When I was at Pratt Institute as an undergraduate communications major, I was always so drawn to the painting and printmaking studios. Everything being made there was messy, uninhibited and full of passion. When I was nearing the end of my time at Pratt I was introduced to the work of an artist who went by the name of Swoon. I loved it; she was a kick ass lady taking her mess in the studio out into the streets. The work she was putting work up around Pratt’s campus and in Bed-Stuy was raw and completely inspiring. I remember making the trek under the BQE into no man’s land to see her giant wheat pastes before the organic grocery stores moved in.
Since those early days in 2005, I have followed her work closely. Swoon, born Caledonia Dance Curry, is a mixed media artist who specializes in life-size wheat paste prints and paper cutouts of human figures. She has had solo shows in NYC including at the Brooklyn Museum, has embarked on large-scale projects such as Swimming Cities which were part installation, part performance, and recently started a foundation called Heliotrope to help communities respond and heal after natural disasters and other urgent social crises. As an artist, she embodies everything I want to be as a creative person in the world.
With that, I was excited to introduce the ThoughtMatter studio to Swoon and her body of work. After my presentation, we all had the chance to attend her pop up exhibit “Swoon x Heliotrope x BSA Pop-Up Opening Reception” right near our office on 18th Street. It was a small but passion-filled show. We saw her work alongside 6 other artists–Case Maclaim, Faith XLVII, Icy and Sot, Li-Hill, Miss Van, Tavar Zawacki.
As a team, we resolved that Swoon “embodies empathy”, which is also what we hope to do every day with our work at ThoughtMatter.