Every now and again someone brings something into the frame shop that takes your breath away. I had a client do just that last week with an original work of art by the New York street artist “Swoon”. I have to admit I wasn’t too familiar with Swoon as an artist but was immediately captivated and converted to a fully signed up member of her fan club.Swoon is a street artist born in New London, Connecticut, and raised in Daytona Beach, Florida. She moved to New York City at age nineteen, and specializes in life-size wheat-paste prints and paper cutouts of figures. Swoon regularly pastes works depicting people, often her friends and family, on the streets in various places around the world. Usually, pieces are pasted on uninhabited locations such as abandoned buildings, bridges, fire escapes, water towers and street signs. Her work is inspired by both art historical and folk sources, ranging from German Expressionist wood block prints to Indonesian shadow puppets. The piece my client was stunning, as you can see from the image it’s a delicate wheat-paste image, cut out and glued to slatted wood. It was hard to tell exactly what the wood was before it became the home for a work of art. It’s heavy and was probably a window shutter of some description. Our task was to work out a way to hang this 40lbs piece with nothing showing.
The answer was a French Cleat. Used frequently for kitchen and shop cabinets, a French cleat is an easy, yet strong way to hang large items on the wall. It consists of a piece of dimensional timber ripped in half on a table saw at a 45-degree angle. One half of the bracket is mounted on the wall and the other on the back of the piece itself. The result is amazing, it looks like our Swoon is floating on the wall, something that completely suits the image.
Here’s some more information on the artist