Brooklyn-based artist Caledonia Curry, known as Swoon in the street art community, will be unveiling her work, Thalassa, tonight at NOMA. I first became aware of Swoon’s street art in 2008 when I saw her work (photo below) plastered on the side of a crumbling structure on Tchoupitoulas which is no longer there.
Back then, I was regularly photographing street art along Tchoupitoulas as I traveled it twice a day to my workplace. I’d never seen art like this on the street before so I contacted ReX of NoLA Rising who told me it was Swoon’s work. I could tell the piece wasn’t actually painted onto the structure and, subsequently, read that Swoon paints onto paper which she applies to buildings with wheat paste.
In the fall of 2010 Swoon visited New Orleans again, leaving, I believe, three images in the Bywater/St.Claude area. I was able to photograph one of the pieces on St.Claude, below. (Update: went by this site 6/11 and the art has been greyed out.)
“Big paper prints are Swoon’s stock and trade, but they’re not the sort of tame art reproductions so often found framed on apartment walls. Swoon, 33, gained international fame as a graffiti guerrilla, aggressively applying her artwork to public places with — or without — the property owner’s permission. But Swoon’s style has always been a bit gentler than most taggers. Curry’s lacy paper prints, often perforated with hundreds of shaped holes and affixed to public walls with old-fashioned wheat paste, aren’t permanent like spray paint. In time, they peel away. And the images she chooses to decorate urban common areas — mostly portraits of benign deities and ordinary folk — don’t have the same alienated bravado of most graffiti writers.”
Swoon will speak tonight at NOMA at 6 p.m. There is also reception is from 5 to 10 p.m. and Thalassa will be on view through September 25.