Johnny Swing was born in 1961 in Salisbury, Connecticut. In 1984, he completed his BS in fine arts from Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine in 1986. Currently living in Vermont, Swing has spent the majority of his career in New York City’s East Village. His work can be found in the permanent collections of notable museums and art centers around the world, including the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, New York.
Johnny Swing has exhibited in numerous exhibitions, including solo shows at Catherine Dianich Gruver Gallery, Brattleboro, Vermont in 2006 and at the Brattleboro Museum in 2005. Swing also participated in a two-person show at Reeves Contemporary, New York, NY in 2006.
Artist’s Statement: Art making is a social responsibility. To honor the privilege of being an artist, there are expectations I have for my work. First, it needs to be entertaining; second, it needs to spark curiosity, so that it creates a dialogue with the viewer; and third, it should have a formal quality, so that when the work is or approximates furniture, it must be comfortable.
The dialogue around art is the most complex; most work achieves this dialogue in the visual/ethereal plane. My recent sculptures which function as furniture focus on the physical. During the interaction between the viewer and the work of art a sharing occurs, the senses are alerted, and a primal experience is generated by being on/in the work. A feeling of bliss, a surprise, a sense of oneness and belonging exists. After the initial shock of the experience comes the inevitable investigation on the part of the viewer, and what was once limited to the eyes is now open to the flesh.
I have made objects of refulgence, with money–the material that makes the world go round. These, flat hard shiny coins in a circular format, which have been touched, hoarded, traveled, and traded for goods and services are now released from their original burden. Assembled together to form the furniture they become part of the play in swirls, lines and patterns.