HENRY SWANSON               henryswanson@icloud.com               214.709.3369

 

Education

2016     Rhode Island School of Design, BFA Painting

Selected Group Exhibitions / Publications

2018

"My Mom Can Drive If Your Mom Can Pick Up" (January11 - February 10) 
Anna Zorina Gallery - New York City, New York

Studio Residency at At Large Gallery (January 15 - February 3)
New York City, New York

2017

"Mad Festive": Friendship Summit 2017 - (July 15 - August 4)
Residency and Solo Exhibition at The Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas, Tx

L'OhNO Magasine presents: Henry Swanson -
Solo Exhibition at Brake and Clutch Supply, Dallas, Tx

2015

Cohesion - Zhen Music and Arts Institute, Dallas, TX

Strokes - Expose Gallery, Providence, RI

New Texas Talent - Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas, TX

2013

The College Hill Independent (Brown University) - illustrations featured in multiple issues

Soak It In (solo show) - GoodFriend Beer Garden, Dallas, TX

Press

2018

ArtNet News
"Editor's Picks 12 Things To See In New York This Week"
Link

Downtown NYC Magazine (February)
"From Dallas To Downtown Meet Artist Henry Swanson" by Laurie Russo
Link

2017

Modern Luxury Dallas (August Issue) by Steve Carter
"Society and Culture One To Watch"
Link

Patron Magazine (July Issue)
"Goss-Michael Get's 'Mad Festive' with Henry Swanson" by Anthony Falcon
https://patronmagazine.com/goss-michael-gets-mad-festive-july-15th/

Unvarnished Magazine Issue 1 - "The Beginning"
http://www.unvarnishedmag.com

CreateGate Magazine - "That Guy Who Draws Alot" 
https://www.creategate.com/single-post/2016/11/10/Henry-Swanson

Bio

I wore a clip-on tie to elementary school every Friday, and a small navy blue v-neck sweater.  I had a very ugly haircut in junior high.  Girls still thought I was cute.  I have a bad haircut now.  I wore the same striped polo shirt to my first two school dances.  No one noticed. 

I began my artistic career, if I have an artistic career, through a love of comics and television cartoons.  I drew the characters from direct observation and refused often to attend drawing sessions or camps.  I watched a lot of old television as a boy.  My favorite shows were Tom and Jerry, Peabody and Sherman, The Wacky Racers, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Secret Squirrel, and Looney Tunes.  I read the Sunday funny papers every week and tried to draw every character in every comic.

Through elementary school and high school I spent much of my time drawing as a coping mechanism with boredom or to rein in my running classroom commentary.  I mostly used office supplies (yellow legal pads and black bic writing pens or newsprint) to make all of my favorite drawings.  I was fortunate to have very talented and very patient art teachers who guided me to new areas.  I spray painted graffiti on our garage walls.  By college oil painting had become the majority of my work.

I spent little time in museums. I didn’t have favorite painters. I never worked from and continue to rarely work directly from observation.  Much of the work I made both then and now was from a strong sense of memory or imagination. 

Currently, I do have favorite painters. I have read about painting and its history.  I still don’t spend much time in museums.

Art is changing and that scares me.  I learned recently that art has always been changing and that it has always been scaring people.  I grew up experiencing art instead of learning it, as an exploration of what my hand could do - not what concept could justify the fun my hand was having on the paper. There was never need of a theory or dialogue.  I was not in conversation with anything or anyone but myself and this surface I was slowly manipulating.  The work I make now is made perhaps by an older man trying to maintain his naivety.

I want to paint all of my own paintings for the rest of my life until I am dead and I want to do it all for a living.  I am not here to be a philosopher or to outwit anybody. I am here to make a painting that makes you smile or think about something, or at least provides good comedic material for the person next to you; to be prolific as possible. There are beautiful ideas and beautiful images; I am here to try and have both.  I am here to make mostly paintings, but also some sculptures; mostly to entertain, but occasionally to be serious.

I love art and art making more today than I ever thought I would, way back during any of those afternoons watching television or drawing the funny papers. I love it so much more now.