Art News

In Celebration of Black History Month: Reimagining Mythology with Chloe Swopshire

In honor of Black History Month this February, Saatchi Art will be featuring four emerging artists who center their practices on elements of Black history. 

Saatchi Art Rising Star Chloe Swopshire works intuitively to create imaginative paintings where the subconscious reigns free. Chloe’s works employ a visual vocabulary informed by subjects as disparate as ancient mythology, astrology, American sports, the Black Diaspora, and Western literature. Anachronistic figures and themes collide in these expressionist dreamworlds, where tension between chaos and harmony suggest the imminent emergence of a new world, and a new mythology.

“Deeply examining and releasing cellular memory with the process of creation, my paintings are a means by which I can relay my experience. With time and myth providing a foundation, symbol and history are ever present in my works.
Ancestral and modern cultural traditions of channeling, working with astrology to gain archetypal insights, while also drawing from pop culture, [and] my perception of self lends to my desire to depict cultural heroes in a way that reframes the accepted normative view of being Black.” —Chloe Swopshire
Left: Chloe in her studio; Right: “Escape through the Red Door” by Chloe Swopshire.

A musician (under the moniker Rose Sister) with a background in classical ballet, a sense of musicality, movement, and atmosphere pervades Chloe’s work. Setting the mood in her studio has thus become an integral component of her practice:

“My current practice involves mixed media in a way that is special to me and activates my senses. Setting the atmosphere for my creative process helps me to expand my inner horizons and flow in bigger ways. From the lights, to the ambience of saging and using palo santo to set the tone for my space, and even the music that I mix . . . allows for a feeling of completeness and transcendence.”

Chloe earned a BA in Philosophy from Truman State University before moving to New York to pursue painting. She has studied at the New York Artists League and the NYC Crit Club, where she received a full scholarship. In 2019, Chloe participated in the Teatro Espace artist residency in Turin, Italy. Her work is held in the collections of Galleria Weber in Turin and Frederick Douglass Blvd Alliance in New York City. She is currently continuing her studies in painting at Rhode Island School of Design’s certificate program.

Want to continue the celebration? Explore an online exhibition of artworks guest-curated by Saatchi Art artist Barry Johnson in honor of Black History Month.

About the Author

Bethany Fincher is a curator at Saatchi Art. Need help finding art? Contact her via our free Art Advisory service at saatchiart.com/artadvisory.