Marginalia, Graduate Blog

The Artist Statement

Justin Botz

Honey installation

Crit week is coming up in a week and a half. This is the time of the semester where every student talks about their art.

Our department is very much about conceptual art and very much about finding what we call our “line of Inquiry”. The line of Inquiry is that subject or idea that ties all of your work together. An important part of our art crits is our artist’s statement. Our artist statement needs to communicate our line of inquiry. We need to be able to answer what is/are the 1-3 things that tie each of our bodies of work together. This has been super difficult for me. How do I summarize all of my work in one statement?  It is much easier in my opinion to write an artist’s statement about a specific body of work then it is to write about all your work in general.

Here are some helpful questions from the book The Artist’s Guide to help you get started writing an artist statement:

1. What does your work look like? (Think about size, colors, shapes, textures, light objects, relationships, etc.) Make your descriptions visual.

2. Why do you do it? What is your inspiration? Where does the impetus for making it come from within you?

3.  Write about the work from different points of view, such as conceptual, thematic, and emotional.

4.Is there a central image or idea in the work?

5. What are its different elements, and how do they interact within the work?

6. What kind of materials are you using? Why?

7. How is it made? What is your process?

8. How does it use space? How does it relate to the surrounding space?

9. Where does this work fit into your development as an artist?

10. How does it related to other artist’s work? Who inspires you?

11. What questions are you asked about this work?

Here’s what I have so far.

My interest in travel and exploration has led me from anthropological endeavors in Papua New Guinea and South East Asia to my current artistic pursuits. I am interested in how humans pursue preservation and how we pass things down from one person or community to another. Our inheritances range from physical features and personal health to fears and loves, alliances and wars. I explore these ideas through text, sound, performance, and new media.

Hopefully by crit week I’ll have figured out how to clearly communicate the unifying characteristics of my work.  I’ll show you the revised draft then. In the mean time, here is a funny video clip from the T.V. show Portlandia on conceptual art.

The Artist Statement

Crit week is coming up in a week and a half. This is the time of the semester where every student talks about their art. Our department is very much …

Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA Justin Botz, justin.botz@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605