They say money is the root of all evil, but for Johnny Swing, it’s the centerpiece of the striking furniture he creates by attaching thousands of welded nickels and other coins onto patinated-metal frames. Thanks to his masterful craftsmanship, the sensuous organic forms appear to float weightlessly—and are surprisingly comfortable to sit in.
“When I started in the 1990s, I used discarded pennies. I collect and use all sorts of coins now,” says Swing. “I like the fact that from a distance you really just focus on the shape of my work, but as you get closer, you get more definition and tighter focus points.”
In May, his New York gallery, R & Company, will feature a group of seven new pieces that can interlock to form an egg shape or exist individually as chairs, benches, and stools.
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2020 Spring Issue under the headline Creative Minds. Subscribe to the magazine.