ONLY THE MIRACLE of writing can cut through the haphazard inner-space of churning ideas and so filter and condense as to produce something solid, something true. Often the end product of these "exorcisms" are more a surprise to the author than to anyone else. Such is the case with this quick "Artist Statement." Having agreed to be a part of a local arts event for foster families in which some of my work would be displayed, I was asked to send an artist statement to accompany the pieces. But... something about "leveraging the inherent historical context of the medium", or "confronting issues of social interactivity and digital simulacra" didn't seem altogether right for this audience. So, a re-write: Keep it quick, stick to the important, and be broad. Oh, and no graduate-school speak. What follows may not be great, (hey, it WAS quick), but it's true. And that's really saying something for an artist statement.
"Making art provides a means to map out ideas, express emotion, and refine creative abilities. For me, this has taken shape in oil painting, a medium I have come to love both for its substance (you can do SO much with it) and symbolism (how cool is it to work with a medium that so many other artists have used before me?). And MOST of the time I really enjoy it. Like, during those times when it feels magical, as if I’m sailing with a full wind at my back that could carry the work on forever. But then there are those other moments of inevitable struggle, when the work stalls and progress seemingly grinds to a halt. But here’s the deal: you can’t have one without the other. If you’re willing to struggle enough, you will experience success. And likewise, success has never come to anyone without at least an equivalence of difficulty. There’s no getting around it. This is art making, a practice as old and as vital as humanity itself. I hope you enjoy my small contribution. Even better, I hope you find the courage to add your own.” -AG