Patterson’s multilayered work employs the opulence of its hand-embellished surface to seduce the viewer into confronting social realities. Indeed, a powerful message exists beneath the ornate web of threading and rhinestones that makes up the work’s large-scale composition, a call to action partially obscured, but no less clear: “See Me”. With this, the artist commands the viewer to look past the façade – of the work’s 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. Patterson’s aesthetic pulls the viewer in and forces them to bear witness to the violence and social injustices imposed upon those deemed invisible. The paradoxical means the artist uses to convey this message only emphasizes its urgency and weight.
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