Sailing With Swoon: Inside Her ‘Submerged Motherlands’ at the Brooklyn Museum

Submerged Motherlands

Last Thursday night, in one of the Brooklyn Museum’s cavernous fifth-floor galleries, a drummer sat about 40 feet above the ground on a remarkably well-constructed hodgepodge of wooden planks, plastic baskets and sheets of corrugated metal, tapping away on the cymbals of his drum set. Below him, two female singers stood on the same construction, purring harmonious oohs and aahs. With four other musicians, they made meditative electronic music that was evocative of running water, blanketing the audience of about 300 clustered around them.

They were performing within Submerged Motherlands, an installation by Swoon, the Brooklyn artist whose given name is Caledonia Curry, and who is probably best-known for two fairly ambitious projects—the series of giant, rough-hewn portraits that she’s wheatpasted on buildings around Brooklyn and Manhattan since 1999, and for sailing into the 2009 Venice Biennale on rafts made from New York City trash, causing quite a scene. As it happens, the musicians were actually perched on those same rafts for the evening’s performance, which was titled “Submerged Collaborations” and included the screening of a fictional movie about those rafts. Read More

pop-up shops

From ‘Spit and Polish’ to ‘Siren Song,’ Artists Served Up Services at Swoon’s Charity Beauty Shop

19 Photos

Pearly's Beauty Shop

Saturday night, artist Callie Curry (a k a Swoon), hosted a pop-up beauty parlor in Long Island City. Patrons were offered up anything from a $10 “Primp” to a $500 “Total Transfiguration” by an artist of their choice—Mickalene Thomas, Duke Riley, Dustin Yellin and Natalie Frank were a few on hand helping to raise money for Ms. Curry’s community art center in North Braddock, Penn. We’re told they succeeded in bringing in nearly $55,000 (both from the event and from the sale of a work by Ms. Curry). Read More

pop-up shops

Dustin Yellin Will Do Your Hair at Swoon’s Pop-Up Beauty Parlor

The site of Callie Curry's future art center in North Braddock, Pennsylvania. (Courtesy Swoon Studio)

You may have seen Dustin Yellin’s show at Half Gallery in April, but come September, the artist will put aside his resin specimens and will do your hair, for the right price. Mr. Yellin is one of the many artists including Mickalene Thomas, Natalie Frank, Duke Riley, K8 Hardy and Dzine who will be offering up their services for a few hours at Pearly’s Beauty Shop on the night of September 8. Read More


Friend Me! Tweet This! Collect That?

"Rainbow City"

Last Wednesday artists and techies crammed the main hall of General Assembly, one of Silicon Alley’s group workspaces, for a panel called “Art Outside the Gallery.” The discussion included entertaining takes on how people discover new art these days: interior designer and set decorator Christina Tonkin described how one client, an unnamed New York Yankee, wanted the painting that hung in superagent Ari Gold’s office on the HBO show Entourage. (It wasn’t a real painting, so she had it reproduced by the show’s set designer). Also on the panel was the affable painter Richard Phillips, who regaled the audience with anecdotes about texting with Lindsay Lohan. Read More