Street Sweeper 2014

Swoon, whose real name is Caledonia Dance Curry, is a Brooklyn-based artist whose realistic, life-sized woodblock and cut-paper portraits show people in motion on walls, across bridges and fire escapes and more. She is a mixed media artist who specializes in life-size wheatpaste prints and paper cutouts of human figures.

She studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, receiving a BA in fine arts in 2002. She started to gain recognition for her street art around 1999 and large-scale installations soon thereafter; in 2005, she was the subject of an eponymous solo exhibition mounted by now-mentor Jeffrey Deitch.

Swoon started her street art in 1999. At the time she was attending the Pratt Institute, studying painting. However, she began to feel restrained by the sense that her life was already laid out for her. She believed that she would simply paint a few pictures that would end up on a wall in a gallery or someone’s home. Her art would only be seen by those affluent enough to go to galleries and buy art. At the same time she was trying to find what she describes as context. She stated that she wanted to become part of the world. Her response to this desire was what she believes to be a very literal one: gluing her art to walls. Wheat pasting became a way for her to discover and understand her impact in the world.

Her work has been featured in the New York Times and the Huffington Post. She has designed and built several large-scale, community-based installations. Socially involved in several organization, starting in 2010, she joined the Konbit Shelter project aimed at giving back to earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Her pieces have been collected by of The Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Tate Modern. 

The Brooklyn Museum has done solo shows for Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, but hers was the first devoted to a living street artist, a woman who rooted her career in Brooklyn.