Swoon (artist)

Swoon (artist)

Swoon is a street artist from New York City who specializes in life-size wheatpaste prints and paper cutouts of figures. Swoon studied painting at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and started doing street art around 1999. Swoon does not release her real name to the public to avoid prosecution for the crime of "vandalism" associated with street art.

Swoon's worlds are often populated by realistically rendered cut-out street people, often her friends and family. Riding bikes, talking on a stoop, going grocery shopping - these people traverse a cityscape of her own unique invention. Bridges, fire escapes, water towers and street signs create crisscrossing shadows and spaces through which her figures move. Inspired by both art historical and folk sources, ranging from German Expressionist wood block prints to Indonesian shadow puppets, Swoon uses cut paper to play with positive and negative space in a conceptually driven exploration of the experience of the streets.

Swoon has been covering the streets of New York with her signature cutouts for over six years. Often found in states of decay, her wheat-pasted cut outs “collaborate” with the street to create a time-based public artwork. In conjunction with the art collectives Justseeds and Toyshop, Swoon has executed projects ranging from billboard alterations and poster campaigns, to street parties and sculptural installations. Her recent work has focused on creating peepholes throughout the city in subtle places where, once discovered, the viewer can glimpse a hidden dream world through the unassuming aperture.

Swoon's exhibitions and workshops in the United States and Europe have included collaborations with the art collectives, Glowlab, Black Label, Change Agent, the Madagascar Institute and the Barnstormers. Her work was included in P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center’s Greater New York 2005, and appeared in Deitch Projects’ special design district space art Art Basel Miami 2005 and at MOMA and the Brooklyn Museum in 2006.

Media quotes

" [Swoon's] elaborate, larger-than-life paste-ups have earned New York artist Swoon a loyal following among street art aficionados—and major cultural institutions." [http://www.time.com/time/photoessays/street_art/17.html Time magazine] ]

"These portraits are x-rays of my city plastered back upon its surface. Through the hundreds of holes that I cut into them, I am trying to interact with the walls beneath them."Writing - Urban Calligraphy and Beyond, Die Gestalten Verlag, 2004, p.184]


Further reading

* [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/09/nyregion/09street.html?ex=1247112000&en=87b164f0ec2b3c36&ei=5090 NY Times article]
* [http://www.themorningnews.org/archives/new_york_new_york/paper_faces_paper_cities.php The Morning News interview]
* [http://www.gammablog.com/gammablablog/featured/swoon.shtml Gammablog interview]
* [http://swindlemagazine.com/issue04/swoon/ SWINDLE Magazine Interview]
* [http://www.kultureflash.net/archive/111/priview.html KultureFlash interview]
* [http://www.curbsandstoops.com/blog/?p=3 Rising Artist on Curbs and Stoops]
*Graffiti World, Thames & Hudson, 2004, ISBN 0-500-51170-5
*Street Logos, Tristan Manco, Thames & Hudson, 2004, ISBN 0-500-28469-5

Video Interview

* [http://www.scribemedia.org/2008/06/17/swoon-brings-juarez-to-chelsea/ interview with Swoon about the Portrat of Silvia Elena at Honey Space, New York]
* [http://one.revver.com/watch/223597 interview with Swoon]

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