Showing posts with label artist statements. Show all posts
Showing posts with label artist statements. Show all posts

August 10, 2018

Abject Felicity

When Not looking is as important as looking!

I was just thinking how important it is to be able to put work away and come back to it. When you're deeply involved in a painting, sometimes you just can't see it anymore and you need to be able to not look at it for a while. When you come back to it and can actually see it for what it is, one of two things will occur: you'll realize it's a mess and what were you thinking, or you'll realize how much better it is than you thought and wow, who even painted that.

The same thing happens with writing. I do the same thing with this blog. I re-read my old posts, not very often, but occasionally. Sometimes I actually put them back in the draft folder! But sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised that what I was thinking really came out in words.

Today's blog post was meant to be about something completely different, but I came across this excerpt from a recent exhibition proposal I submitted. Oh yeah, writing proposals and grant applications also falls under the category I'm-too-immersed-in this-to-even-know-what-it's-about-anymore. In this case I'm really pleased to have read it this morning and thought, who the hell even wrote that! Take a look:

Samantha Palmeri, Waste not, 2018, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches



Concept:
Abject Felicity is an exhibition of new abstract paintings. My work explores the interconnectedness of nature, body, spirit and metaphor. The relationship between our internal and external influences is played out through color and form; with entangled lines and texture often personifying internal struggle, or joy. The repetition of knitted braided forms unfolding through mood and chance are all obscured within the process of making, and through the filter of abstraction.
The paintings in Abject Felicity will be directly informed by my daily living as a woman, artist and mother. Specifically they will reference the discarded food that ends up in the garbage, piles of dirty laundry, and other domestic cast offs. The term abjection literally means the state of being cast off. The concept of waste is rife with metaphor and can be interpreted in a multitude of ways both culturally, regarding social change, and personally, regarding identity and spirituality.
The reference images I work with are not chosen randomly. I am not simply drawn to intertwining lines and forms, I am interested in how they are entwined and how that interaction personifies our human and cultural interaction; the moving in and out of each other. The dualistic nature of all things.

Relevance:
Painting is a means of connection. I've found that the more personal and specific I am in my work, the more people can relate to it. If I have a personal connection to the work, I'm opening up for the viewer a chance to experience a real and compelling connection as well. The only way to elevate the cultural is through the personal.
It's important to present the work in a proper setting; an intimate space but large enough where each piece has breathing room, and where the work and the viewer can get the experience they deserve.


For all intents and purposes this proposal is still active if anyone is interested...

All images © 2018 Samantha Palmeri
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August 8, 2017

How The Hell To Write An Artist Statement

Artist statements: a never-ending battle!

I am continually rewriting and rewriting mine. So many subjective questions I don't know the answers to, like how casual, humorous or conventional to make it, how long, how short, how specific, how ambiguous, how poetic, existential, philosophical, art historical, how personal, how formal, do I give every detail away or leave them wanting more, etc. etc.

Of all the written advice I've read over the years on the topic, I do try to remember two things: to write it out the way I would describe it in person if someone were visiting my studio, and to describe the specific process but keep the reader wanting to actually see the work in person. 

Shouldn't be personable but not longwinded also be on that list? I don't even know anymore. I'll let you be the judge. Here is the statement that's currently on my website:

some artwork to reference while reading the description!
"Momento (ribbon)", 2017, oil on paper, 33.5 x 38 inches

My work is informed by both the inward and the outward, 
by things observed, and things that cannot be observed. 
By entangled forms found naturally or unnaturally
in the body, in nature, in everyday objects; and

equally by chance and feeling.



Process oriented and gestural, these abstractions entice 
the viewer's subjectivity, while allowing me the freedom to access 
a wider range of resources both physical and emotional.

And here is the newest statement I've written:

I start a painting or a series of paintings with a simple thought or inspiration. I don't usually sketch it out first. I prefer to tackle the canvas all at once and let the materials and process of painting dictate the direction. I work on up to five things at once. I'm an observer and am usually looking at something while I paint. I try to keep myself emotionally connected to the specific object or memory I begin with, but painting has a way of prescribing its own journey. Success would mean that I've allowed the painting to take me someplace unexpected while maintaining some hint of my original intention.
I'm interested in posing a question rather than an answer, and I prefer to evoke the feeling of a thing rather than make a statement about it. I'm interested in the process of making, in paint, color, line, handwork, women's work, repetition, knitting, sewing, braiding, rope making... entangled forms found naturally or unnaturally in the body, nature, or everyday objects; and equally in chance and feeling.
My work is about connections; the intertwining and overlapping of the physical, spiritual, metaphorical. The connection of shapes and color, form to form, body to body, mind to mind.