When he arrived in Minnesota he settled into a cabin on the north shore of Lake Superior, eventually finding a spot in Duluth to work on art full-time. His home away from the studio is Zeitgeist Café where he serves as a bartender.
Swanson’s whimsical work has appeared in numerous venues around town including, most prominently, Lizzard’s on Superior Street.
His influences include Vincent VanGogh, Andrew Goldsworthy, Talouse Lautrec, Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Edward Gorey and many more.
The bicycles, which appeared in much of his early work have a symbolic value, representative of human ingenuity. “They have character and are very lovely, efficient machines,” he said. “Bikes are also a great way for me to experiment with my technique. They are complicated objects with lots of little bits and pieces and it has been fun to (try and) pare it down to minimum components. Most of the bikes I paint are of friends or loved ones. Many are of the 1969 Schwinn Cruiser my dad gave me.”
The artist currently lives in Duluth’s Central Hillside. You owe it to yourself to make an effort to check out his show sometime soon.