The NYT has a profile of Swoon, the Brooklyn-based artist, who has a solo show of her projects at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.   The Times writes that it is the the museum’s first show “to a living street artist.”   The article writes about her different projects and describes a recent wheat pasting experience.

She carried a paper portrait of a cityscape and a teenager from Braddock, and quickly pasted it on a cement wall. “I loved the little rebellion of it,” she said of her early experience wheat-pasting, though now she mostly does it legally. (She had permission to work here.) Wherever she travels, she leaves images like these behind. “It just feels like the spine of my work,” she said. “I still love all of the stories that get related to me about what different pieces mean to people, and how it affects the neighborhood and how they feel about the decay and passing of each piece.”

The Mission is one of the places she has left art behind.  Her first piece went up one night in the fall of 2008.  When that disappeared, Swoon sent another piece and we followed the installation (one aborted) of that piece and finally its impact on some on 24th Street.

And here is an added chapter that I learned sometime in 2012 when I ran into a young man who had grown up the neighborhood and talked to him about the wheat paste and its impact on the neighborhood.  To him, he said, the impact was direct because in the spot where Swoon put the first wheat paste, he said, had been used by drug dealers to hide a stash or two.  Once the wheat paste went up, he said, they moved elsewhere.

Follow Us

Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

Leave a comment

Please keep your comments short and civil. Do not leave multiple comments under multiple names on one article. We will zap comments that fail to adhere to these short and very easy-to-follow rules.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *