Last weeks PD talk at the Untitled Art Society with Bruce Watson definitely was a treat. Specifically, this talk was focused on the writing of artist statements, while still providing a lot of information that could be very applicable for any type of writing where you are representing yourself as an artist, designer, crafts person, or cultural worker. While covering essential skills for writing an artist statement, Watson branched out into information about writing that might not be so ingrained in some artists yet.
One of the most important things that he stressed throughout the lecture, that many artists miss out on, is the issue of authenticity. He made sure to mention that academic writing can fall flat in an artist statement partly due to a lack of authentic language. Often artists will habitually follow tropes in artistic writing that are quite ineffective. Tropes like starting artist statements with “my work is about…” or using complex terminology without explaining said terminology.
A great tip that Watson gave in order to improve the level of authenticity in one’s language is to attempt to mimic verbal language. Often the way one talks about their art is more effective then how they write about their art.
For more information about Bruce’s talk, a few key handouts are available as PDF’s below: