Marc Swanson

Marc Swanson (born 1969, Connecticut) works in diverse media, including sculpture, drawing, collage, video, and installation. The artist employs a refined range of materials, relying on a concentrated vocabulary most recently comprised of wood, paster, fabric, and fringe. The artist grew up the son of an ex-Marine and avid hunter in small-town New England. He then moved to San Francisco in the early 1990s and became involved in the city’s gay counterculture and club scene. He did not feel totally at home in either place, and he began making his first mature work—the crystal-covered deer head sculptures for which he is perhaps best known—as a way to explore, both physically and spiritually, the duality of masculine identities he was experiencing. To this day, this investigation of personal history saturates his work in all media, as does a quiet nostalgia that accompanies such a mining of the artist’s past. As the critic David Velasco writes, “Swanson is an automythologist, one who excels at crafting sparkling, enigmatic totems from the messiness of his own history.”


Swanson earend an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College, NY in 2004. He has exhibited around the country since his inclusion in the inaugural Greater New York at PS1 in 2005, including solo exhibitions at Inman Gallery, Houston, TX (2017 and 2011); Basilica Hudson Back Gallery, Hudson, NY (2016); American Dance Institute, Rockville, MD (2015); and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (2011). His work is included in many public collections, including those of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; and the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, Australia.

Swanson currently lives and works in Catskill, NY