Monica Canilao & Swoon

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The exhibition “Feral” which opened this weekend at the Luggage Store in San Francisco is a collaborative show created by artists Monica Canilao and Swoon. Through the construction of immersible environments, the artists create a domain “populated by wicked women and feral girls.” They use wood, paint, paper, and found materials in the fabrication of their mystical and spontaneous world.

Canilao is interested in the passage of time and the exploration of space, home, community, and life. She uses expendable materials, such as paper and fabric, in the composition of her stitched and interwoven collages and sculptures, finding life and energy in items made by hand. Canilao received her B.F.A. in Illustration from California College of Arts and has exhibited in San Francisco at the Onsix Gallery and 111 Minna Gallery.

Brooklyn-based artist Swoon blends photography, traditional printmaking techniques, portraiture, and figurative drawings in the creation of her worlds, often populated by street people and characters based on her friends and family. Her subjects are realistically rendered and engage in typical pedestrian and urban activity. The inhabitants of this imaginary universe move through a cityscape of bridges, water towers, and fire escapes. Swoon’s brilliant use of positive and negative space gives life to her cut out creatures. Swoon has exhibited at Deitch Projects and MoMA’s P.S.1 in New York, but is best known for integrating her imagery into the city landscape. Inspired by traditional graffiti, she uses the city as her canvas, as well as engaging in street parties, poster campaigns, and billboard alterations. In New York City she has recently placed several hidden peepholes throughout the metropolis where, once stumbled upon, viewers are able to catch a glimpse of a secret and dream-like place. The installation “Feral” will remain at The Luggage Store until April 26, 2008.

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