artist statement

Me talking still about art. (photo by: Paulo Lopes Lobão 2013)
Me talking still about art. (photo by: Paulo Lopes Lobão 2013)

After a difficult internal struggle regarding what constitutes art, its place in our persistently changing world, and what it should (or shouldn’t) achieve; I’ve come to the conclusion that despite the emotional weight of global economic and political conditions, the catastrophic effects of global warming, conflict, disease…it’s important to create art that allows some form of beauty to prevail. Some semblance of hope.

Art can provoke a thoughtful assessment of various circumstances, issues, and perceptions. However, this world has enough darkness; it’s not my place to bring works of art into existence that solely draw attention to the ugly truths of the human condition, while granted, those truths shouldn’t be ignored.

Commerce without Morality I
Commerce without Morality I • 24in x 24in •Mixed media collage • Carly Swenson • 2010

My previous bodies of work were predominately mixed media collage with a combination of classical, conceptual and ordinary imagery to create aesthetically intriguing and thought provoking pieces, often with social commentary or feminist undertones.

Historical changes in art, culture, religious interpretations, and social conventions infinitely are fascinating and were very influential to my work. Ideally, viewers found their own interpretations based on the visuals I created and their own personal associations with the imagery.  Mixed media offers the freedom to utilize different supplies, adding textures, and tangible materials creates an effect that I still find alluring.

What Death Will Leave Behind… • 24in x 36in • Acrylic on canvas • Carly Swenson • 2015

Over the last several years my work has been evolving. I still use mixed media techniques, especially with certain commissioned works or when collaborating with another creative.

However, I have also begun to refine the intuitive nature of creating work.  This has been an underlying component in my art since I began really delving into mixed media. Focusing on the freeing beauty of the process, creating layer and layer, using colors, textures, and brushstrokes that simply feel right–with no final objective.  Working without any idea of what finished will be until I get there. The pieces develop and I intuitively fill in the imagery.

Ultimately, I want my work to express what I can’t verbally articulate.

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