top of page

Are Artist Statements a Bunch of Gobbledygook?

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

For fun, I googled: Are artist statements really a bunch of b.s.? Apparently, I am not the only one who wonders. There is even an artist-professor in Istanbul, who built a machine-learning algorithm to make up real sounding statements. It spits out “wall-ready art-speak” at the press of a button!

And then I found this artist statement generator as well:

I've read artist statements so many times where I couldn’t get through the first three sentences. You're moved to read because the work draws you in. But then you find you were more connected to the work before reading the statement. Statements can be pretentious, phony, and make you feel dumb.

Of course, some statements are great and it could be that many visual artists don’t express well in writing. Because to be fair, most artists I know are sensitive and not pretentious! So, the train wreck that is the gobbledygook type of artist statement, could be poor editing. Of course, some galleries may believe the wilder the statement the more intrigue? I don’t know.

But, I do think it would be good to hold artist statements to a higher standard. At the minimum, comprehensible is good!

And if a statement doesn’t come naturally to an artist….isn't a picture worth a thousand words anyway?

Here is a short artist statement I am refining. Would love to get your reaction to it.

From beginning to end while creating an abstract painting I am operating on a gut level. Using instincts, I allow forms, colors, and textures to come through. In the process, I journey through memories, dreams and reflections. Which lead me finally, to a place of knowing when a painting is complete. My wish is for the viewer to connect to that same knowing. Instead of a painting serving as an object, it becomes a conduit. The viewer recognizes something familiar and so sees a part of themselves. The viewer transforms into the subject. So the subject of my abstract work is the shared being of myself and the viewer.

These are sincere thoughts and feelings about my process. But, tell me the truth, is it confusing? I know it gets deep with the subject/object idea. That's what studying non-duality will get you!

Do you like knowing about the artist process? Or do you prefer drawing your own conclusions?

I welcome comments on any of these art musings! It helps me to keep on keepin’ on.

~ Kim


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page