Recently on Facebook, we (Minaxus Production Studio) asked if artist statements make a difference. It was a bit surprising to hear how much people actually prefer to read the artists intent behind a piece. Much of the time we consider art to be our expressions, but interpreted however the viewer wants/needs to interpret it. To influence a viewer into seeing something specific seems a bit taboo, manipulative. But fans stated they like to read what the artist was thinking at the time and that, at times, it can help develop an appreciation for the piece.
I feel like when I was in school we had this debate. To influence or not to influence. To BE influenced, or to not be influenced. I may still be on the fence about this. But I guess if I really thought about it, the viewer doesn’t have to read or even agree with the artist statements or intent if they don’t want to. But it may be better to include that intent in the event that the viewer wants it. And really, we asked our fans and they said YES to including them with our work.
As of late, that has been what we have been trying to do. We uploaded tons of our pieces to our various galleries without an artist description, having initially chosen to leave interpretation solely up to the viewer. However, we are now going back through and writing this description, adding the intent and thought process behind the piece. It’s still an interesting concept that could be debated. We have created something visual to experience, and the written word and intention was requested. I wonder if this applies to all artwork or to some of the more abstract, actually. Many of our pieces are abstract and it takes spending a few moments with the piece, soaking it in, to help truly see it. Reading about it first will help direct you to our personal experience with the piece, but hopefully you’ll spend a few more moments on your own, experiencing it from your own perspective and experiences.