Saturday, November 24, 2012

3rd Artist: Marc Swanson (For Nina)

Artist #3: Marc Swanson

Untitled (Boxer Box), 2010, Wood, chain, digital C-print, paint, polyurethane, 24 X 36 X 8 inches

Marc Swanson is an American artist, born in 1969 and raised in small-town New England by his father, who was an avid hunter and an ex-marine. In the early ‘90’s, he moved to San Francisco and became deeply involved in the gay counterculture scene there. At this time, he began making his most well known works—his crystal-covered bucks. These works explore the duality of his masculine identities and expresses the tear between his childhood influences and his adult life. When he moved to San Francisco he didn’t feel quite at home, and didn’t feel at home with his father either. His work is deeply tied to his own history. 
Swanson makes art from a wide array of media, including sculpture, drawing, collage, photography, video, and installation. In his sculptures alone, the materials used are diverse and reflective of the duality the works express. He often incorporates both “high” and “low” materials into his sculptures, such as crystals and gold and silver chains mixed in with cheap lumber and t-shirts and found antlers.
The first time I saw one of Swanson’s sculptures was two years ago t the Walker’s “Spectacular Vernacular” show. The piece was his Looking Back Buck, and its elegance was so striking I had to go back and look at it multiple times. Learning about his work and history now makes it even more beautiful to me.


Killing Moon III, 2005, Mixed media

Untitled (Looking Back Buck), 2004, Crystals, polyurethane foam, adhesive, 38 x 18 x 18 inches

Black Fighting Bucks, Crystals, polyurethane foam, adhesive, 2009

Killing Moon II, 2005, Mixed Media


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