"CHELSEA COMOS" EXHIBIT • SEPTEMBER 9 - DECEMBER 9, 2023 • AMSTERDAM WHITNEY GALLERY
It was only once I discovered another Bob Swedroe, “the passionate collage artist,” that I soon realized the depth of this man’s aesthetic prowess and utter genius.
I had the great pleasure of touring his studio just off the main house. Upon first glance, the studio resembled the most glorious spectrum of vivid color and imagery coming into vision from every direction. Upon closer scrutiny, each formal work of art revealed its multiple layers of hand cut paper and objects placed with a jeweler’s precision. I was struck by the deliberateness of the images selected and the remarkable use of color. I soon realized this was not a hobby but a full fledged career (a second career, if you will).
I have since encouraged Bob to continue working his alchemy. As a curator, it was increasingly clear to me that such amazing work of great detail and of an almost obsessive nature, would be fantastic as site-specific installations; filling entire rooms with images meandering on the floor, walls and ceilings. Great work of this caliber can hold an entire room and commands the viewer’s attention as it beckons personal interaction. We have since commissioned such a work for Art Basel.
There is a trend emerging in the contemporary art world in which iconic architects like Frank Gehry are taking on “second lives.” In searching for a means of expression beyond the design of buildings, they are returning to their original love of art. Robert Swedroe’s exciting collages exemplify this new trend.
The complexity and proficiency of his work reflect his experience as a world-renowned architectural designer, and yet they illuminate his passion for art.
My wife Cricket and I have commissioned Robert to create a bold and unique installation at our hotel for Art Basel. The most important personalities in the art world will then be able to experience and interpret Robert’s brilliance as an artist on site.
Having grown up in a house that featured one of Mr. Swedroe’s collages hung prominently on the wall, I was delighted to see his creative passions experience an almost superhuman resurgence over the past twelve months as he dove once again into the intricacies of his constructions.
Over three decades have passed and brought with them both new developments in technology as well as a full career of architectural projects.
His new collages reflect and encompass both: only an architect/artist can examine the relationship between two and three dimensions as Mr. Swedroe does. It has been a delight and an honor to watch his passion for both collecting and making art flourish simultaneously over the past year.
Recently I had the privilege of being invited to the magnificent home of Robert Swedroe and viewed his latest collection of amazing collages. Robert Swedroe is not only one of the most famous and respected architects in Florida but has managed to become one of the most creative artists in the field of multi-medium constructions.
How he has been able to join the world of art together with his great creativity as an architect is absolutely astounding. Swedroe’s collages are poetry in motion and color.
His ability to join materials produces an aesthetic message that is wonderfully suited to the medium of collage. His love of blazing colors, his taste for the exotic, his romanticism and wit, his flowing images of bodies and visions all find expression when put together in these brilliant constructions. Swedroe is an innovator and finds joy in exploring the unexplored.