Swoon's work first began popping...
up on the streets of New York City around 1999, while she was still in art school. She craved direct engagement with the public, so she placed her art—life-sized portraits of friends, neighbors and family—around the city in unexpected places. Her prints and delicate paper cut-outs allowed her to prepare the pieces ahead of time and wheat-paste them on walls in forgotten corners of the city. Since those early days, her work has appeared in museums and galleries around the world and even floated down the Mississippi on an elaborate raft called Miss Rockaway Armada, as part of her "Swimming Cities" project.
In 2009, Swoon collaborated with Ben Wolf and David Ellis to create a piece for the Wynwood Walls project. All three artists come from slightly different directions, yet they speak the same language. Ben's focus has an architectural slant, devoting his practice to sculpture and installation. "My work reflects my interests: rotten boards, rusted stairwells, peeling paint and other such decadence of abandonment," he says. David, on the other hand, uses patterns in his work. His art is like a song, simple and repetitive, that quietly transfixes the viewer. The combination of these artists for this Wynwood Walls project merges three very different styles to create a single image that wraps panoramically around the walls of a two-story building.
Along the bottom of the wall, David's geometric patterns build up like a psychedelic wave, pushing along Swoon's delicate, disintegrating palaces and Wolf's abandoned walls and collapsed roofs above. Situated on the corner of the building at 2nd Avenue and 21st Street, the image seems like it could almost spill off the façade and flood out into the street. The movement inherent in this monumental piece reminds us of the humbling force of nature, a force that can wash away manmade structures in the blink of an eye. At once elegant and unsettling, their mural is a welcome addition to the Wynwood Walls project.