Michael Swaney Canadian, b. 1978

Mike Swaney is a Canadian born, Barcelona based multidisciplinary artist, specialising in painting, collage and video. The artist has become renowned for his simplified graphic compositions, his masterful balance of geometrical forms and naive figures and his scrupulous attention to texture and colour. Swaney has exhibited extensively in group and solo exhibitions throughout Europe and North America, including in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Paris, Brussels, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Madrid, Lyon, Stockholm & Zurich.


Initially embarking his creative career through the field of graphic design, Swaney pivoted to visual arts through the foundry of an artistic collective named The Human Five. In this group, Swaney was one of four artists who created unanimously as one; “We basically renounced egoism and painted as one only person. Everybody was doing the same thing, the same sculpture, everybody taking the same photographs… Just working as a collective”, he explains to Metal Magazine.  


Swaney’s artistic process is grounded in pure authentic art and creation. Working intuitively, his subject matter often emerges through the process of creation. “I don’t think of specific ideas before working, I just start with one simple idea and make stuff. And then, out of that chaos, there’s always some underlying theme that makes sense afterwards.”


In recent years, Swaney is recognised for his painted works, though the artist explains his artistic practices in sculpture also help to inform his painterly pieces. The process of creation is an immersive and all-encompassing experience to Swaney, often drawing inspiration from minute practices in his artistic process; “There are always like twenty to thirty pieces going at the same time, laid out on the floor, on the walls, sculptures in the middle, the desks are always covered in every material… I have to see everything that I have, but it has to be somewhat organized.” This results in a multi-dimensional amalgamation on canvas, meticulously drawing inspiration from all aspects of life; his childhood, his present life, his Spanish surroundings and the expansive depths of his subconscious.