from "Front Porch Photographs"
Do you remember seeing signs at amusement parks with the message, “You must be this tall to enter the ride” and a benchmark to measure a person’s height? It seems that some exhibits should have a similar warning at the entrance to an art gallery. The tricky part would be a change in sign that says “You must be this smart to view the exhibit.” Most folks aren’t equipped to fully interpret and appreciate a lot of art that is hung in galleries today and thus do not enjoy or frequently visit art galleries. The more sophisticated your art is, fewer people can appreciate or understand what you are doing.
How do you get your audience to the point where they can understand and appreciate your art? The artist’s statement is the tried and true vehicle to begin the conversation with the audience about the particular nature of the art to be viewed. Construction of a good artist’s statement is a very difficult process. Doing it well takes a lot of hard work. I think the key is to be able to communicate the thought behind the art that is simultaneously universal, generic and specific. Plain language, clearly written to express the artist’s motivation to create the work is a goal. If the motivation for the work or the observations made through the work can be related to audience’s concern then the audience has more of a motivation to view the art.