Seth Chwast is an American artist.
His diagnosed autism together with his self-taught and naïve approach to painting have seen his inclusion in the style called Art Brut or Outsider Art.
However, there is nothing raw nor rough about Seth’s painting, and more than painting from the outside of the boundaries of the official cultural mainstream, he draws us into the “inside” of a whole new universe - his universe.
No label can define Seth’s work: Visionary art, Intuitive art, Marginal art, art Singulier; these are all ways to define, limit, and make this form of art comprehensible to us, the real outsiders.
Seth is truly free. He is free from lines, forms, subjects, technique and style. Colour seems to be the only means through which we can truly connect and begin to understand. Or maybe that is also an illusion. Because when passing from one painting to the next, every thought, theory or comprehension seems to reset itself and we are left with the feeling of being led into a world we have no control over because there is no control, there are no rules nor restrictions.
The key to Seth’s world is through the ultimate pact between artist and viewer that we must leave all superstructures behind us and embrace the beauty he is generous enough to give us a glimpse of. The acceptance of this state of being, not only prepares us to understand Seth’s art, but sets us free.
We must enter Seth’s delicate, innocent, tender world of hippocampi, iguanas, dwarfs, castles, cities, music, etc., all immersed in extreme beauty, on tiptoe and with respect. The experience of utter serenity, beauty and joyousness will enlighten our soul, and even if we may hesitate at times because we, common mortals, are never really free from the social depiction of reality instilled in us, we must trust in Seth and let him guide us to a form of art that the world of today truly needs to see and live to the fullest.
As Victor Hugo said: “Freedom in art, freedom in society, this is the double goal towards which all consistent and logical minds must strive”. So, who is inside and who is out? Who is the logical mind and who the artist? Seth has achieved this goal and from the purest form of art is throwing us a lifeline. Seth is the means to modern man’s salvation.
International Confederation of Art Critics