Swoon/ Caledonia Dance Curry

United States 1978

Street Art, Installation, Wheat Paste

www.swooninprint.com

Swoon
Caledonia Dance Curry
Female
United States
1978

Swoon is a Brooklyn-based artist whose life-sized woodblock and cut-paper portraits hang on walls in various states of decay in cities around the world. She is also known as a designer of several large-scale installations, most notably the Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea in 2008. Her pieces have been collected by of The Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Tate Modern. Major pieces have appeared at PS1, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Black Rat Press. Swoon has been traveling for the past several years creating exhibitions and workshops in the United States and abroad.

 museum site
work life  prints home Swoon - Dawn and Gemma, 2014 - Courtesy of the Artist
Swoon – Dawn and Gemma, 2014 – Courtesy of the Artist

Story Related to Swoon’s Identity

Swoon is known for being mysterious and modest – she didn’t want to tag her art in the beginning of her career. She felt best about working anonymously and worked that way until her boyfriend told her he had a dream in which the police was chasing two of them because they were writing graffiti and tagging them with the name Swoon. The artist taught that the sound of the name Swoon sounds nice and she accepted the suggestion of her boyfriend. A few years later, she indeed became recognized under that name. She found it funny that people believed she was a man and expected the Swoon-guy to do shows in their neighborhoods.

Swoon is known for being mysterious and modest – she didn’t want to tag her street art in the beginning

 museum site
work life Swoon - Bangkok, 2014 - Courtesy of the Artist
Swoon – Bangkok, 2014 – Courtesy of the Artist

Navigation Through The Art of Swoon

Swoon was born in New London, Connecticut but she moved to the Borough Park in Brooklyn, New York to study painting at the Pratt Institute. Around the same time, she has joined groups in New York City like Grub, which organize so-called free Dumpster-dived dinners. She is a very active young woman known for hosting various social events, such as a march through the Lower East Side consisting of a crowd playing instruments made from recycled garbage. Later on, after getting used to the NYC environment, she became an instigator and a collaborator. She founded the Toyshop collective and the Miss Rockaway Armada and is a member of Just Seeds and the Transformazium. Since 2006, she made a significant contribution to four large-scale raft events and floated down the Mississippi and Hudson rivers with them. In 2009, she and her collaborators designed a flotilla of sea-going rafts that invaded the 2009 Venice Biennale.

When it comes to her artistic process, it is is based on the belief that art is an immersive, provocative, and transformative experience for its participants. Although Swoon’s aesthetics can be seen as an outgrowth of street art, her engagement with ethical living and making art share a close kinship with the idealism of off-grid, barter-based cultures and economies based on sharing. She uses scavenged and local materials and embraces print media as a potent means of action for social change. The majority of her street art consists of portraits. She believes that our bodies and faces store all of our experiences and that a portrait can become a deep insight into those experiences. She wants her portraits to depict the very essence of her subjects and hence she tries to emphasize something she loves or finds striking about her models and has seen in him or her.

Swoon believes that our bodies and faces store all of our experiences and that a portrait can become a deep insight into those experiences

 prints home Swoon - Untitled - image via stocktown.com
Swoon – Untitled – image via stocktown.com

Konbit Shelter

Konbit Shelter is one of Swoon’s environmentally engaged projects. It has begun in 2010 with the aim of raising consciousnesses and sharing resources through the building of homes in post-earthquake Haiti. Together with a group of artists, builders, and architects Swoon was working on building creatively designed structures meant to be resistant to earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and fires. In December 2010, a community center and these small ecological shelters have been completed and people can inhabit them if needed.

Konbit Shelter is one of Swoon’s environmentally engaged works

Swoon - Konbit Shelter Project - image via thecitrusreport.com
Swoon – Konbit Shelter Project – image via thecitrusreport.com

Dithyrambalina Project

In 2011, Swoon launched the Kickstarter project Dithyrambalina with the aim to erect a musical village in the heart of New Orleans. Since then Swoon has also spent the last couple of years creating monumental street art pieces and installations for MoCA Los Angeles, ICA Boston, NOMA New Orleans and MAC Oaxaca as well as on the streets of New York. Thanks to her unstoppable energy and inspiration, her projects that followed Dithyrambalina became well-known all over the United States and Mexico.

In 2011, Swoon launched the Kickstarter project Dithyrambalina with the aim to erect a musical village in the heart of New Orleans

Swoon - Dithyrambalina Project - image via brooklynstreetart

Coverage of Both Street Art and Activism

Swoon is a both humanitarian and artist who creates street art, installations, and sculptural assemblages in order to improve the world and make people happier and more content with their surroundings, both functionally and aesthetically. In 2015, after many successful projects, Swoon has founded a non-profit organization called The Heliotrope Foundation, in order to expand her community-based works in Haiti and New Orleans.

The artist is represented by Hang-Up Gallery in London, Die Kunstagentin in Cologne and Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art in Miami.

Swoon lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Featured image: Swoon’s Portrait – Photo Credits Bryan Welch

YearName of the exhibitionMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016Unveiling Vol.1Snow Contemporary, TokyoGroup
2016SwoonHG Contemporary, NYCGroup
2015SwoonChandran Gallery, San FranciscoSolo
2015ManifestoFifty24Mx, Mexico CityGroup
2014Mana ExpositionMana Contemporary, New JerseyGroup
2014Art Truancy: Celebrating 20 Years of JuxtapozJonathan Levine Gallery, NYCGroup
2013Hecho En Oaxaca Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, OaxacaGroup
2013America's Finest (and Others) Belgrave Gallery St Ives, St. Ives, Cornwall (England)Group
2013Direct Address Joshua Liner Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2013Print Woodward Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2013MotherlandsGalerie L.J., ParisSolo
2013THE FUTURE IS NOWThe Highline Loft , New YorkGroup
2012Street Smart Kulturhuset Stockholm, StockholmGroup
2012At home I'm tourist me Collectors Room Berlin, BerlinGroup
2012Die Eroberung der Wand. Nazarenerfresken im Blick der Gegenwart Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, RemagenGroup
2012Toykio Loves Gol Toykio Gallery, DusseldorfGroup
2012Honey Me To Tears Honey Space, New York City, NYGroup
2012International WomanWarrington Museum and Art Gallery, WarringtonGroup
2012SWOON : OEUVRES RÉCENTESGalerie L.J., ParisSolo
2012Andy Kessler Foundation Benefit Art ShowPicture Farm Gallery, BrooklynGroup
2012TO THE STARS ON THE WINGS OF AN EELGowanus BallroomGroup
2012Look CloserWarrington Museum and Art Gallery , WarringtonGroup
2012Not-So-Silent BenefitFLUX FACTORY, Long Island City, NY Group
2011Swoon Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP, São PauloSolo
2011SWOON: ANTHROPOCENE EXTINCTION ICA - Institute of Contemporary ArtBoston, Boston, MASolo
2011Swoon (caledonia Curry): ben (bdg Eastwall) Bruno David Gallery, Saint Louis, MOSolo
2011In The Moment: Benefit Art Sale & Auction The Luggage Store, San Francisco, CAGroup
2011Paper Pertwee Anderson & Gold, London (England)Group
2011Swoon Pertwee Anderson & Gold, London (England)Group
2011Urban Art Show 2011 Belgrave Gallery St Ives, St. Ives, Cornwall (England)Group
2011West End Rebellion Scream London, London (England)Group
2011Playing Field Carmichael Gallery of Contemporary Art, Culver City, CAGroup
2011Sea Worthy - EFA Project Space The Elizabeth Foundation for the Art, New York City, NYGroup
2011Walk This Way KØS- Museum of Art in Public Spaces, KøgeGroup
2011Art in the Streets The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2011Scream Collection Part II Scream London, London (England)Group
2011The December ShowKESTING / RAY, New YorkGroup
2011Art for Tibet III: Gallery show and fundraiser auctionJoshua Liner Gallery , New YorkGroup
2011The Book of the IS111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2011Gossip Well ToldWarrington Museum and Art Gallery, WarringtonGroup
2011Street Art Saved My Life: 39 NYC storiesC.A.V.E. Gallery, VeniceGroup
2011EVESubliminal Projects, Los AngelesGroup
2011One, AnotherFLAG Art Foundation, New YorkGroup
2011Sea Worthy: An ExhibitionEFA Project Space, New YorkGroup
2011Creative Time Spring Gala Art Auction Preview at Phillips de PuryPhillips de Pury, New YorkGroup
2010Street/Studio 2.0 Irvine Contemporary, Washington, DCGroup
2010FAME Festival 2010 FAME Festival, Grottaglie (TA)Group
2010Summer Group Exhibition Joshua Liner Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010Viva la Revolucion: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego - MCASD Downtown, San Diego, CAGroup
2010Shred Perry Rubenstein Gallery - 527 West 23 Street, New York City, NYGroup
2010Draw: Mexico City Abarrotera Mexicana, GuadalajaraGroup
2010Collection Christina Ray (Former Glowlab), New York City, NYGroup
2010The Great Outdoors Woodward Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010Barnstormers Joshua Liner Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010Philagrafika 2010: The Graphic Unconscious Temple Contemporary - Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2010Wreck the WallsSubliminal Projects, Los AngelesGroup
2010Celebrate People's HistoryCenter for Political Education, San Francisco, CAGroup
2010400 WomenShoreditch Town Hall, London Group
2010Fata MorganaGalerie L.J., ParisSolo
2010RE:FORM SCHOOLRE:FORM SCHOOL, New York CityGroup
2010RE:FORM SCHOOL pop up art exhibition 233 Mott Street (at Prince) 10012 NYC, New York Group
2010STREET TEXT: Art From the Coasts/The Populist Phenomenon 516 ARTS , Albuquerque, NMGroup
2010Konbit ShelterKESTING / RAY, New YorkGroup
2010SUBject/subJECT Closing ART PARTY!Subliminal Projects, Los AngelesGroup
2010Manifest Equality Gallery Opening Manifest Equality Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2009Pankabestia: Punk Beasts of the Swimming Cities of Serenissima  Anonymous Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2009Scherenschnitte Kontur pur - Museum Bellerive, ZurichGroup
20093-2-1 Solstice Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong, SARGroup
2009Beyond Appearances Lehman College Art Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
200928th Biennial of Graphic Arts Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, LjubljanaGroup
2009Paper Politics Ghostprint Gallery, Richmond, VAGroup
2009Street/Studio Irvine Contemporary, Washington, DCGroup
2009Drift Christina Ray (Former Glowlab), New York City, NYGroup
2009Urban Art Werke aus der Sammlung Reinking - Weserburg | Museum für moderne Kunst, BremenGroup
2009Get Rich Quick Carmichael Gallery of Contemporary Art, Culver City, CAGroup
2009Juxtapoz 15th Anniversary Benefit Art AuctionThe Factory Place Arts Complex , Los Angeles, CAGroup
2009BOX SET FUNDRAISER - Best Deal of the Century (It’s true, with inflation)FLUX FACTORY , Long Island City, NY Group
2009Distance Don't MatterSPACE gallery, Portland, MEGroup
2009ResidencyTown House Gallery, Kairo, EgyptGroup
2009The InfluencersCentro de Cultura Contemporánea, Barcelona, SpainGroup
2008Swoon, Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea - - Deitch Projects 76 Grand Street, New York City, NY (closed, 2010)Solo
2008Drown Your Boats New Image Art Gallery, West Hollywood, CASolo
2008Brooklyn Block Party Ad Hoc Art, New York City, NYGroup
2008Une Estivale 2008 Galerie L.J., ParisGroup
2008Trespass Alliance: Inside Urban Art Andipa Gallery, London (England)Group
2008In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz Factor Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CAGroup
2008Swoon & Tennessee Jane Watson - Portrait of Sylvia Elena Honey Space, New York City, NYGroup
2008The Way That We Rhyme: Women, Art & Politics Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CAGroup
2008Feral, Swoon + Monica Canilao The Luggage Store, San Francisco, CAGroup
2008ABC No Rio Benefit Gala & Art AuctionANGEL ORENSANZ FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS, New York, NYGroup
2008Feralthe luggage store, San Francisco, CAGroup
2008Fairfax + HaightVASF, San Francisco, CAGroup
2008Portrait of Sylvia Elena Honeyspace, New York, NY Group
2007Swoon, Chris Stain, Mike Brodie Galerie L.J., ParisGroup
2007The Art Parade - - Deitch Projects 76 Grand Street, New York City, NY (closed, 2010)Group
2007Une Estivale 2007 Galerie L.J., ParisGroup
2007Guestroom #6: New Image Art Gallery -The Burning House Museum het Domein, SittardGroup
2007GENERATIONS.UsA PinchukArtCentre, KievGroup
2007The Burning House New Image Art Gallery, West Hollywood, CAGroup
2007Four Artists: Work by Recent Pratt AlumniPratt Manhattan Gallery, New YorkGroup
2007BEHIND THE SEENAd Hoc Art, BrooklynGroup
2006Swoon Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York City, NYSolo
2006Draw Tour Fuse Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2006Spank the Monkey BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (England)Group
2006The Studio Visit Exit Art, New York City, NYGroup
2006GraffitiThe Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, NYGroup
2006La Boca del LoboBlack Floor Gallery, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2006SwoonMuseum of Modern Art, New York, NYSolo
2005SWOON - - Deitch Projects 76 Grand Street, New York City, NY Solo
2005Greater New York 2005 MoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
2005Urban Edge ShowThe P4, Milan, ItalyGroup
2005SwoonArt Basel Miami Beach, FLSolo
2005[T]here. New YorkSolyanka Gallery, Moscow, RussiaGroup
2005Project Backumps Part 2Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlin, GermanyGroup
20041:100 DCKT Contemporary, New York City, NYGroup
2004SwoonPublico, Cincinnatti, OHGroup
2004SwoonSpace 1026, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2004SwoonRoda Sten, Gothenburg, SwedenGroup
2004III Communication IIUrbis, Manchester, UKGroup
2004Something ElseThe Vinyl Factory, London, UKGroup
2003Backjumps - The Live Issue #1 Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Bethanien, BerlinGroup
2003Made in Ny Gallery Jen Bekman, New York City, NYGroup
2002SwoonNGBK, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2002Swoon loves SoloveiUrban-Art.info, Berlin, GermanyGroup