I’ve been getting asked for these things more and more recently, and it drives me nuts – it’s not that I’m incapable of writing something thoughtful and relevant about my work, but I’m often submitting different bodies of work to different target audiences, and I have to compose something de novo every time I submit. It’s good to hear that serious gallerists find artists statements somewhere between a distraction and an obstacle to sales.
My most recent artist’s statement:
My work is about human relationships and perception. “Human Commodities” uses humor to deal with a critically serious topic – the way in which we categorize, pigeonhole and commodify each other especially when it comes to intimate relationships. Men, especially, and especially by other men, are categorized as desirable or not based on their physical attributes – musculature, age, race, hair or lack thereof. When seeking a partner, we tend to use food analogies to describe the object of desire. This is natural, as sex is surpassed as a primal urge perhaps only by food. However, by objectifying people, especially through a food metaphor, it reduces them and de-humanizes them. I mean to interrogate and trouble this objectifying process by throwing into (comic) relief the process of commodification of men. I mean to challenge the viewer to question the very stereotypes they use to categorize objects of sexual desire – what makes one man qualify for “prime beef” instead of “sausage”, and can those very same criteria be turned on their head situationally to transform the subject?
How does that work for you?