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...shortly after 8- beyond the bladez

© Ebony G. Patterson. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.

...shortly after 8- beyond the bladez

Artist: Ebony G. Patterson (born in Kingston, Jamaica, 1981)
Date: 2014
Medium: Mixed media on paper
92 × 111 inches (233.7 × 281.9 cm)
Sheet 1: 92 × 42 inches (233.7 × 106.7 cm)
Sheet 2: 92 × 41 inches (233.7 × 104.1 cm)
Sheet 3: 92 × 28 inches (233.7 × 71.1 cm)
Classification: Mixed Media
Credit Line: Museum purchase with additional funds provided by Blake Byrne (A.B.’57) and Marjorie (P’16, P’19, P’19) and Michael Levine (B.S.’84, P’16, P’19, P’19)
Label Text:In this lush, vibrant scene, tall blades of grass and colorful vegetation cover the image’s large surface and create a decadent, fantastical environment. Glitter, fabric, and rhinestones suggest a world of beauty and festivity, while the lavish, curving plants allude to growth and life. A closer look, however, reveals a more somber subject hidden behind the dazzling artifice: along the shiny red path is the unconscious body of a prostrate black male.

This work by Ebony G. Patterson is one of a series of five that explores race, class, and gender, and investigates the politics of representations of young black men who have been victims of violence. Using flashy everyday materials, Patterson draws on a distinctly Caribbean aesthetic inspired by local cultural traditions, particularly Carnival and Jamaican dance halls, which emerged from the youth of Kingston’s ghettos. The decorative patterning and luminous surfaces in her work encourage the viewer to look more carefully, shining new light on a frequently marginalized subject.

Provenance: Purchased from Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago (2014). Monique Meloche Gallery acquired the work directly from the artist.
Object number: 2015.3.1