Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
This monograph is the first to explore the work of the street artist Swoon, drawing readers into her imaginative world and showcasing the full range of her artistic practices, from street art to studio work and junkyard boats to spontaneous street parties. Arranged around a loose chronology, the book focuses first on her street art: life-size prints and paper cutouts of figures that take on a new life as natural elements slowly erode and destroy the paper. The same faces she once pasted on the street corners of New York starting ten years ago begin to appear in gallery spaces and in installations that have been exhibited around the world.
Also included are her most recent and highly publicised projects, the Swimming Cities, created by scavenging junk to craft makeshift steamships that are part floating artwork, part performance and part experiments in communal living. With the help of friends and volunteers, Swoon launched a group of these riverboats first down the Mississippi River, then the Hudson River and in June of 2009 into Venice for the Biennale. Also featured are images of her art collective Toyshop, which orchestrates a form of organic public theater that could include anything from a ragtag band patrolling Manhattan's Lower East Side to a pirate takeover of the Staten Island ferry.
The texts include essays from fellow artists and collaborators such as famed gallery owner Jeffrey Deitch, playwright Lisa D'Amour, writer and activist Rollo Romig and artist Jeff Stark.