by Rory O'Keeffe
Artist Swoon brings a new exhibition to Galerie L.J in Paris, running from 11 October to 24th November 2018. “New Works” will be a new body of work from the mixed media artists, featuring works on mylar, wood, paper, as well as an interactive installation. Swoon (born ‘Caledonia Dance Curry’) will also display her latest series composed of customized found jewel boxes. The American artist (born in Connectitut, raised in Florida, and now residing in Brooklyn) originally made a name for herself as a street artist. People assumed her tag ‘Swoon’ belonged to a man, highlighting the male dominance of the street art world, an imbalance that still persists although there are now several leading female street artists, such as Christina Angelina, Miss Van, and Faith XLVII.
Her most famous street works use the method of wheat-pasting portraits to city walls. Often found in a state of decomposition, her wheatpasted figures integrate the street so as to create a temporary work of art. She has maintained an interest between the relationship between people and their built environments even when not explicitly making art on the streets. Her narrative portraits are often cut on linoleum blocks, then printed either on Mylar or recycled paper, and painted with acrylic; they tell narratives of the people she meets and the cities she visits. These works can often be found as site-specific monumental installations in museum exhibitions. “New Works” includes an interactive installation but the most intriguing new element of Swoon’s work is the series of miniature artworks made in found jewel boxes. These are tiny installations of her work in three dimensions. The intricate details tell fascinating and compelling stories about the found objects, in a strikingly different way to her previous work, which is usually large in scale.
The exhibition is her fourth solo show at the Galerie L.J, following on from Fata Morgana (2010), Oeuvres Récentes (2012), Motherlands (2013). She has also exhibited all over the world and has pieces in the permanent collections of MoMa (New York), the Tate Modern (London), Massachusets Museum of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia) and The Russian Museum in St Petersburg. Last year, Swoon was offered her first Early Career Retrospective at Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center in Ohio, U.S.A; a portion of this retrospective, entitled “SWOON – The Canyon: 1999 – 2017”, will be shown as the inaugural exhibition of a new art centre in downtown Paris in Spring 2019.