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Swoon: Drown Your Boats

by Wendy Dembo
on 15 February 2008

Swoon's first Los Angeles solo exhibition, "Drown Your Boats" opens tomorrow, 16 February 2008 at New Image Art. Partially inspired by Angela Carter's collection of short stories "Burning Your Boats," which reinterprets traditional tales and twists the mundane, you can see the connection as Swoon work combines glimpses of everyday life, legends and variations on mythic themes in her own graceful style.

Over the last several years Swoon has been covering the doorways and walls of the streets of New York and other cities with her delightfully detailed wheat-paste cutouts that, over time, become part of the cityscape. Swoon says, her images “are an x-ray of the person and the place where they live and the things that have seen in a day, if there is a way to record that.” She has images of kids playing, pigeons flying, people talking all done in her lyrical style. One of the highlights of the show is an image of a lady (it could be a self-portrait), who has a spine made out of fish bones that turns into a mermaid’s tail and hair that conceals skulls. As with most of Swoon’s work, looking closely rewards the viewer with hidden details. (Click images for larger sizes and see more after the jump.)

The centerpiece of the show is a modified canoe that will eventually become part of an installation at Deitch Projects this fall. The canoe will be part of the flotilla that will leave from Troy, NY during the month of August and arrive in NYC on 7 September 2008. Over the last few years, Swoon has been part of a group of “boat punks,” who have constructed their own boats, sailing down the Hudson and Mississippi Rivers using discarded building materials, trash and other found objects.

Luckily, it won’t be a scavenger hunt to see her pieces, they will all be on the walls of New Image Art gallery.

Drown Your Boats
Opening Reception: 16 February 2008, 7-10pm
New Image Art
7908 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046 map
tel. +1 323 654 2192

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