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Corrosive Shame
Therapy for Life
Work just about done.

Now I need to write a 150 word artist statement for a show. Any ideas?

"I am really very normal and just enjoy playing with my camera. I don't understand words like hyper-real and can't keep a straight face when saying Zeitgeist out loud.”

“My images try to be raw and uncompromising which seldom makes me any friends but is guaranteed to make an impact. I work in colour and black-and-white, depending on my mood. I like abstract shapes and adrenaline fuelled live events; and can use a studio as easily as I can navigate the crowded pit at a gig.”

“Intuition drives my work, whether that be in trying to seize a moment during three-songs-no-flash or working with models and dynamic briefs. I keep all the pictures I take and show the ones I like. Perhaps it's my taste more than my art?"

Comments? Thoughts?


16 lies or Lie to me
From: feanelwa Date: October 26th, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
#2, or #3 if you swap studio and pit in that sentence otherwise it looks like saying you work in the studio as if you're being jostled by sweaty people.
mister_ed From: mister_ed Date: October 26th, 2006 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
How about:
"I point a boxy thing at people doing stuff or not doing stuff and press a button. Sometimes the resulting photos look good, sometimes they don't. Most times I manage to hold the boxy thing the right way round."

kneeshooter From: kneeshooter Date: October 26th, 2006 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like it...
mister_ed From: mister_ed Date: October 26th, 2006 03:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, you'd get noticed.. if nothing else ;)
nyarbaggytep From: nyarbaggytep Date: October 26th, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like this one best.

I also liked #1 of yours. But then you know my feelings about artwank.
dreamfire From: dreamfire Date: October 26th, 2006 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
#2 is awful. I like #3 it seems most honest, and the final question is interesting for those who like arty farty. I might try and rephrase "working with models and dynamic briefs" to something that is as puncy as "three songs no flash". You might put a line in about your attitude to post production, either before or after "I keep all the pictures I take and show the ones I like"
marcushill From: marcushill Date: October 26th, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you describe yourself as "very normal", people might get suspicious when anyone who knows you reads that and starts guffawing.
purplewizard From: purplewizard Date: October 26th, 2006 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now how did you know that was exactly my reaction :-)
mrtonylee From: mrtonylee Date: October 26th, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Only what I say in all occasions where an artists bio is needed - write it in the third person. For some reason it always comes across small time if you write 'I' rather than 'He'. No idea why. :-)
kneeshooter From: kneeshooter Date: October 26th, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have thought long an hard about that - the balance of other evidence/guidance I've found says "do it in the first person".

But I suspect the real answer is "do it the same as everyone else in the exhibition". I think the way this will be used it'll be ok - but wasn't an easy choice.
agentinfinity From: agentinfinity Date: October 26th, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you're really uncomfortable with pretentious artiness, just say what you do rather than what it means or what it says to you or whatever. "I enjoy taking pictures of people, pictures of gigs. Sometimes I work in a studio...." If you keep it completely matter of fact it sounds a bit like parody as well, but people won't be sure.
dreamfire From: dreamfire Date: October 26th, 2006 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
The I/He debate is dependant on where the statement is going - exhibition space and/or exhibition brochure convention is I. Although I agree with phil about I/me or my not being the first word.

Third person is used more commonly for Bio's and websites - not the same as an artist's statement for an exhibition.

And don't think of it as artwank - think of it as part of setting your work - as relevant as the colour of frames you choose. That doesn't mean that writing lots is important. But you may want the viewer to look at it with a little bit more than "these are pictures in their head" certainly research shows that a majority of visitors (including none regular gallery attendees) like to be able to read a perspective - that is why artist statements are still in such widespread use.
barrettyman From: barrettyman Date: October 27th, 2006 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes I thik that is quite a good way of looking at it, you are describing yourself in such a way as to give people a means to understand some of the purpose behind your work. I suppose the question I would have is why do you take the pictures that you do?
nortysarah From: nortysarah Date: October 26th, 2006 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

If it helps - my artists statement...


Susan Sontag coined the expression ‘scopeaphilia’ - the love of looking.

‘Perspectives’ is a series of images that use intense colour and texture to excite and intrigue the viewer. My work highlights details in everyday scenes that are usually overlooked and captivates the viewer as they try to conjure up an idea of what each image may be. However, the exhibition is not solely for this purpose. I produce fascinating images from plain beginnings. The idea arose from a study of microscopic bacteria and the forms that high magnification revealed.

The initial photographs were taken in a disused psychiatric hospital that had been left empty and been partially vandalised. Consequently, the atmosphere of neglect left me feeling unnerved and I found it very satisfying to make such striking images from a building which was in such a state of decay. Subsequent work was undertaken in schools, abandoned houses and other buildings.
barrettyman From: barrettyman Date: October 27th, 2006 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I like to capture the Zeitgeist and keep it in a little box, sometimes I feed it sweets. Scientists want to prod it with a stick but I think that's cruel.

personally I like #1 but it doesn't really set you up as a pro.
sixtine From: sixtine Date: October 27th, 2006 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
working with models and dynamic briefs - is that something to do with people wearing irrepressible underwear? 'Down, pants! Down!'
16 lies or Lie to me