SWOON: Mission District, San Francisco
June 25th, 2008 by admin
We never cease to be amazed with Swoon whose large-scale works we most often find hiding in obscure alleyways and street-sides worldwide. The most recent series of work featuring young Mexican women are scattered all over the streets of San Francisco. One piece in particular, an instillation at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts sits as a life size shrine, commenting on the disappearance of young Mexican women ages 16-24; whose disappearances have not only been neglected, but disregarded by Mexican government officials.
A similar piece lives in the Mission district of San Francisco. Untouched and undisturbed, this piece resides majestically between 24th and Hampshire. Extremely detailed and thoughtfully placed, the carefully stenciled piece appears to be a large orb of light emanating from a young woman. The girl’s eyes are innocent and tender, nervous and unsure, looking up from her traditional quincinera attire symbolizing her recent initiation into womanhood and an age of coming.
As the piece draws you in, one recognizes the elaborately carved skulls hiding in the orb, a representation of mortality often seen in religious artwork. There are many skulls, which may comment on the vast amount of girls who have gone missing and whose families await the day they can put them to rest. Also hiding in the orb are monarch butterflies and feathers, symbols of flight. According to Mexican folklore, the butterflies are said to present themselves as family members who have passed on.
Swoon modestly states that it is her sales from private collectors that fund her public works which remain art the heart of her process. These public works are what made her popular with urban art lovers across the globe. Her mission in making art available to the public sits at the heart of the Curbs & Stoops mission and for this we are elated to share this piece with you.