Emmy Horstkamp’s Artist’s Statement 2015

I found this website which talked about writing an artist statement so today I started working on a new artist’s statement.

Before I share the questions and my answers, here are a few tips the article gave on writing an artist’s statement.

  • Be clear – Use as plain English as far as possible. Don’t use complex or specialist language unnecessarily. (This is the same advice giving to lawyers in law school.)
  • Accuracy – Don’t dress your work up to be something that it’s not. (I have been reading open calls and I think many people who work in the art world need to take this advice to heart. )
  • Say what you see – Explain the decisions that you made about how the work took shape and why you made them.
  • Stick to your subject – ART
  • Objectivity – Use objective language when describing your own work.
  • In the article, they mentioned that we should avoid, information about our careers, exhibition history or our work history in the artist’s statement. If I added that information to my artist’s statement I would end up with a creative non-fiction thriller/black comedy.

Now that you know the tips, lets see how closely I can follow them as I answer the questions:

  1. What media do you work with? What interests you about work of this type?  I work with digital photography,video and graphics, hand prints, inks on paper, canvas and wood.   I love the permanence of inks and how they interact with wood, paper and canvas.  I love digital artwork and the infinite possibilities created by a digital file.
  2. Why do you work in this media? Is there a relationship between the media and the ideas that you work with? I started out working in pure digital but found it frustrating that I discounted my artwork because it was in a digital format and could be reproduced infinitely.  Taking my digital artwork out of the computer and onto paper, wood and canvas allows me to explore the idea of digital and creating a one of a kind art piece. I’m currently playing with the idea of printing my work and then erasing the original files to see if I can create a sense of preciousness with my digital work.
  3. What processes are involved in the work and how are they relevant to the ideas you are dealing with?  Processes?   I pick a digital file. I work on it a bit in photoshop, I print the file ten times. I pour ink over the prints. I cut up and collage the inked prints. I hide  or destroy them when they look horrible. I frame them when they look good. I go out and take more photographs and repeat the process.
  4. What themes, ideas and concerns does your work uniquely consider?  Digital v. Handmade is a theme. I’m also incorporating the idea of home and my multi cultural identity into my artwork.
  5. Are there any outside influences and ideas, perhaps from outside the arts, which have bearing on your work? Outside influences.  Im influenced by science and technology.  My personal work is also influenced by the city /country where I’m living and my ethnocentric view of the world. I’m a big fan of immersing in a culture and how my art reflects my version of the German Zeitgeist.
  6. What ties your individual pieces of work together into a practice?  My digital practice focuses on urban construction sites and debris left on the street. I look for what is beautiful in the objects man and nature has left behind before the garbage man/ cleaning crew comes along.   This year, my work will become more personal as I explore the idea of home and my multicultural background but will continue to use my urban environment to express the ideas.
  7. Are there any particular theories, artists or schools of thought relevant to your work?  I’m not a fan of fair use, appropriation.  Digital cameras come in all shape and sizes and there is no reason why you can’t snap your own photos for your own artwork. Don’t steal photography and say is is fair use.  If you must use someone else’s work, composition or idea give them credit… even if they are dead.   Is that a theory? It definitely is a rant. I may have to rewrite this one.
  8. Is there an ‘intention’ behind the work; what do you want the work to achieve?  I want viewers to “feel” something when they look at my art pieces. I want  to remove the barrier between my artwork and the viewer.  I  want people to touch my art and to be touched. I want them to forget that it is fine art for a second.  I want to remove some of the distance between my art and the viewer.