003 | What is "Fine Art" + Why We Need Artist Statements
Please allow me to break it down for you… visually.
Prior to 1819 and Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa , art and the reason for art was very straight forward.
Art was created by the artist in commission to a patron and that patron could have been a wealthy family (ie, the Medici’s), the church, or a political leader. The art that was created was directed by the patron to show a certain political agenda, religious mood, or regal-ness that the patron wanted, and the artist went along with it in return for a steady life of work, living arrangements and status.
Above, fine art by J.M.W. Turner (left) and Van Gough (right)
Enter the Romantics (starting around 1819) where the artist begin to veer away from the agenda of the patrons, and begin creating art for art’s sake , quickly followed by the modernist movement and specifically the avant-garde movement. During the avant-garde movement, the artists, finally creating as they desire, begin to call for art with a high concept and/or high intellectual content.
This shift created a need for the artist statements.
Artist Statements: An introduction to an artist specific work of art, collection of art or lifetime of art. This can include details of how it was made, why it was made, the reaction the artist hopes to receive, where it stands in history and the contemporary art world, and anything else the artist may want to mention. They can contain all or none of these thoughts.