close

COMPLIMENTARY SHIPPING ON YOUR FIRST ORDER*

Sign up to receive your code. You'll also get our newsletters, which will keep you in the loop on new artworks, emerging artists and events.

*Exclusive to U.S. shipping charges under $1000

JUST ADDED TO YOUR CART

close popup

Qty: 1

VIEW CART (0) continue shopping
Collector Profile - Kim Swift -  Original & Limited Edition Art at Tappan

Collector Profile - Kim Swift

Collector Profile - Kim Swift

|

Collector Profile

Kim Swift

From her career to casa, Kim Swift is a creator of unforgettable environments. As the Senior Design Lead on a Brand Experience team, she produces live experiences and events in the tech sphere. She’s also made a curatorial contribution to the company by selecting artwork for their offices around the world. When it comes to exciting curatorial endeavors, her home is no exception. The 1920s Silverlake apartment is a vibrant world of its own, brimming with artwork by Tappan artists and her beloved creative community.

 

Q.

Tell us a little about yourself.

A.

I’m an artist and designer. I work primarily on live events and environments in the worlds of music, art, and entertainment. My projects only exist in physical form for short amounts of time, so a lot of my work is about memory. I have a multi-dimensional approach to my creative work, and I consider it to be a celebration of human connection—one that is meant to be lived, then lives on in the imagination.

Spending the past year at home has given me a chance to be still for a change, and to reflect on purpose in both my commercial and personal projects. I’ve developed an art practice that allows me freedom to explore my values as an artist and gives me a place to play. Lately I’ve really been enjoying building a fantastical universe that’s just for me.

Q.

Describe your creative practice. How did you get to this place in your career?

A.

Designing experiences is a bit like being a conductor. Every element is beautiful on its own, but creating harmony between the moving pieces is a specialized skill. It’s always about the audience, the participants.

Growing up in Austin, Texas, I spent most of my teenage years at art and music shows. Eventually I started producing my own. Any means of expression that brought people together was interesting to me, and I became passionate about organizing and experimenting with thoughtfully curated art happenings. I delighted in seeing how each choice I made for my temporary worlds meaningfully impacted people, and how audiences could become focused and connected.

Before moving to LA, I opened an experiential design studio in New York and ran it for about ten years. A few great clients truly trusted me, which was always when the best projects happened. I’ve been fortunate enough to collaborate with some of the most visionary artists and forward-thinking global brands. My next chapter is about reframing my creative work as both a means of expression and an act of service.

Q.

Where do you live and how did you find your space? What makes it a home to you?

A.

About five years ago my designer friend Jared Frank invited me to one of his salon-style parties at Casa Larissa, a mysterious 1920s apartment building in Silverlake, Los Angeles. It’s filled with artists and is rumored to have homed high-profile mistresses and the male lovers of James Dean and Rock Hudson.

From the moment I walked in, I was engulfed in a world of wonder. Jared’s apartment was filled with treasures and decorated from floor to ceiling in an ornate trompe l’oeil architecture painted by the previous tenant, fresco artist Lance Klemm. It was a cinematic set and intoxicating ambiance for Jared’s monthly series of magicians, artists, and poets, who performed in a psychedelic swirl that reminded me of partying at Hotel Chelsea in my New York days. I instantly knew that I’d live at Casa Larissa, and eventually managed to snag the apartment across the hall, which had previously been rented by Taylor Negron.

My home is another chapter in the history of Casa Larissa. What began as a call and response concept between Jared and Lance Klemm has evolved into a deeply personal journey of imagination and an ever-evolving backdrop to my life. My home feels like a soul-nourishing garden, a time portal that expands reality. It’s a living poem and an exercise in listening to space and self.

Kim Swift says

“Being an active member of a diverse and thriving artistic community means creating opportunities to nurture and grow the work of artists whenever possible. Lifting up artists brings so much joy and vibrancy to my life.”


Q.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

A.

Experiencing the world through travel is essential for me. I love the art, handcraft, and culture of Mexico. Being rooted in Los Angeles is also endlessly inspiring. There’s an intensity to the immense cultural shifts and creative energy that radiate out of this city, as well as the weird and wonderful people that are attracted to it. I feel most alive in the swirl of big collaboration, but I also need the natural world and solitude to stay grounded. Nature is really our greatest teacher.

Q.

How would you describe your personal art collecting style?

A.

I’m a bit of an escapist, so I’m always attracted to the dreamlike universe of fantastic art. I want to fall into a world that’s absurd, taboo, and limitless. I’m currently obsessed with Umar Rashid, his work can be so heavy and joyous at the same time. He re-envisions history through storytelling, using mythology and imagination to look at history, race, class, and gender in the most poetic way.

Q.

What are some of the most sentimental or meaningful pieces in your collection?

A.

The work of people I know and love: Steve Willis, Sebastien Leon, Kyle DeWoody, Kelly Framel, Miguel Rangel, Ellen Rutt, Jason Koharik, Mayah Hatcher, Thomas Rodehuth, James Salaiz, and others. A painting by Lola Rose Thompson with portraits of ladies in a garden, which was a source of inspiration for the charcoal drawings on my living room walls. Plates that Taylor Negron owned when he lived in the apartment, which became the pattern for a kitchen mural. A photograph given to my partner that was an outtake from the “Joe's Garage” cover series by Michael Lesesne. The cut paper flower collages I created with my grandmother when she was alive.

Q.

What inspires you to collect the work of emerging artists?

A.

Artists' voices shape our culture. Being an active member of a diverse and thriving artistic community means creating opportunities to nurture and grow the work of artists whenever possible. Lifting up artists brings so much joy and vibrancy to my life.


Q.

Who are some of your all-time favorite artists?

A.

I love art that celebrates our connection to nature and to each other. So many artists explore these themes in their work: Christo and Jeanne-Claude, James Turrell, Isamu Noguchi, Olafur Eliasson, Ernesto Neto, Pipilotti Rist. When I started painting the walls of Casa Larissa, I channeled Henri Rousseau and Jean Cocteau. Henri Matisse’s cutouts have heavily influenced the work I’ve been doing with handmade paper from Mexico. In exploring my creative practice as a personal journey and extension of self, I’ve felt inspired by the work of several women: Alison Saar, Ithell Colquhoun, Agnes Pelton, and Leonor Fini to name a few.

Q.

What’s your favorite museum or creative space?

A.

A few years ago I discovered FORM, an immersive, three-day festival of art, architecture, conversations, and intimate performances in the eco-city of Arcosanti, Arizona. I was blown away by the experience and joined the team to help grow the arts and cultural program and enhance the guest experience. The festival combined all things I love, and injected a new sense of purpose into my work that I wasn’t getting from commercial projects.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the surreal, high desert of Arcosanti, and have found the radically different perspective to be refreshing. Arcosanti was built to be a world that’s enriching for its community and in balance with the environment. It’s a fascinating alternate reality, a total rejection of consumerism, and a laboratory for experimentation in architecture, urban planning, and culture.

Q.

What was the first work of art you fell in love with?

A.

Georgia O'Keeffe's “Flower of Life” paintings. As a kid, I copied O’Keeffe’s flowers over and over with oil pastels. I loved giving my grandmother these drawings, since we spent a great deal of time visiting gardens together.


Featured Works


Favorite Works & Artists from this Project


If you would like assistance to growing your own art collection, our expert advisory team is here to help. Reach out to them for a personal consultation here.