“A child sees everything in a state of newness,” reiterated Baudelaire in The Painter of Modern Life (1863), “genius is nothing more nor less than childhood regained at will.”
Artists or art-adjacent creators who have heard the infamous and irritable phrase, “A child could’ve done that”, raise your hand. But if we were to dig deeper, why exactly is that an insult? Why is the pure, unhinged and intuitive childlike playfulness damned in some and praised in others? Would an enticing work be considered less intrinsically valuable when created by a child? But why? Because it’s not accompanied by philosophical posturing and curator texts? But I digress.
This little stream of consciousness above is here to set the mood for our new theme. We called upon artists who like to indulge in whimsical imagination, do not shy away from unadulterated nonsense, source from a kidlike sense of wonder, don’t really have a minimalist colour palette in their dictionary and are more likely inclined towards electric hues and fluorescent tones, and whose art has a laid-back and carefree nature. And who might even brush the stoner-vibe or acid-laced aesthetic here and there.
We embarked on a search of works that make us think of certain imagery and smells, something like abandoned plastic toys left to melt in a sandpit on a sweltering summer day, certain happy memories tinged with sepia nostalgia, a sense of familiar, simple euphoria, blooming elderberry trees, mourning doves cooing while the evening sun filters through the curtains at your grandma’s, the time when you thought you can sit on clouds.
Because, frankly, we just wanted to look at cute and colourful things while we loaf about, all sticky, tired, and maybe a little sad. And we heartily invite you to plunge into this melty, cushy and coo-coo world we’ve collected and curated for you with us.
Team SWARM Mag
FOR YOUR READING AND LISTENING PLEASURE
The Politics of Barbiecore by Amber Butchart
The Congress (2013), directed by Ari Folman
Petr Sís, Komodo
Cocorosie – the entire discography
Kata Krasznahorkai, Sylvia Sasse, 2019 – Artists & Agents: Performance Art, Happenings, Action Art and the Intelligence Services
Digital Art (World of art) by Christiane Paul
Talk Art: EVERYTHING YOU Wanted to Know ABOUT Contemporary Art But Were Afraid to ASK
Living in Color: Color in Contemporary Interior Design, Phaidon
Phaidon – Jean Julien
The Art of Noticing: Rediscover What Really Matters to You, Rob Walker
Ýrúrarí, Icelandic artist creating whimsical knit creations
Il était une fois… la vie – an immortal French educational TV series on the working of the human body for kids (and adults)