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Swoon's Sea Goddess Spotted Across the Pond
by Brad Rhines
Swoon's giant sea goddess at the New Orleans Museum of Art may stand as her great leap (or, swim) indoors. But, as she said when we interviewed her recently, there's an international community of artists that are her friends and family, and no reason to stay off the streets just because she has one piece of work in a museum. She’s worked with a like-minded band of builders and artists in Haiti, Venice, and, of course, New Orleans. And this past weekend the Great Hall's sea goddess, Thalassa, was spotted on the streets of London.
UK street-art blog Hooked spotted Swoon’s work on a red brick building in East London last Sunday. It’s not hard to recognize Swoon’s signature cut-paper techniques, but this particular piece should be especially recognizable to New Orleanians.
In December, Swoon will unveil a new installation at the Black Rat Projects gallery space in London, a group she has collaborated with in the past. Thalassa’s appearance on nearby streets confirms what Swoon told NoDef about navigating her career between the world of street art and the world of museums and galleries, not letting one kind of work dominate her time and effort.
“It’s just recognizing that those museum institution projects are just one piece of a whole puzzle,” she told us. Even as she becomes a fixture in museums and galleries, “it doesn’t mean I can’t go back to this other way of working” in outdoor spaces.
Swoon said her work outside is “meant to be this moment of freedom in this impermanent space,” and the piece is London was just that, both impermanent and only a moment. Hooked reported yesterday that “it looks like Hackney Councils buff team beat us to it and have already removed this piece.” We don’t really know what a “buff team” is, but we bet Fred Radtke would make a good recruit.
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