Gio Swaby at the Art Institute in Chicago: Arts Intel Report

“I am approaching the world of art as an outsider, being a Black woman from the Caribbean,” the multimedia artist Gio Swaby told Harper’s Bazaar last year. “I want my work to say that this space is for you, and it’s okay to connect with this work on any level that you do.” Swaby grew up in Nassau, in the Bahamas, and now lives in Toronto, Canada. She’s 31 years old and a rising star, having already shown at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, and at the major art fairs Untitled and 1-54. Swaby quilts and stitches her life-size portraits and silhouettes in myriad colors. Her subjects are often wearing jewelry and elaborate hairstyles, which Swaby sees as celebrations of the Black woman. In her first solo museum show, seven of Swaby’s series from 2017 through 2021 are on view. —E.C.
April 8, 2023