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hanks for understanding.

Chad Knutson

Chad Knutson

Artist Statement:

As an artist working primarily in making the internal external, my work has depicted an intensely personal exploration of the impact of my recent diagnosis of Autism as a 45 year old man.  My art tends to focus on a deep desire to communicate how my experience of the world has been fundamentally different from “normal” people, and how having validation of that fact has led to an unravelling of my sense of self.


I have been inspired to try and express what I cannot express verbally through my art. I worked for 20 years as a photographer, videographer and documentarian.  Five years ago a debilitating neck injury forced me to retire.  Without the structure of work and social interactions my world and sense of self collapsed upon itself.  I had no outlet for my creativity until I picked up drawing again 2 years ago after a 20 year hiatus. In an attempt to escape the gravity of my collapsing world, I sent over 200 drawings to people across the world over the next few years, creating a global transient exhibition of my growth as an artist.  This past year, my son and I were diagnosed with Autism. I began pouring all of my practice into a collection called “My Mind is Meat” where I am attempting to show how it feels to live in a world that was not built for me.  I work solely in pen and ink and marker.  I am easily distracted, so restricting myself to one medium allows me to focus on content over process.


My goal with my recent work is to form a base of advocacy and a jumping off point for empathy from “normal” people.  I would like the world to have a more personal understanding of the intensity of the autism experience so that my son and children like him grow into a more gentle world than I have experienced.  I would like to be a voice for what it means to be a “functioning” autistic adult.

Chad Knutson
Artist, Drawing, Photographer
St. Paul