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Michael Swaney

(Canada, 1978)

Born 1978 in Kimberley, British Columbia, lives and works in Barcelona.

Swaney's work is based on imagination, as an opposition to photography. He intentionally turns to references such as Jean Dubuffet, Art Brut or Outsider Art, and to infinite search channels such as the Internet.


His pieces are full of characters with a naive and symbolic appearance. Human figures made of essential strokes and colours and cut out on flat backgrounds. Simplified faces that Swaney uses with certain irony, as emoticons of today's society, as a window where to contemplate our world.


Known for his expressive painting and sculptures, Swaney invites the viewer to inquire about customs, rituals and objects from the perspective of the absurd. Their eagerness to reproduce situations of our daily life causes that, once introduced in the work, they adhere to a surrealist logic that leaves no one indifferent.

Acrylic, gesso and pen on canvas are enough for him to play with contemporary folklore in texts, newspaper clippings and artifacts. The result is multicolored jugs, symmetrical castellets and emoticons full of humor.

Swaney has exhibited his work in galleries and art fairs around the world; from Barcelona to New York, passing through Miami, Toronto, Copenhagen and Brussels.