Accompanied by a 48-piece traveling museum exhibition, this book on the Bahamian artist’s textile portraits serves as a love letter to Black women: their style, strength, vulnerabilities, and beauty.
With essays by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Melinda Watt, and Katerine Pill, this book poses multiple points of view as these experts take on Swaby’s work and delve into her place within contemporary art and the greater historical canon.
This debut of the 29-year-old Bahamian-born artist aims to redefine the often-politicized Black body, with portraits made in a range of textile-based techniques, such as embroidery and appliqué, celebrating Black women.
Gio Swaby’s intimate portraits are unique, highly personal figurative works made from an array of colorful fabrics and intricate, freehand lines of thread on canvas that explore the intersections of Blackness and womanhood. Illustrated with 80 works in full color that span from 2017 to 2021, this is the first book on this contemporary feminist artist who is a rising star in the world of textiles and portraiture. According to Swaby, “I wanted to create a space where we could see ourselves reflected in a moment of joy, celebrated without expectations, without connected stereotypes.”