"...The new paintings are a body of work done during his one year sabbatical in Mexico... Much of Swallow's stay in Mexico was spent in the remote town of San Miguel de Allende, where he encountered what was to become the largest single influence on his painting - a Spanish painter named Santiago Carbonell who was living in the same area. Carbonell's masterful Renaissance figurative style, a historical eye and patient build from simple line and chiaroscuro guided Swallow's already classical penchant to a new level of technical accomplishment. Work from this time creates a delicate balance between abstractly expressive color fields and impeccable studies in the classical figure painting. The blend of archetypal elements from the canon of Western painting - the line and the color - produces an unmistakably modern sense of displacement in the compositions. The artist demonstrates his concerns with representations of gender and perception, specifically the values of traditional, conservative gender dichotomies. His work confronts the thin line which separates possession and rendering - that which has been termed a masculine gaze. Through deconstructing the paradigm of the artist and model, male and female, and exploring this delicate relationship in a religious context in this day and age. Swallow has taken his painting to a new level of cultural investigation. Swallow's paintings have grown to be more and more figurative, rendered in a sensual hand, lurking in lush shadows full of incense and faith. He has also begun a return to more explicitly Christian imagery. This represents a mature fusion between the deep religion of his youth and the flesh and vision of his adulthood. A quest critical to the spiritual growth of all humans, undertaken by a cruelly analytical and refined modern sensibility.

No comments:

Post a Comment