— Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi
Recurrent themes in Swao’s work include the centrality of the Sacred, the cross-cultural interplay between Jamaican Rastafari, Brazil Capoeira, and American Hip Hop, the resilience and vibrancy of the underclass, and the sometimes insoluble clash between technology, city-life and the natural world.
Here is the article:
"A country that loves art, not artists
In a survey of attitudes toward artists in the U.S. a vast majority of Americans, 96%, said they were greatly inspired by various kinds of art and highly value art in their lives and communities. But the data suggests a strange paradox.
While Americans value art, the end product, they do not value what artists do. Only 27% of respondents believe that artists contribute "a lot" to the good of society. Further interview data from the study reflects a strong sentiment in the cultural community that society does not value art making as legitimate work worthy of compensation. Many perceive the making of art as a frivolous or recreational pursuit.
USA hopes to help close the gap between the love of art and the ambivalence toward artists in society. [...] As author Daniel Pink posits in his book A Whole New Mind—Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future, we have moved beyond the Information Age and into the Conceptual Age. "In short, we've progressed from a society of farmers to a society of knowledge workers. And now to a society of creators and empathizers, of pattern recognizers and meaning makers. . . . We've moved from an economy based on people's backs to an economy built on people's left brains to what is emerging today: an economy and society built more and more on people's right brains. . . . aptitudes so often disdained and dismissed—artistry, empathy, taking the long view, pursuing the transcendent—will increasingly determine who soars and who stumbles. It's a dizzying—but ultimately inspiring—change." [source: www.unitedstatesartists.org
"In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,
but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art." (Rumi)