Swoon (American, b.1977) is a notable Street artist, who has contributed to the Pop Art movement. She was born in New London, CT, and raised in Daytona Beach, FL. The artist’s real name is Caledonia Dance Curry. In 1997, Swoon moved to New York, where she obtained a BA in Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.

One of her most recognized pieces is called Anthropocene Extinction. Swoon’s signature works include life-size human forms that she creates from recycled newsprint paper. It takes her weeks to paint and cut out each figure in her studio, and once the forms are complete, she takes them to the streets of New York and glues them to the side of buildings using wheat paste. When Swoon first began creating Street Art, she focused her energy on things that were meant to disappear and her ability to let them go. The creations are not as permanent as spray paint, but they stay around for a long time. The art works eventually either flake or rot away. In order to find a spot to hang her works of art, Swoon rides around the streets of New York looking for appropriate places. Once she locates a space that is large enough and that receives a lot of visibility, she hangs the art alone. You can find her creations on trash cans, light poles, walls, doors, rooftops, and sidewalks within the city of New York; the figures have gained critical acclaim.

Swoon was heavily influenced by Gordon Matta-Clark (American, 1943–1978) who was well-known for his temporary works in the city streets. In his series Building Cuts, he went on location to buildings that were scheduled to be demolished and created works of art from sections he had cut from doorways, walls, floors, and ceilings. Swoon does not classify her work as destructive or illegal because it is not permanent, but her artwork is classified under the category of defacement of property. She often does her work in the middle of the day, and various projects have been exhibited in Shoreditch, London, at the Black Rats Projects. Swoon currently lives and works in New York.

Timeline

1977
Born in the USA
1999
Began painting in the street
2002
Received a BA in fine arts from the Pratt Institute, New York, NY
2002
Evolutionaere Zellen Grant
2007
Lambent Fellowship, Tides Foundation
Lives and works in New York, NY

Exhibitions

2009
Distance Don't Matter, collaborative installation, SPACE gallery, Portland, ME
Urban art info, Berlin, Germany
Swimming Cities of Serenissima, Venice Biennal, Venice, Italy
Residency, Town House Gallery, Kairo, Egypt
The Influencers,Centro de Cultura Contemporánea, Barcelona, Spain
2008
Swoon, Deitch Projects, New York, NY (solo)
The Way That We Rhyme: Women, Art & Politics, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Feral, The Luggage Store, San Francisco, CA (Collaboration exhibition with Monica Canilao)
Drown Your Boats, New Image Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Portrait of Sylvia Elena, Honeyspace, New York, NY
In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz Factor, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA
2007
The Burning House, New Image Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (Collaborative exhibition with Faile and David Ellis)
Generations USA, Pinchuk Art Center, Kiev, Ukraine
2006
Graffiti, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, NY
La Boca del Lobo, Black Floor Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (Collaborative exhibition with Polonia Soloveichek and Allison Corrie)
Spank the monkey, BALTIC The Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (solo)
2005
Swoon, Art Basel Miami Beach, FL (solo)
[T]here. New York, Solyanka Gallery, Moscow, Russia
Swoon, Deitch Projects, New York, NY (solo)
Greater New York, P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center, Long Island City, NY
Project Backumps Part 2, Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
2004
Publico, Cincinnatti, OH
Space 1026, Philadelphia, PA
Roda Sten, Gothenburg, Sweden
1:100, DCKT Contemporary, New York, NY
III Communication II, Urbis, Manchester, UK
Something Else, The Vinyl Factory, London, UK
2003
Project Backjumps, Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
2002
NGBK, Berlin, Germany
Swoon loves Solovei, Urban-Art.info, Berlin, Germany