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From his earliest works, Brooklyn-based artist Marc Swanson has made his topic the construction of self as an incomplete and always fragmentary project. Everything—including heavy metal, the Yeti, and hunting trophies—have become part of his artistic language. Perspectives 175: Marc Swanson: The Second Story features new sculptures by the artist that consider the worldview of the generations that have grown up since AIDS placed a final marker on the early era of gay liberation, severing the ties to that culture’s rich history. It’s been left to younger artists like Swanson to decipher and reinterpret the stories and images of that elder generation. The Second Story was a gay bar in San Francisco, long gone when the artist lived there but—in its punning name—haunting. The name might just mean that it was located on the second floor of a building, but it also suggests the layers of narrative that overlap in each patron’s life—the true, the false, and the mythic.

Perspectives 175: Marc Swanson: The Second Story is curated by Bill Arning, Director of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

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