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Brett Seiler
Proto 15 October 2022
Event photograph from the launch of Brett Seiler’s chess set in A4’s Proto museum shop. A display case against the shop wall holds multiple wooden chess sets with paintings on the bottom of each set. An attendee faces the display with their back to the photographer.
Launch: Brett Seiler’s chess set, October 15, 2022. Image courtesy of A4 Arts Foundation.
Title Brett Seiler Dates 15 October 2022 Location Proto Tagline Proto launches Brett Seiler’s limited-edition chessboard with a tournament.

Brett Seiler has a public passion for chess. His Instagram bio reads “part-time chess player” and he can be spotted playing outside the Kimberley Hotel on Roeland Street most Thursday evenings, surrounded by a gaggle of competitors. The pieces of the Kimberley’s singular – and sought-after – chess set are familiar with Brett’s hands; the bar’s regulars with Brett’s tournaments. 

His paintings, in some ways, resemble these chess sets – drafted in hues of cream and black, their characters engaged in erotic battle. The scenes they reveal are the ultimate reminder that we are pawns and, perhaps too, that Brett is the queen. 

This chess set, designed by Brett and produced by Proto, is a functional art object. It is meant to be used, to be touched, to be played with. Featuring an original drawing inscribed onto each box’s lid, the set moves between designations of utility and artwork with a simple reversal of the playing board.

In time, when a new and younger crowd has gathered outside the Kimberley, Brett’s chess sets will become representative of a memory – a memory of endgames and entjies, blunders and Black Labels. 

Can you beat Brett at chess? Dare you. The launch is accompanied by a timed tournament.

Launch: Brett Seiler’s chess set, October 15, 2022. Image courtesy of A4 Arts Foundation.