The Social Engagement of Artist Chad Pratch

“Most of what I do carries a theme of social engagement and intervention performance. Breaking through social norms or expectations of social interaction, ignites my curiosity and informs my art practice.”

Chad Pratch’s approach to art is so out of the box, it reminds you of clips from “The most interesting man in the world“. He recently did a presentation downtown where he explained his philosophy & experiments surrounding his art including the most recent installment in the Kelowna Art Gallery for the Dysfunctional Chairs series called “Inanimate Phenotype”.

One of the things that sets him apart from a standard artist (whatever a standard artist is) is that his work is best recognized by subject matter not medium.

“I utilize many different mediums with inter-disciplinary tendencies. I have integrated the mediums of sculpture, painting, photography, video, website design, internet social networks, creative writing and performance. I proudly label myself as a conceptual artist that finds great pleasure in the process of providing a narrative for the viewer.”

Here’s a deeper look into this piece made from about 200 chairs towering over the courtyard in the gallery.

For his commission, Chad has taken a socially-oriented route and has been adopting disregarded chairs from local individuals, and interviewing the donors about the chairs and their relationships with them. These discarded chairs will be installed for the duration of his exhibition. Pratch is interested in the notion of functionality and how it is socially determined. Once a chair has had its function deemed over with, its phenotype (relevant, identifying characteristics) would appear to be completely altered. Can this perhaps be revived by giving the chairs a new function – as works of art – by simply placing them in a gallery context?

If you’re in Kelowna, you can check it out until Nov. 27, 2011 but we’re really stoked to have him come and speak at the Katalyst Artist Gathering in Feb. 2012.

Check his website for a deeper look into his thoughts & work.

Original post from our pals at

Leave A Comment