On Wednesdays, we look at artist/design statements or About pages and discuss the best vocabulary to describe the work. Today we’ll look at the About page of Dante Dentoni, an Argentinian sculptor who works with Legos.

Here is the text from his About page, in italics.

Dante Dentoni (b. 1974 in Santa Rosa, Argentina) is a visual artist based in Miami. Dentoni’s sculptural installations are site specific and reveal a harmonic interconnectivity between physical and emotional environments.

Dentoni is autodidactic and his medium of repurposed legos, cement and wood with ready made toys come together in the form of literary architecture. Dante creates mysterious physical spaces that reflect upon an imaginative youth. Exploring themes of childhood, storytelling, memory and place, he contests notions of a labyrinthian identity. His work has been exhibited at NOW Contemporary (Wynwood, Miami), Art Miami, Art Southampton (New York) and “Complements & Dichotomies” at the 1111 (Miami). Future projects include the Florence Biennale 2017 and “Design and its Dimensions” at the Moore Building (Miami).

Dentoni’s work is included in numerous private collections internationally.

Now my comments:

This artist does amazing work, and his statement contains a lot of good information. It begins by telling us generally about the artist; where he was born, where he lives now, and the kind of work he does. Next, we learn about his medium and materials, his meaning and inspiration, where he has shown his work, and his plans for future work. He gives us the important information without writing too much, which is great!

The only problem with this statement is that he uses a lot of unusual vocabulary. There are some words that many native English speakers may not even know. Although it’s impressive to use vocabulary well, sometimes using words that are too difficult make it annoying or frustrating to read. Let’s talk about them.

In the first paragraph, we learn that Dentoni is a visual artist, which means he makes art for people to look at.  (This is opposed to art forms that we experience in other ways.) We also learn that he is based, or currently works in Miami, and he was born in Argentina – that’s what b. means. Next, we learn that he makes sculptural installations. Installations are artworks that fill a large space and have different parts. Site specific means that he creates them for the space they are shown in. They cannot travel. Harmonic is a form of harmony, which means things that go together well. Interconnectivity also means things that are connected or go together. So, he is emphasizing that in his installations, the physical and emotional environments work together very well.

In the second paragraph, we learn that the artist is self-taught, or autodidactic. This means he learned to do his work on his own and did not go to school or learn from someone else. We also learn about the materials he uses. In this situation, ready made means that he used them as they were and didn’t change them, so he used toys, Legos, cement, and wood to make his work. The phrase come together is a phrasal verb that means that something works the way you want it to. The phrase literary architecture refers to the storytelling that the artist does through his work. He creates little scenes inside his sculptures that suggest a story in the lives of the Lego people.

We also see the phrase reflect upon, which means to show, so the mysterious physical spaces show that he had an imaginative youth. He explores the themes of childhood, storytelling, memory and place, and he contests, which means he disagrees with, notions of a labyrinthian identity. A notion is an idea, and a labyrinth is a place that has many confusing paths, or something difficult to understand. I think he’s saying that he doesn’t have a confusing identity, but he does have a confusing artist statement.

Everyone likes learning new and interesting vocabulary, but it’s important to choose the best words for the situation. A good language coach can help you to find the words that describe your work clearly, accurately, and in a way that is appealing to your audience. You want your description of your work to be just as impressive as the work itself!

At Artglish, we help artists and designers to write a statement or About page that best describes their work. We focus on choosing the best vocabulary and language to help you share your work with others. If you want to learn more, click here to join The Studio and try some free ways to improve your English, or check out our Courses page.

I’ve chosen 5 words or phrases for you to focus on today. They are in bold. If you don’t know them, look up the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and other forms of these words. You can find links to Merriam-Webster dictionary sites at the bottom of this page.

To see the artist’s About page, click the link below:

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