It’s impossible to be a visual artist working in any medium today and not know the work of the influential illustrator Seymour Chwast. Paging through an online archive of Chwast’s work is like viewing design history, the page continuing to load images almost endlessly as you scroll down.
A cofounder of legendary Push Pin Studios and art director and illustrator for its magazine, Chwast blended a range of styles; in the 1960s and 70s, his work (and work of other artists he influenced) practically defined pop culture. Wryly observant but never snarky, poignant but never sappy, witty but never going for the cheap laugh, his illustrated scenes seemed to capture his own unique take on the world.
And a few more of Chwast’s finest quotes for PRINT:
Chwast also contributes “The Last Word” column to PRINT magazine, in which he rendered the dying words of famous people. Says PRINT editor Zachary Petit:
“The Last Word is the very last page of every issue of PRINT. While a single page in a magazine may seem like a simple thing to pull off, creating a great, memorable back page can be an immensely difficult task. In my view, the best make you smile. They have a note of finality. They are clever. Authentic to the brand. Playful. The Last Word, which Seymour has been doing for the past five years or so, accomplishes all that and more. With his quote selections and the individual style he imbues into each image, Seymour takes what could be a morbid signoff and elevates it in different directions—some are hilarious. Some are delightfully macabre. Some are pensive. It is, secretly, my favorite page of the magazine. And the fact that we have Seymour, a legend in the fields of illustration and design, working with us, makes it all the more thrilling. Like Steven Heller, I can’t imagine PRINT without his contributions.”
In an essay for a retrospective of Chwast’s work, Seymour: The Obsessive Images of Seymour Chwast, Steven Heller wrote:
It may seem trite to call Seymour a consummate artist. Yet he is consumed by art. Seymour is his art; he is what he makes. His hands are always covered with ink; his clothes are stained with paint; his hair is speckled with pigment. There isn’t a day when he doesn’t create something.
At HOW Design Live, attendees will enjoy a rare opportunity to hear from the masterful Seymour Chwast and view a breathtaking portfolio of his work. It’s an opportunity not to be missed.