Friday, May 30, 2008
I'm almost finished choosing the images to take to Buenos Aires in July and to include in the book. It's been difficult to make the decision and I can only hang about five or six images. I'm also happy to report that I am almost finished with my first draft of my artist statement. Apparently I'm not the only one who is having a hard time with this. I decided to google it (I really don't know what people did before google since I use it a hundred times a day) and I found many, many links about the drama of the Artist Statement.
There are many articles that provide guides to self-promotion, making statements about individual work and the importance of explaining your philosophy, subjects and themes in your artwork. Most articles start with addressing the reluctance of many artists to even have to attempt to do this. It's not as easy as it sounds and it made me feel a lot better to know that I'm not the only one. People ask me about my work all the time and I'm always able to explain it, talk about what it means to me, why I took a particular photograph, etc. but, yet when it comes to writing it down, focusing in, it's not that easy.
The positive thing that has come out of all this dread on my part is that I've forced myself to really think about my work. Really. Superficially I can say "I took this shot because X. I took this one because Y. I felt sad, happy, frustrated, thrilled, annoyed, confused, content," whatever...But, in avoiding to write it down, I've made myself really think deeply about it. I'm putting together this collection for Buenos Aires and I'm putting together the larger collection for the book and I'm realizing that NOT doing it (the Artist Statement) has actually helped me to BEGIN to do it. I started to have all these ideas in my mind about my work and what it means and at a glance a lot of it can seem completely unrelated but in fact it is all Connected by the larger concepts behind it. During my first year of law school everyone warned to KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. And everyone warned me not to lose the forest for the trees. After law school I promised never to use these cliches ever again. But, they worked in law school and they work here. I've learned that the photographs are Connected. They might be so via a small, thin thread but it's all there. This is all very cryptic even to me but it will make sense once I finally finish and post my statement...which I promise to do.