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Art and Design Personal Statement

Sample Art and Design Personal Statement

“Art is never finished, only abandoned.” – Leonardo da Vinci

The knowledge to be gained from the study of great art is infinite. The recently discovered ‘Salvator Mundi’ was identified through its representation of transparency and light, a tribute to Da Vinci’s genius expression of the abstract visually; as in pieces such as The Vitruvian Man which illustrates universally ideal human proportions. I have always found the evolution of art throughout history fascinating, but it was my study of Da Vinci during History of Art A-Level which inspired me to make my future in this singularly exciting field. Exhibitions and commissions reflect our ever-diversifying aesthetic culture, and research into classic works allows us to deepen our understanding of both our visual past and present. Having undertaken work experience in business and the Arts, I wish to study History of Art then open my own museum or gallery in future, as the curation and exhibition of art is integral in giving it context and longevity.

Studying formal features of art has widened my understanding of the development of composition and genre, and I have enjoyed visiting galleries such as the Brera in Milan, for its collection of pieces from Renaissance to Futurism. I have also acquired an interest in modern art and architecture; particularly the work of Henry Moore, who created a new form of postmodernism rooted in both past and present. In studying History and Politics, I have also gained insight into the importance of political and social context in the artist’s interpretation; Moore was working in the midst of the Holocaust and nuclear armament, and subsequently his work is characterized by pre-Rational, simplified shapes in an attempt to preserve harmony. Conversely, Da Vinci was driven by a desire to explore an idealized future and depict past times in contemporary styles. I enjoyed Honor and Fleming’s “World History of Art”, which charted the transition of art from classical into modern, and was further struck by attempts to recapture the visual past and in so doing create new movements, such as the Neoclassical or Pre-Raphaelite.

I was fortunate to shadow the Tate director, Sir Nicholas Serota, for a day and observed his assessment of future exhibitions, to explore the role of modern art in today’s industry. Working at a hedge fund, I saw the increasing and invaluable role of financial organisations in upholding the Arts, also apparent when shadowing Jim O’Neil, the chairman of Goldman Sachs’ asset management in a firm which pledges to underwrite public arts. I then spent a week at a digital media company alongside the creative team to explore the role of commercial art in business marketing. Having observed such influential businessmen and their sense of social responsibility, I was inspired to arrange a gap year volunteering in Israel on a kibbutz to teach English; I am keen to give back to underprivileged communities, as the rewards to be gained from this are incomparable. I have volunteered weekly for the past 2 years at a local youth centre, and as a future businessman and patron of the Arts I will make every effort to build on the values I have gained from this humbling work.

I am a keen footballer and captain the 6th-form team at my school, alongside representing Great Britain in the youth squad. I have gained real leadership, teamwork and organizational skills, and find that playing sport allows me to relax as well as achieve. I also enjoy composing music on guitar to explore my own creative side.

Da Vinci once wrote: “Constancy does not begin, but is that which perseveres.” Through my thirst for knowledge and achievement, I have become a determined individual with the ambition to not only improve myself, but contribute to society. By establishing myself in the Arts, I hope to achieve these aims, preserve the unending evolution of art for future generations, and help fulfil the prophecies of one of my greatest inspirations- the Renaissance Man himself.

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