I think artist’s statements should be illegal. In my opinion, they’re a kind of hate speech. Anyone who knowingly places such drivel in the path of naive unsuspecting white-as-the-driven-snow eyeballs such as mine, knowing full well that the visual ingestation of such foul, pestilential verbiage would cause my optic nerve to shrivel up as if it were a penis being plunged into ice water must be of malevolent intent. The other day I bought a copy of New American Paintings, a publication which proved to contain the same ratio of good work to self-indulgent merde as any other human endeavor. Each featured artist was represented by three pieces, followed by a brief CV and then--shudder--an artist’s statement. And every single one of those artist’s statements, regardless of the quality of the art that preceded it, was a prime example of self-important, art-cliche-ridden twaddle. You think I’m kidding? Take a gander at these:

“I create paint forms that seemingly grow wild and move free. The cultivated forms are transplanted into paintings, developing a physical 3D plane of illusion within the 2D picture field. My technique, process and forms create dynamic tension and balance. The culmination of my work explores the landscape of color space while highlighting the relationship between improvisation and control.”

“There is a quiet beauty in my paintings that is deceiving. Over time and with careful viewing, the work raises questions about longevity, the consequences of human behavior, and differences in cultural or national attitudes.”

“My work scrutinizes the aesthetic mitigation that often camouflages humanity’s dependence on nature.”

“Through the economical use of line, color, texture, size, and the illusion of light and space, I create a visual dialogue between the painted surface and its substrate. The resonance of this interaction is at once expansively mysterious and intimately familiar.”

“Similar to fusion or hip-hop, my works lift and sample in order to understand the processes of re-appropriation. My understanding of art as an emancipatory force leads me to believe that, by re-contextualizing these visual stereotypes...their meaning can be dismantled and broken loose from fixed identities.”

You get the idea. Just once I’d like to see an artist’s statement that went like this:

“I make these paintings in hopes that hot women will think I’m cool. I want everybody to think I’m cool, but mostly hot women. And I hope some of you will buy this stuff because I’d much rather be painting than mowing the grass on interstate medians. Thank you.”