Art Manifesto

In 2010, while studying art in Venice, Italy, I created my first Art Manifesto as part of an art history class assignment. The project was meant to be a response to the artist manifestos we were studying from the Italian Futurists. I found the process to be difficult because it forced me to think about my art goals and overall intentions in making artwork and articulate them in a clear, concise manner.

An Art Manifesto can easily slip into becoming too technical, self-important or pedantic. I've made mine simple, direct and honest.

Since 2010, I periodically review and update my Art Manifesto. Here is the latest version... 

My Art Manifesto

I Will Create Artwork That:

  1. Honours the Past and Moves Forward Into the Future.

I will honor the places I’ve called home and integrate elements of new spaces and experiences into my artwork.

  1. Uses My Own Unique Voice but Contains an Awareness of History.

I want to be knowledgeable of history and the work of other artists, movements and theories. I will take what I need from others but be original in creating my own work.

  1. Is Seemingly Simple but Truly Complex.

I will create artwork that appears simple at first glance, but contains layers of depth and meaning. I will acquire technical skills in dealing with materials but also to be able to tap into my primal emotions and intuitive feelings.

  1. Contains Conceptual Ideas and Stand-Alone Visual Interest.

Each of my pieces will have a purpose and idea along with a stand-alone visual interest. Concept can reflect my fascination with the quirks in rules, laws and customs; the crossover between legend, history, myth, fiction and fact; city living and the animals among humans – the domesticated, predatory and scavengers; the space between perceived and imagined light, color and space; what is personal, specific, communal and universal.

  1. Is Open to Contradictions and Changes.

I will be open to new ideas, techniques, methods and experiments. I will allow myself to be controlled or free, clear or ambiguous. I will alternate my use of art materials, color, light, tone and marks, and experiment with repetition – creating series and stand-alone works. My change of art media will suit the message I want to convey. I will let myself alter opinion, media and concept as necessary.

Venice Cat & Gondola, Watercolor on Paper Painting, 12" x 9", 2010.  Rachael Grad Fine Art Venice Cat & Gondola, Watercolor on Paper Painting, 12" x 9", 2010.

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