Ebony G. Patterson’s multilayered mixed media works – in sculpture, installation, performance, and video – employ opulent, hand-embellished surfaces and brightly colored patterns to seduce the viewer into confronting the profound social realities at their core. Derived from Dancehall culture, Patterson’s aesthetic pulls the viewer in and forces them to bear witness to the violence and social injustices imposed upon those deemed invisible. Her works command the viewer to look past the façade – of their rich formal characteristics, of the fabricated fantasies increasingly traded in our consumer and social media-centric culture – and to acknowledge the realities of those not touched by the glitter and gold. The paradoxical means the artist uses to convey this message only emphasizes its urgency and weight.

Sponsored by the Fiber Department

Image courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.


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