Drown Your Boats
New Image Art is pleased to announce the first Los Angeles solo exhibition by SWOON, "Drown Your Boats." Partially inspired by Angela Carter's "Burning Your Boats," this show, and much of SWOON's work is not only a momentary glimpse in contemporary life; her work speaks of tales, legends, and variations on mythic themes, sparked by great vitality, inventiveness, and a deeply macabre imagination. Having recently participated in an armada of sorts SWOON along with other fellow Pittsburgh "boat punks" constructed their own flotilla and sailed down the Hudson and Mississippi Rivers. For this new exhibition SWOON will be executing a canoe as her central installation piece that will later become part of a Deitch Projects show this Fall.
SWOON's worlds are often populated by realistically rendered-- and evocatively cutout 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 is a master of using cut paper to play with positive and negative space in a conceptually driven exploration of the experience of the streets.
You've probably encountered SWOON's work before: she has been covering the streets of New York with her signature cutouts for over several years. Often found in beautiful states of decay, her wheat-pasted cut outs "collaborate" with the street to create a time-based public artwork. In conjunction with her collective TOYSHOP, she 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 has been traveling for the past few years creating exhibitions and workshops in the United States and Europe. Other collaborators include Brooklyn based 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, Deitch Projects' special design district space art Art Basel Miami 2005, and New Image Art's Burning House exhibition with Faile and David Ellis in 2007 which then went on to the Museum Het Domain, Netherlands.
SWOON's work is also part of the permanent collections of Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, and Tudor Investments.