Writing a Project/Artist Statement

With only three sentences to sum up the feelings and motives behind our artistic vision, accompanying statements can be the most daunting tasks in the making of art. The process of making itself does not force us to think so explicitly as this ascription of words and meaning. Here are some pointers in writing a thought provoking statement:

  1. Avoid wasting words on anything the audience already knows. Think of each word as precious real estate. Waste not. Avoid saying “These photographs represent…”,  “I chose these photos”, “I think they…”, “… are cool”, or generally restating the project restrictions/prompt. Jack’s Reality statement exemplifies the effectiveness of getting straight to the point.

    The color in the flowers bring out the beauty in everyday things. The colors remind me of skittles and their fruity taste.

  2. What is your work about? This is the main thing we are trying to help the viewer see with our statements. We want to guide our viewer and help them know what to look at, what to look for. Tymiah’s statement for Reality was an exemplar of this, as she brought direct attention to her use of large negative spaces:

    My photos are jet-black like, mysterious, and make you lost in thought. Suspenseful, bright lighting in dark places…Visualize it carefully!

  3. Be creative with your formatting! You can think of a statement as a small poem. You are limited to 100 words or three sentences, which may seem a tiny amount until you consider the depth of emotion captured in a haiku, or a poem by William Carlos Williams or Ezra Pound. Amber’s Reality statement accomplished this creativity beautifully:

    Capturing the idea of seeing beyond through the art of everyday reality,


    seeing all angles of reality in every day life

  4. Finally, bring an artistic eye to your own frames. See it as a composition (remember our first week with the drawings of shapes and finding of lines). Draw our attention to colors and forms and movements. Interesting and disorienting angles. Unconventional framing. What was included and left out? What do the technical aspects of your camera bring to the photograph? What’s in focus and why? Where in the frame? Morgan’s Reality statement shows us precisely how to guide viewer’s in this way.

This set of photos incorporates many different lines.  The dark lines and the contrasting, bright colors give the objects illusions and form them into something new.  These pictures each have a theme of darkness that make the objects seem bigger than what they are in real life.

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