French street artist Seth crafts site-specific works that turn everyday spaces into otherworldly experiences. In the past, we’ve seen him magically transform a metro station and building façades with his polychromatic murals. This summer, however, Seth has taken on an even bigger challenge, as he has converted a historic château in France into an immersive spectacle.
Whimsically titled 1,2,3, Soleil, this unique exhibit is set in the Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez in Bordeaux. Though conventionally Neoclassical in style, this 18th century mansion is a fitting site for Seth’s contemporary collection of works; its mission is “to be a bridge between tradition and innovation, as well as a platform of exchanges where everyone can live a singular cultural experience.”
When describing 1,2,3, Soleil, “innovation” is a word that comes to mind—though it may be an understatement. On top of showcasing the artist’s signature murals, this show comprises sculptures, installations, and paintings—all of which culminate in a colorful and cohesive retrospective. “1,2,3, Soleil offers the visitor a glimpse into the world of Seth,” the artist’s website states. “Each room of the castle is based on a theme from his various travels, representing a different project in the countries the artist has explored.”
On top of alluding to particularly meaningful trips, the show also features over 50 characters—namely children—created by Seth over the years. Though strikingly individualistic, each of his subjects serve a similar purpose: to be a “spokesperson, a messenger of his investigations” whose polychromatic portraits reveal different ways of dealing with “difficult social, political and geographical contexts.” Together, these motifs contextualize the importance of Seth’s travels, while also offering us a glimpse into his vivid imagination.
1,2,3, Soleil is on view until October 7, 2019.