I've always been puzzled by the way some show entries require one to complete an artist statement especially as they don't require this for a mixed media art show. Who wants it?
I doubt it's at the juror's request: the couple of times I've been a juror, I didn't look at the statements - or the title. I did, however, consider the size of the piece...but that's a whole other matter!
What is the point of the words? if the work cannot speak for itself in order to convey the artist's intent, then it is ipso facto a failure surely? (hopefully the quilt above looks chilly enough without me having to go on and on about it in a statement!)
We don't turn over a Picasso painting to see what he wrote on the back: "Dear Viewer in this painting I was endeavouring to show the many sides of woman since I've had trouble with women all my life". Actually, though, thinking about it - that might be kinda of fun to read!!! Michelangelo : "oops...just couldn't quite get those two fingers to connect, but you get the general idea".....Matisse - I mean Monet (where is my head? thank you Renate!) "I did wonder if I was seeing things a little blurry, and then I found out I had cataracts...I wonder how that will affect my painting? My intention was a botanical representation of those water lilies...but it seemed like they floated out of focus". Stuart Davis: "well it all seems like a jungle to me". Mondrian: "Actually, it was a map to show where we were meeting tonight".
But, back to the words? if we do NEED them, then it suggests that either the work isn't in itself successful....or that perhaps a quilt was the wrong medium for the idea. I have sometimes wondered "why cloth?" at times when I saw people trying to recreate a photograph in cloth, desperately trying to match up exact colors and include all details.....
If the work is valid and true: No words are necessary!
Can you imagine a sign in a gallery?
fSince I became interested in Abstract Art and have give talks about it - particularly about those long forgotten female artists (thankfully museums are beginning to catch up there) - people have often asked me to Explain a painting to them.
But I begin to think that good art shouldn't need an explanation. The subject is either quite clear: a portrait of a person, scene or event etc...or, being abstract - then it's just that: Abstract!
i.e. Addressing concepts, ideas, emotions for which we have no words. Consider music. Do you feel that the composer should give you a "composer's statement" before you hear a piece?
I was fascinated to read that the brilliant British pianist Stephen Hough said one of the reasons he loved music was because it did NOT need words....
So, what d'you think? do we need the words? The laborious explanations? Or should we just let the art and the music speak for itself...opening our eyes (or ears) and just absorbing......
If you have been, thanks for reading!!!! and thank you so much for commenting....