Good examples of artist statements are hard to come by. How are statements supposed to get any better if artists continue to echo bad examples? So I want to share an artist statement I really enjoyed reading, from the recent show “Art Work Makes You Free” by Paul Mavrides, at Steven Wolf Fine Arts in San Francisco.
This is what an artist statement/bio looks like after an eventful career and many rewrites. Paul Mavrides and gallerist Steven Wolf passed email drafts back-and-forth until they agreed on this final version for the website and press release. A gallery owner cannot write an artist statement with any real teeth if the artist doesn’t contribute their own best writing! When the co-writing works, the message is a merging of perspectives that serves all parties: artist, gallery, art writers and the viewing public.
It’s not easy. As Mavrides so aptly describes the art-writing process, “That’s the secret to the whole thing. You have to actually PUT EFFORT INTO IT.”
Read this with an ear for vocabulary and story telling. It has its own voice, purpose and place, so there’s no need to equate it with your own artwork or career. Just soak it in as – silence please – a good example of an artist statement.