As I like to say, “Every art piece is a song with its own melody.” It has its own chords, its own rhythm, and its own particular vibe.
Sure, you can have a body of work that deals with a unifying theme or issue. You can have a signature style. You can have commonalities between pieces. But when you only make one overarching artist statement available, you disregard the specific stories behind each individual piece; you blur the details.
But there’s an even more important reason for having an artist statement with every single artwork at your exhibition. The fancy term for it is accessibility.
When your art piece is seen, and the viewer has nothing to go on but a few words found in the title and the medium you used, they’re left out in the cold. (Is that really how you want your viewer to feel?)
As an artist, you need to understand that the more information you can provide with your art piece, the more value you convey. It can be an explanation of your technique, an anecdote about its inspiration, or a poem that compliments the work.
An artist statement with each piece lets you elaborate on its particular character and keeps your viewer engaged with something tangible and accessible.
Now, I’ve heard the common response to this suggestion many times. Artists often reply, “What about leaving interpretation up to the viewer? What if you’re trying to keep things open, and purposely ambiguous?”
Here’s what I say:
Would you really rather leave your viewer (and prospective buyer) to brave the mysteries and uncertainties of interpreting your piece?
Or, alternatively, would you rather create an accessible artist statement that adds even more value to your beautiful work?
To learn more about Aquil Virani and his art, please visit his website at aquil.ca.