Seymour Chwast’s perpetually fertile imagination is still going full bore with his series “The Artists: Postcard Portraits of Nineteenth & Twentieth Century Masters.” His “imaginings” of what the maestros look like wrapped in their own art brands are not simply charmingly witty, they represent Chwast’s fluid mastery of style, form and content. This suite is truly sweet (in the vernacular of youth). (They can be purchased by writing firstname.lastname@example.org.) I also asked Chwast a few questions about this new opus.
What spurred on this famous artists portrait series?
I did famous artists because nobody would recognize those that weren’t famous.
Is this connected to an exhibit?
I drew portraits of some artists to be made into giclees and sold in the shop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art when I had the show with Paula [Scher, his wife]. They weren’t produced. Artists of course come with a visual background denied for, say, musicians.
Who is your favorite artist of the 15?
At 15 I liked Francisco Goya, Georges Rouault and Ben Shahn.
I think you misheard the question, but I like the answer. So, which is your favorite portrait?
I like Man Ray.