Swoon is a street artist originally from Daytona Beach, Florida. She moved to New York City at age nineteen, and specializes in life-size wheatpaste prints and paper cutouts of figures. Swoon, real name Caledonia Dance Curry, studied painting at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and started doing street art around 1999. Swoon is also a member of the Justseeds Artist Cooperative.
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 going about 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’s exhibitions and workshops in the United States and Europe have included collaborations with the art collectives, Glowlab, Black Label Bike Club, 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. In 2007 the Hui No’eau on Maui hosted Swoon under their visiting artist program wing of their internationally acclaimed Hui Press print studios. For two weeks she taught and collaborated with gifted Maui children in the creation of woodblock prints which they installed in the Hui No’eau gallery.
Swoon is a founding member of the art collective the Miss Rockaway Armada a group which built large rafts out of salvaged materials and floated them down the Mississippi River in 2006 and 2007.
In the summer of 2008 she presented a two-part exhibition with Deitch Projects called Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea. It was a large installation inside the Deitch Studios space as well as a journey of seven handmade sculptural wooden rafts from Troy, NY down the Hudson River and up the East River in New York City to the Deitch Studios gallery. Every night the crew would stage a performance on the banks of the river, with musical accompaniment from the band Dark Dark Dark. In the same year, Swoon was featured in Chiara Clemente’s documentary “Our City Dreams”.
Swoon and a crew of 30 crashed the 2009 Venice Biennale with “the Swimming Cities of Serenissima,” a performance project similar to the Miss Rockaway Armada and the Swimming Cities of the Switchback Sea. The crew sailed from Slovenia in rafts made of New York City garbage, as well as one raft made from material scrapped along the coast of Slovenia. The project stopped at various points on the way to meet the locals, collect artifacts for their on-board “cabinet of curiosities” and to prepare for the culminating performance entitled, “The Clutchess of Cuckoo.” Once in the Venice Lagoon, the rafts and their company performed throughout Venice nightly and docked at Certosa Island. They “barnstormed” the Grand Canal at 3:00 a.m.
Swoon pasted up works on various North Philadelphia buildings as part of Philagrafika 2010.