Survival and Trauma
As an artist, Beuys often used materials like felt and animal fat. To interpret what he was trying to say with his work was not easy, but after reading this story, stacks of felt, a chair with animal fat, and a sled, suddenly have a very clear meaning about life, death, and the experience of being saved. Looking back at his career and life, we can see he was actually creating a sort of mythology around who he was. That would not be very interesting if he wasn’t also doing work that challenged our sensibilities and made us think.
What Will You Write?
Your artist statement could be like either of the ones I just mentioned, or it could be something completely different. The main thing to keep in mind is that it must be easy to understand and exciting. If your writing skills aren’t great, you would be wise to have a writer help you. Even writers need editors to help them present their ideas in the best way possible, so if you want a good statement and are struggling on your own, ask for help. Have a writer read this chapter and then discuss different possibilities with them. It is very important to have a great statement because, as a former gallery owner, I have seen how this first impression can make or break an artist’s proposal.
To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here. To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.