Sherm Sharma and Melena Ryzick of the NY Times put together a captivating video about Caledonia Curry, an artist who also goes by the name of Swoon. She started her art career as a street artist who would do things like use bolt cutters to get into a fenced-in condemned building in order to plaster one of her art works on the wall. It will just stay there and decay as the building decays, and that’s what Caldonia wants. So she’s a socially conscious activist, but that’s not all. She also has a couple of prints in the permanent collection of MOMA. She has expanded her work to include installation and performance art.
I like some of the things she says about her work. One would be: “The only way to move through something is to make work on the subject,” which means to me that she gets exercised on a certain subject, and she can’t rest until it gets explored in a work of art. That thought struck a cord with me because getting exercised over the murder of a teenage girl half a century ago is pretty much what launched me on my current efforts to write a novel about it. Swoon also says: “The job of the artist sometimes is to be a mental and emotional processor for some of these feelings and thoughts, the feelings and thoughts in this case being all about her mother dealing with her demons, and being Caledonia’s mother. Life of Wonderment Swoon Blurs the line between Art and Activism