MICHAEL SWANEYby Guy Yanai | 14.07.13
It has been a few years since I got aware of the oeuvre of Michael Swaney. Last year, we both showed our work at Alice BXL Gallery, in Brussels, at a show called Domesticated Souls. At the opening Alice Van Den Abeele told me that people were asking if this show was a movement of some sort. She of course answered no.
Swaney is looking; is observing in a new way, a way that observes life as it is now. There is a real anxiety here about living today, about visual culture today, about objects today.
Born and raised in Canada, Swaney now lives in Barcelona, Spain. This move from North America to continental Europe is prevalent in his work, in these shifts and sharp edges that we see happening all over. The works are usually flat, in your face, with colors placed in a direct manner, but look longer, and you realize how intricate and complex these works are; what might look random is actually very calculated, what might look calculated is an exploited mistake.
The sheer number of mediums in Swaney’s work also reflects the ambition of his vision: sculptures, zines, drawings, paintings, web projects, collaborations. It’s this prolific nature that actually resonates through in every work.