The studio is excited to announce our first major print release on our new site. Here's the details:
Moni And The Sphynx 2017
15 color Silkscreen with hand painted acrylic gouache and watercolor
Paper Size: 23.5" x 30.5"
Image Size: 19.5" x 22.5"
Signed edition of 75
$750 To be released this Thursday May 25th at noon est on swoonstudio.org
Welcome home Joanna Torres! The last member of the team is home from Haiti and the build is complete. What an epic long beautiful life changing journey this has been since 2010. This home, (one section of which pictured here) could never have happened without this lil' core team of heroes - Joanna and Octavio of @oficina.design Mike O'Toole of @dash7_design film maker and mastermind Fredric King @fredricking and the unstoppable @fritzleogane, not to mention all of our friends in Cormiers Haiti, the folks at @bambuterra and everyone who has thrown down for @theheliotropefoundation somewhere along the way. Gratitude and blessings y'all! ✨🌟💖🌟✨
Moni and the Sphinx, getting her final hand painted highlight layers for this Thursday's print release. She's a 15 color silk screen and offset print with hand painting, edition of 75, and she'll be coming out on the studio's new website. We'll keep you posted!
Last day for "To Accompany Something Invisible" @allouchegallery. Thanks again to everyone who came out, and to @sandrewmelbs for bringing it all together.
Closing day for "To Accompany Something Invisible" at @allouchegallery NYC
Today's the last day to see the show in NYC "To Accompany Something Invisible" closes today @allouchegallery
Final weekend for "To Accompany Something Invisible" at @allouchegallery photo by @wanderlustflaneur
Studio, color scales part three.
In the studio. Allowing myself the simple pleasure of color scales part two.
Brooklyn, 2005. Photo by @joshuarwiles
Background on the new print, just released yesterday. Each of the portraits starts as a larger than life sized linoleum block carving. This process takes me about a month from the initial drawing and carving stages, through to the printing, with all of its tiny adjustments. I began making linoleum block prints even though I was a painter at the time, because I wanted to make something graphically strong and repeatable that could stand out in the loud dialogue of a New York City street. All these years later, the demands of trying to capture a true expression and presence in a medium that limits you to two tones then twists everything up and and spits it out at you backwards has become an obsession of its own. Here's the original block, cleaned up after getting its first ink. Still a few left of this print series up on my new site. Link in bio.
Moni and the Sphinx, the print we just released this afternoon, is a portrait of my most singular muse and collaborator. Here is a picture of the original drawing on the linoleum before it was carved. It's my second portrait of her in the last handful of years. This one I drew and carved while I was in a fairly secluded wilderness environment, and while I often draw from photographic reference, all of the symbols and decorative elements in this one were drawn straight from imagination. Something about being a little closer to the edge of the world while I was making it seems to have influenced that process. With each portrait I find that the symbolic elements accrue to tell their own story, and with this one that intuitive process was especially strong - rivers and wildflowers, owls, sphinxes forming a looping narrative about the instinctual nature of the psyche, growth, abundance, boundaries and protection. And maybe most importantly sitting in the center of our own creative power. Monica is an artist who seems to spin a world directly out the tips of her fingers and I found a sense of lightning or spider silk coming from her finger tips seemed to naturally emerge as I drew.
Link to the print in my bio, and more about Moni and what she makes here @__moreferalthan__
And she's live! "Moni And The Sphinx" now available on SwoonStudio.org, link in profile.
A detail shot of "Moni and the Sphinx" which drops tomorrow at noon on the studio's new website. For this print we worked with offset printing along side silk screen to capture the look of the staining textures that accompany the large scale portraits. As well each print got a final hand painted layer of washes and highlights. Link in bio for tomorrow's release. Thanks @cloudshopstudios for the new site!! And thanks @havenpress for bringing all your expertise into this print.
Momma wall mandala, and paper cut wall in progress. Last two days of "To Accompany Something Invisible" at @allouchegallery
Allowing myself the simple pleasure of color scales.
Last couple days to see the process oriented solo show up at Allouche Gallery in Manhattan. "To Accompany Something Invisible" goes through May 21st @allouchegallery
In the studio working on getting the tones just right for our upcoming print release. It's so so hard for me to let things go from the studio without some hand painting, and she's no exception. Blue washes coming in to balance the yellows, and bring up the sense of fecundity and growth. Moni and the Sphinx will be up on our new site sometime next week. We'll keep you posted!
Update from Haiti!
I'm writing with a happy heart, fresh off the plane from Haiti.
To recap, we’re in the finishing stages of a beautifully architected and engineered bamboo home for an extended family who lost loved ones to the earthquake.
The build process has employed large parts of the community in a rotating skills-building work crews.
Economically, what this means for Cormiers is that many many families can now do things like buy seeds for their farms, send their kids to school, repair their homes, as well as buy shoes, food, and clothing for their families.
Madame Louisana, the matriarch of the family is over the moon about her new home, and the security it will offer to her grand children when she passes on.
And, Klub Obzevetwa, our after school program has been loving their connection to the building of the house. Each week we have given them exercises related to structures, to bamboo, to decorative designs and other elements of our work, as well as frequently touring them through the build site to learn more about the stages of the process.
And this last trip I found that people are recognizing and appreciating what this house represents in terms of a re-learning of traditional building techniques with the extra breath of life given to them via modern engineering and tools. Yesterday someone said to me "The young generation is now now learning what their grandparents knew, but their parents forgot. People started to build everything out of cinder block, and we forgot the old ways. Now we see how unsafe the cinder blocks we use are, and we are re-learning the importance of the materials we have all around us."
Octavio and Joanna, our incredible architecture team from Oficina Design have bee there nearly three months, overseeing every aspect of the build to perfection, and making sure that their knowledge is passed on to our local crew.
I can’t even begin to explain what this means to me to be competing an arc of work started with a community 7 years ago. I am giddy with lightness.
We have one last week to go to make sure every last detail is buttoned up, and we’d love your help. Link in bio to learn more. Photo by @oficina.design
Haiti update: We've added a new gallery on our Heliotrope site to host the craft collaborations, as well as the most recent series of sketches I made of folks in Cormiers. I started the sketches series about 2 years ago, because I found that it was impossible to choose one subject for a portrait the way that I usually do. With Cormiers, there are so many beautiful people that I love so much, and I just wanted to draw everyone, so I started a new body of small works that’s just portraits from the village. The link to page is in my bio. @theheliotropefoundation