“I like to see the pictures on the wall, please.”
Roger Swike was born in Boston in 1962. He currently lives in Revere, MA; and has attended Gateway Arts since 1995. Swike has unique interests and abilities as an artist. At any point of the day he can be found with a pen, paper, and crayons in hand. Swike typically works on no less than three pieces simultaneously moving rapidly, looking off to the side and mapping out the composition with his fingers in the air. Basing his work off a grid, Swike envisions the entire piece before making a single mark. He is fascinated by numbers and has created representational colors and images for the ten numerical digits. Swike has an uncanny visual memory and replicates pop cultural icons, as well as television character names and product logos, into his artwork. Once pieces are complete, Swike will arrange multiple drawings into a distinct order, creating new compositions.
Swike’s work has been shown nationally and internationally at the Berenberg Gallery in Boston and the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA; and at the Outsider Art Fair, the Margaret Bodell Gallery and the Phoenix Gallery in New York. Swike also won a MENCAP award in London, England.
Roger is among ten Gateway artists are represented in an exhibition at Concord Art in Concord, Massachusetts. The exhibition, titled Magnificent Obsessions, reflects obsessive preoccupations with words, numbers, patterns, color systems, details that on closer inspection reveal more details hidden within; these are the fascinations explored by “outsider artists.” The label “outsider” generally refers to those artists working in isolation from and uninfluenced by the mainstream art world, either by choice or by circumstance.
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