Anselmo Swan



My still life paintings and drawings are an homage to the Dutch masters of the 17th and 18th century and their patient rendering of everyday objects. Their carefully painted still-lifes were imbued with religious symbolism or were ostentatious representations of wealth. My subjects are icons of a different kind: almost valueless objects of mass production for mass consumption. I want to contrast the culture of excess and instant gratification with the satisfaction of quiet contemplation by creating a unique and distinct work of art. 


As a fan of the sport of hockey, I appreciate how it is intertwined with Canadian history and cultural identity. Images of players on frozen ponds and memories of our nation’s finest moments in competition remain integral and enduring aspects of Canadiana. Professional hockey players are celebrated and venerated in our culture in much the same way as European nobility were several centuries ago. The hockey project combines the status of the sport of hockey and its players with the classical approach of the artists of the 17th and 18th century that I admire, in particular the works of Diego Velazquez and Thomas Gainsbourg. This ongoing series of portraiture embraces and plays with the tradition of the veneration of cultural icons.