“labor and learning”

From a little kid growing up in the Bahamas, to a young woman setting the art world on fire! Bahamian born, Toronto based artist Gio Swaby is my guest today, and I could not be more thrilled. I met Gio a few years ago at an art show in Vancouver, and I’ve been following her ever since… lately she’s been hard to keep up with! Spoiler Alert: She just had her first solo show in New York and it SOLD OUT. I asked Gio all of my questions, and her answers covered everything from going to church in a bathing suit and jeans, to preparing for her first solo museum show… yep, quite the gamut! Look/listen right up there under Gio at her recent show in New York, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts and/or Spotify.

First, this is some of Gio’s work I saw the night we met, way back in 2018 at the “Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series” show:

See? THAT is why I had to track her down at the party! So. Good.

The next series I saw – thanks to Instagram – included a few of these pieces. These are the ones she often hangs in large grids and or salon style:

Love! The pieces above are from two series. The solid silhouettes are from “New Growth”, and the ‘drawings’ are part of “My Hands Are Clean”.

Next, just a few of my faves from Gio’s recent solo show, “Both Sides of the Sun”, at Claire Oliver Gallery in New York:

I said it before and I’ll say it again… What the wha!? I love them all so much.

And, what Gio and I both love more than we can say:

… Black women and girls “seeing themselves” in Gio’s work. No wonder she cried when those photos started showing up online. And yes, that’s Claire with Gio in the final photo. A force of nature x TWO! Thank you so much to Gio for taking time out of her insane schedule to talk to me for so long; thanks to Wireframe for supporting this episode; and thanks to YOU for listening! There will be more ART FOR YOUR EAR next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Gio on Instagram
  2. Claire Oliver Gallery, Harlem NY
  3. New York Times article
  4. Museum of Fine Art St. Pete {Florida}
  5. College of The Bahamas
  6. Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Vancouver
  7. Ontario College of Art & Design
  8. Bisa Butler, Artist
  9. Bisa Butler on ART FOR YOUR EAR
  10. John Oliver ‘Last Week Tonight’ : Black Hair
  11. Wireframe {Podcast}