EBONY G. PATTERSON TAKES HER PLACE AMONG THE GREATS
Everyone in the world knows by now that Ebony G Patterson is a woman of courage, a political artist and campaigner. PATOO recently caught up with Ebony at HiQo Gallery in Kingston Jamaica, where she is on a sabbatical from Kentucky University, as she prepared her works for overseas exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in NYC.
The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York presents Dead Treez, a monographic show by Jamaican artist Ebony G. Patterson, who splits her time between Kingston, Jamaica and Lexington, KY. Incorporating a wide variety of media, Patterson embellishes tapestries, sculptures and paintings to talk about visibility in terms of class, gender, race and the media. Her highly embellished, almost illuminated images and objects are intended to attract and seduce the viewer, challenging them not just to look, but to see. The exhibition runs from November 10, 2015 to April 3, 2016.
For Dead Treez, Patterson assembled six eye-popping tapestries adorned with glitter, silk flowers, and rhinestones, plus a life-size figural tableau of 10 male mannequins, dressed in a kaleidoscopic mix of floral fabrics. Meant to present a complex vision of what it means to be male in contemporary Jamaican culture, the mannequins are a meditation on dance hall fashion and culture, regarded as a celebration of the disenfranchised in postcolonial Jamaica. Placing in stark contrast what masculinity is, Ebony G. Patterson’s mannequins exhibit an effeminate style that operates to challenge traditional Jamaican expectations for manhood, while her tapestries depict murder victims (as sourced through social media) embellished to seduce viewers into witnessing the underreported brutality experienced by those on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.
Organized by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and curated by Karen Patterson, the project was secured for MAD by new Chief Curator Shannon Stratton.
Ebony G. Patterson: Dead Treez is made possible by the generous support of Judith and Stanley Zabar, Christopher K. Ho, Peri and Nacho Arenas, Bill and Christy Gautreaux, Kansas City, Mo., Janice Savin Williams and Christopher J. Williams, and the Monique Meloche Gallery. Additional support is provided by the Collectors Circle, a leading Museum support group.
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