Michael Swaney: Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Red Deer
The other day, while on one of my regular gallery tours in Vancouver, I stopped by Atelier Gallery during the installation of their most recent show, a series of collages by Canadian-born, Barcelona-based artist Michael Swaney. I was immediately taken with one of the images leaning up against the wall waiting to be hung. The staff were kind enough to let me browse through the rest of the images, and I have to say that I was equally captivated by pretty much every other picture in the show.
Michael Swaney collects "the relics of our consumerist society" and uses them to create bright and busy scenes that are delightfully absurd. The found scraps of paper that he uses are often painted and layered. This manipulation of the stained and discolored papers, not only allows the works to maintain their original aesthetic quality, but also transforms each picture into something fresh. I love that in the chaos of the little scenes, you can always find elements of his quirky sense of humor, often reflected in his unusual titles (i.e. "Polish Situation with Sticks").
You can see of Michael Swaney's work on his website, but if you get the chance you should check them out in person.