If you asked Larry Swetman what being an artist meant, he’d probably say that it was Kung Fu with turkey salad, Stoli, and gatorade. He hasn't been proved wrong yet.
Larry likes to say that he himself is the art. It might be most accurate, from a mythological point of view, to describe his creative impulse as a whirlpool dragging the mind down into the abyss of chaos and out the other side.
His early life with art mainly consisted of drawing and learning to play music. By age 14, he picked up playing guitar and started leading worship at his local Church. This led to making friends involved in the worship music scene, which was up and coming in Atlanta in the early 2000s. As a result of that experience he produced his first EP. That EP, It’s Your Love, led Larry to several opportunities playing festivals and leading worship for various groups around the Southeast. It got him used to crowds.
Throughout his collegiate years, Larry continued to lead worship for various groups and churches. However, due to his College’s support of the President’s decision to support the Iraq War, Larry started to write as well. Having been inspired by the rebellious literature of Martin Luther and Martin Luther King Jr., he started to write political tracts, making the case for withdrawing from the war. After that, he became a very prolific writer, researching and covering topics as wide ranging as Marijuana legislation to sci-fi to sports. His blog, Revolution #9, became a regular area of creative outlet. Coinciding with this creative outburst came the visual arts as well.
From passing Jackson Pollock abstract pieces to 10’X10’ street art murals to gallery exhibitions (approved or not), Larry’s visual pieces have made it from the folk art galleries of the Chattanooga North Shore to the streets of Ardmore’s first Friday galleries to New York’s famed Chelsea to the Museum of Modern Art herself. Not to mention the dozens of posters wheat pasted all over Barcelona, Paris, and Brooklyn. Larry has been very prolific.
The southern artist then made his way to Philadelphia where the social spirit called him to make art from another angle. This time it was public demonstration.
Larry regularly used his street art sensitivities and proclivity to public displays of discontent (and dance) to plan direct actions and gatherings that could teach complex lessons in a few minutes time. The internet decimated these artistic displays of history-as-demonstration which really got him going. Thanks to the moment, the message got through and the common worldview of the US literally changed. American society shifted and we became the Internet generation, pacified in our Brave New World, entertained in our discontent. Larry’s art was a part of this paradigm shift. He still isn’t sure if that epoch in his life was for the best, but it was the best he could do at the time. (What was he supposed to do? Beat his head against a wall or make art?)
Currently, Larry spends his time trying his best to channel the Spirit in order to fuel a creative explosion. He felt the Spirit of God during a recent trip to Iceland and has since committed himself to projecting his soul out into the world. It should be a good time.
You can find examples of Larry’s work here:
- Visual Art
- Organizing 101
- Currents Podcasts,
- Cat Club & The Tappy Toes (engaging conversations with interesting people about interesting shit)
- Music (coming soon)
The most important thing Larry has done creatively also overlaps with the PRIEST section. “Let There Be Light” is a centuries old story which Larry swears the Spirit wrote through him. It is the story of how every man must fight his own dragons. He doesn’t put that one online. If you’d like a copy contact him here.
All that to say, the Spirit is currently pouring out of Larry and will probably produce a mountain of content as big as the hills of cocaine on Stevie Ray Vaughn’s piano. Just you wait.
Larry’s right arm says, “L’art c’est moi,” “I am the art.” Whether factually accurate or not, he certainly lives that way.
Ex Nihilo in the 3rd person by Larry