What is an art manifesto? It is a declaration of principles and intentions by an artist or a group of artists, often written to challenge, provoke, or inspire others. An art manifesto can also be a critique of the status quo, a call for change, or a vision for the future. Art manifestos have been written throughout history, but they became especially popular in the early 20th century, when many avant-garde movements emerged and competed for recognition and influence.
Why write an art manifesto? There are many possible reasons, but here are some of the most common ones:
- To express your artistic vision and philosophy in a clear and concise way
- To communicate your collective’s purpose and mission to potential collaborators, funders, supporters and critics
- To establish a set of guidelines and criteria for your collective’s work and decision-making
- To challenge yourself and your peers to be more innovative, experimental and ambitious in your artistic endeavors
- To join a tradition of artistic manifestos that have shaped the history and evolution of art movements and genres
How to write an art collective manifesto? There is no definitive formula or template for writing an art collective manifesto, but here are some general tips and suggestions:
- Start with a catchy title that captures the essence of your collective and its manifesto
- Use clear, direct and simple language that anyone can understand
- Be specific and concrete about what you do, why you do it, how you do it, and what you hope to achieve
- Be bold and confident in your claims and assertions, but also humble and open-minded in your approach
- Be original and creative in your style and format, but also respectful and aware of your influences and references
- Be concise and coherent in your structure and length, but also comprehensive and thorough in your content
- Be honest and authentic in your voice and tone, but also respectful and courteous to your audience
examples of art manifestos
- The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism (1909) by F.T. Marinetti, which celebrated speed, technology, violence, and the destruction of the past.
- The Surrealist Manifesto (1924) by André Breton, which defined surrealism as “pure psychic automatism” and advocated for the liberation of the unconscious.
- The Realistic Manifesto (1920) by Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner, which rejected naturalism and illusionism in favor of geometric abstraction and kinetic art.
- The Stuckist Manifesto (1999) by Billy Childish and Charles Thomson, which denounced conceptual art and championed figurative painting and personal expression.
An art manifesto can be a powerful tool for expressing one’s ideas and beliefs, as well as for attracting attention and followers. However, an art manifesto can also be seen as dogmatic, arrogant, or outdated, especially when it fails to acknowledge the diversity and complexity of artistic practices and perspectives. Therefore, writing an art manifesto requires careful consideration of one’s purpose, audience, and context.