Swoon's work has been haunting me. On a recent trip to DJ Rusty Lazer's house in New Orleans it was there, bedecking a rundown Bywater neighborhood fence that concealed a village of homes that can be played as a symphony (she also designed a structure for the mini-city, a dream tree house atop stilts). As one strolls though the world one sees it here, there – fairy webs of delicate wheatpaste strands on city walls.
So it's no surprise that the Mission's been eager to replace the wheatpaste Swoon (also known as Caledonia Curry) installed on Tony's Market at 24th Street and Hampshire. Rejoice: after the original was defaced in August 2011, the female street artist's new piece will finally adhere to Tony's on Tue/28.
Goddess knows there are superlative female street artists based in San Francisco. Mona Caron, Juana Alicia -- but here as in other places in the world women still (still!) haven't gained the firmest of footholds in the street art world. Swoon is probably the best-known XX-chromosoned public artist out there, along with NYC's Lady Pink.
So it was nice to have her around the city. Mission Local's Molly Oleson penned a rather lovely little account of how Swoon's piece -- originally an image of a woman who had been kidnapped in Mexico's spates of femicide -- came to be on 24th Street and Hampshire. It has to do with Chicken John's house, says Chicken John.
The neighborhood liked it very much. But in one of the more bizarre cases of vandalism I've heard of, someone wrote the word 'VOTE' over it in big, artless red letters last August. Subsequent efforts to scrub off the letters half-obliterated Swoon's work, so a team of concerned creative types including street art book editor Annice Jacoby, Lesley Freeman, and Chicken John contacted Swoon for a replacement, which she was reportedly happy to make. Oleson's story includes a slightly humorous retelling of the moment when the team realized the replacement piece Swoon had sent wasn't going to work out -- happily for San Francisco, she was happy to create a second version of the replacement.
This version, Swoon says in an artist's statement, is a commentary on water issues surrounding the Gulf disaster in New Orleans. And the rendering that's been done of the piece shows that its in color, not always the case in Swoon's body of work. You're welcome to go check out the piece getting put up tomorrow, and hear more about the inspiration behind the design in the video Swoon shot for Time Out New York below:
Swoon mural re-installation
Tue/28 noon, free
24th Street and Hampshire, SF