

 

 

I've been using my current statement for a few years, it's probably time for a refresh (i.e. some parts I want to make more specific), and I plan to use the above as a guide, in terms of tone and language.

 

 

Here is my current artist statement, for anyone who is interested:

 

"I am guided by my Korean heritage, Maryland upbringing, and design education. I care deeply about functional designs, always thinking about the balance and movement of my pots in action. My work has a minimal and rustic style, meant to appeal to those who appreciate the natural world, even if they live modern or urban lifestyles."


Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
http://www.goodelephant.com

#15 GEP

GEP

    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

  • Moderators
  • 852 posts
  • LocationSilver Spring, MD

Posted 11 March 2014 - 10:19 AM

There has to be something between "I am inspired by nature" and the purposely obtuse verbal garbage that lets the viewer know the artist also learned how to use the thesaurus feature of Word.
The very best ones tell you quite simply what, who and why. Forget about the how.

 

"Inspired by nature" is the opposite of jargon, and just as bad!! Not that it's wrong to be inspired by nature, but for crying out loud, find an original way to say it.

 

I think the best way to avoid the phrase "inspired by nature" is to be as specific as possible. I once read a statement that said "My glazes reflect the soft colors in the wheat fields that surround my home in Kansas," and I thought "how refreshing!"


Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
http://www.goodelephant.com

#16 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,975 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 11 March 2014 - 10:30 AM

Many shows want only 100 words or at least many of my Zapp applications

here's my few versions-1st the 100 word one-

 

Artist’s Statement

 

My porcelain pottery is known for brightly colored glazes that I mix myself.  All pots are fired to cone 11 (2400°) in a reduction gas-fired atmosphere.  My specialty is the creation of durable, functional forms that are used in the home on a daily basis.

 



Description of Material and Technique

One of a kind functional high fired porcelain made on potter's wheel Bright glazes made from scratch

 

long version

 

Please explain to the jury in detail how you create your work - the process you use. We are looking for process, not philosophy. Please note there is no word limit. Please do not include your name. I start all pots with a weighed out ball of clay-All pottery is wheel thrown and gets trimmed the next day with feet on bottoms. Pots are first bisque fired to 1800 degrees then I glaze them with all hand made glazes made by me from scratch. Many are my own formula. I then load them back into the car kiln –also made by me and fire them in a reduction atmosphere to cone 11 which is 2400 degrees-my work is all porcelain clay which is harder to work with but yields extreme durability as well as showing super bright colors in the glazes. The glaze fire takes about 12 hours and cools for two days. This has taken over 35 years to master all the processes
 

Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#17 JBaymore

JBaymore

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,993 posts
  • LocationWilton, NH USA

Posted 11 March 2014 - 12:17 PM

Most "artist statements" tend to differ from a core 'process focus' discussion.... althouhg some people use that content as a large part of their 'statements'.  Those "show application questions" are a bit of a different beast, even if the promoters sometimes call them "artist's statement".

 

Vince's information is one of the best guidelines I've seen for writing what is usually what is intended to be recieved by an educational institution, workshop presentation venue, place like NCECA, grant application body, or a true "gallery" type of gallery.

 

Like resumes, these documents typically get written / re-written a lot, and are targeted at a specific audience or a specific venue, or to go with a specific body of work.  And as the general nature of your work changes (if it does), then the statements change too. 

 

 

In my recent work, as an advocate of the Big Mac Aesthetic, I feel that the sublime beauty of the biomorphic forms endangers the devious simplicity of the eloquence of these pieces.  It's difficult to enter into this work because of how the disjunctive perturbation of the sexy fish endangers the devious simplicity of a participation in the critical dialogue of the 90s.   -91032-  -82931-

 

For good or bad, in the current climate, an artist striving for strong high-profile success pretty much should be prepared to be able to not only make darn good work, but also be able to write about it well, speak comfortably about it in a public venue, and also maybe be able to perform well in videos posted on Youtube ;) .

 

best,

 

..................john


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#18 Rebekah Krieger

Rebekah Krieger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 553 posts
  • LocationWisconsin

Posted 11 March 2014 - 12:38 PM

I think the part that I am struggling with is that at this point, I don't have an established aesthetic.  I don't want to "puff up" my work because at this point I am not spending much time on true artistic expression.  I am just working on perfecting my forms and tightening my throwing skills, experimenting with glazes etc. I am in the process of mastering the basics so I can freely express myself with the skills established. With that practice, I am making cereal bowls, mugs, and oil warmers. I guess I don't feel they are "great works of art that require understanding" yet.  I haven't worked in clay long enough to develop my aesthetic, and i don't want to sound like the tool who thinks it does.  

 

 

 

The only real "deep feature" I enjoy about my pots are that they are made by human hands.  I personally feel a deep connection with ancient cultures by doing the same thing all of them have done.. making my own vessels, using them, and adding a deeper meaning to the monotonous daily activities most modern humans disconnect with.. such as taking a drink from a cup or eating soup.  It's a feeling I am going for at this point because that is as far as I have gotten. I have 2 years of working with clay, which is nothing.  I feel almost like an idiot calling my work "art" because I have so much more I want to express with clay that  i haven't been able to do yet.  


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#19 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,975 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 11 March 2014 - 02:05 PM

My stuff is not written for academia but for juried arts shows

I think you asked 

(I am filling out applications for juried craft shows )

Now as to a grad school apps. I would top load it with some artspeak tossed in just for good measure.

but for shows I keep it simple and direct

I think the simpler/direct the better


Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#20 JBaymore

JBaymore

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,993 posts
  • LocationWilton, NH USA

Posted 11 March 2014 - 02:08 PM

The only real "deep feature" I enjoy about my pots are that they are made by human hands.  I personally feel a deep connection with ancient cultures by doing the same thing all of them have done.. making my own vessels, using them, and adding a deeper meaning to the monotonous daily activities most modern humans disconnect with.. such as taking a drink from a cup or eating soup.  

 

An artist statement serves a lot of functions, depending on who is writing it, at what point they are writing it, and for what purpose they are writing it. 

 

As a "student" of an art form, one potentially highly important part of the ACTOF WRITING such a piece is the fact that it forces you to start to formally think about what it is that you are doing.  Why are you subjecting yourself to the trials and tribulations of this crazy field of ceramics ;) .  Working with clay can be mesmerizing and intoxicating and can all too easily sort of lead you into a "drug" induced theraputic stupor if you let it do that.  Yeah... it's fun  ("I play with clay.") 

 

There is a somewhat famous saying in the ceramic art field that points to the importance of having focus and direction in your claywork:  "A pot without a soul is just clay around a hole".  I think that came out of Alfred in the 60's...can't tremember the source.  Could have been Val Cushing.

 

A sports analogy:  If you don't know where the goalposts in the game you are playing are, you'll never know if you get the ball through them. But YOU are the refreree in this whole game, and you get to set the rules of the game and the location and size of the goal.  It is perfectly OK to change the location of the goalposts as the game progresses, but you should always be trying to "score".  To do that, the game has to be defined as much as possible.

 

So in a sense .... there above in the part that I quoted from you is the very start of two things............

 

1.)  You identifying the beginnings of the roadmap of where you want to go with clay.  Where your goalposts are currently situated for your game.  You are starting to define concepts and issues that are important to you, and that you wish to bring to your visual art works.  Can you pin down the location of the goalposts a bit more by really delving into the "WHY" and "HOW" of your above statements?

 

2.)  Your early career artist's statement.

 

Take those couple of sentences above and turn them into paragraphs and then pages.  That is not for anyone else's consumption.... just yours.  YOU need more information and detail than others do in this personal matter of developing you work.  Then edit the crap out of that mess...... and try to distill it all down to the most important parts.  Then clean up the "technical writing" aspects........ pretty it up.  Once that is done, run it by others to see what they think for its use as an artist's statement. 

 

But keep working on that "personal journal" part for the rest of your artistic life....let it evolve and get edited and changed.  That will continue to lead you into the future of your work.

 

And also to your new versions of your public "artist's statement".

 

best,

 

...................john


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users