How to write an artist statement

Artist Statement Writing Exercise
By Gabriel Al-Rifai
The Elephant In The Room BeU Opening Day Image

If your Artists Statement stands between getting in or not getting into a gallery show, but you stand behind your artwork, then use your favorite portfolio piece to guide you.

Think of your Artists Statement as the one piece in your portfolio that you covet the most. You may or may not be openly proud of it. You may have even hated it at certain points during the shoot or while you were editing it, but there’s no doubt that you are proud of it.
Use the Rule of Three.
Begin by choosing one of the following 2 constructions:
A. In 3 well constructed sentences OR,
      (use if you’re not big on long chattery conversations)
B. In 3 eloquently descriptive paragraphs
      (use if you love to talk)
Then, answer each of the following three questions about your favorite image in the construction format you chose above:
1. Why did you make the peice? If you feel like your reason isn’t very poetic, then think of when and why you were attracted to taking your pictures into photoshop. This is your inspiration.
2. What did you originally hope to gain from experimenting with photography and post processing and how has that affected you as a person. i.e. is it therapeutic. Is it a sense of identity. Is it a way to be yourself or be by yourself. This is your motivation.
3. What technical, emotional, and aesthetic attributes do you want people to notice about your favorite piece. What do you want them to feel? This might be your objective or simply the response your art consistently evokes.
Now go back and remove the content that points to your image as the topic and replace it with content that describes you as an artist.
Use this as the framework for your Artist Statement and then do some research and compare. I hope this helps.
-Gabriel Al-Rifai
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