Sunday, June 12, 2011

Swoon's Thalassa at NOMA


The opening was a vast populist affair as legions of cognoscenti, including thundering hordes of art and music-crazed twenty-somethings, descended on the New Orleans Museum of Art for the opening of Swoon's encompassing paper sculpture Thalassa in the Great Hall. During the past three years, Daytona-born, New York based Swoon developed a close relationship with New Orleans and several Nola artists. In 2008, she began wheat-pasting her paper cutouts on walls in the Bywater neighborhood. Since then, she's been involved in a collaboration with the New Orleans Airlift (dedicated to the cross-pollination of artistic ideas between New Orleans and other countries) on the creation of a musical arts venue and house in the Bywater called Dithyrambalina.

Swoon is internationally famous for her large-scale paper cutouts which she wheat pastes on the exteriors of buildings. Her work often depicts portraits of families, friends, and residents of local neighborhoods performing everyday activities such as working, cycling, or sitting on stoops. As an artist working extensively in prints and cutouts, she takes inspiration from vintage German Expressionism as well as Indonesian shadow puppetry. In 2005 she began displaying her installations in gallery settings in addition to her outdoor installations.

(Thalassa was made possible by support from The Joan Mitchell Center, the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, and Charles L. Whited, Jr.)