Jamaican dancehall garb topic of view

“Disciple VI”, mixed media on paper, from the 2008 Gangstas For Life Series

     (PNAN-CA) On view at the See Line Gallery in Los Angeles through Thursday, November 11, a solo exhibition, “Fashion Ova’ Style” with artworks by Ebony Patterson includes mixed media paintings, tapestries, installation and works on paper.  Curator and Founder Janet Levy of the gallery, which has acquired critical acclaim from local and national press outlets and has established the careers of several emerging artists, dedicates exhibition space of exceptional contemporary artists.

     The show is a Jamaican colloquialism that comes from the country’s popular dancehall culture. The term refers to a sense of inventiveness and willingness to push the envelope against what is understood as being “stylishly ordinary.” It also exemplifies a pseudo, a masculine trend in dancehalls that has become a kind of camp-machismo displayed by gangstas, entertainers and the dancehall’s avid patrons.

     Although her earlier works explore the practice of skin bleaching, Patterson’s recent work includes other fashionable exploits and examines a wider involvement of so-called “bling culture” and its effect on the of reconstruction notions of machismo. Featuring selections from her ongoing body, “Gangstas, Disciplez + the Doiley Boyz,” Patterson’s works examines the notions of the machismo through exploring fashionable trends within Jamaican dancehall culture. Her artwork raises those questions about perceptions of masculinity within a Jamaican context and larger questions about beauty, gender ideals and constructs of masculinity within popular black culture.

Untitled, mixed media on paper with shelves, crayons and plastic toys, 4 x 4.5 feet, 2009

     Patterson, who is an assistant art professor of painting at the University of Kentucky, has participated in various group exhibitions at institutions, such as the Brooklyn Museum, Tacoma Contemporary, Kingston’s Mutual Gallery and France’s Centre International d`Art Contemporain. “This exhibition in Los Angeles is an important step in Professor Patterson’s emergence on the national stage,” said Benjamin C. Withers, chair of the UK Department of Art. “She is another example of the quality of artists and teachers UK can attract. Hopefully, as we find the resources over time to significantly upgrade our facilities, we will be seeing stories like this on a regular basis, given the quality of the faculty already amassed at the UK Department of Art.”

     For more information, see www.seelinegallery.com which is located in the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, or call 917. 604.3114 or email info@seelinegallery.com.

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