“Dead Treez” at the MAD Museum & one more for the Weekly Photo Challenge:Dance

Here’s a detail from the Ebony G.Patterson exhibit Dead Treez at the Museum of Art and Design (MAD) in New York City —

MAD museum Ebony Patterson - Root and Shrub, 2014 - detail

Detail with a dancing boot, from “Root and Shrub, 2014” –  (mixed media jacquard photo tapestry with embroidery, glitter, cup and saucer, toy gun, and other embellishments)

MAD museum, Ebony Patterson, Root and Shrub

Backing up for some perspective… it’s a floor tapestry.

If it looks like a murder scene, yes, it’s that too.  The busy and glittery surfaces are a takeoff on flamboyant clothing from dancehall culture in Jamaica, and “inspired by reports of violent fatalities she sees circulated on social media.”

MAD museum Ebony Patterson Knowing nothing about all this, I needed to read all the notes to get an appreciation of what was going on.  In this case it may just be culture clash and my own myopia, but without the posted explanations, I’m afraid I would have thought “Oh, shiny,” and walked on by.

Here’s what the artist had to say –

I’ve been thinking about visibility and the internet in terms of bee-and-flower syndrome. The bee is attracted to the flower because of its coloring, because of it’s beauty, and it isn’t until the bee gets in that he discovers that the flower has the nectar that he wants. So you are attracted to the work because of its shininess, because of its prettiness, but it’s not until you get into the work that you start to realize that there’s something more.      — Ebony G. Patterson, Dead Treez

For me, it was the words rather than the surface that drew me in…What do you think?

More on the exhibition at MAD

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Dance

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12 thoughts on ““Dead Treez” at the MAD Museum & one more for the Weekly Photo Challenge:Dance

  1. I like what Ebony said. That is so meaningful. There is so much we can learn just by taking something at face value. Dig a little deeper, and who knows what else there is to discover. That tapestry looks all mumbo-jumbo – so many bits and bobs and odds and ends on it, so colourful as well. Shiny, yes. And somehow it all comes together to tell a story – no matter how odd you may be, it can stick 😀

    • You’re so right about telling a story. It seems so often that contemporary work is as much (or more!) about the story than it is about the visual work. Gotta look past the “pretty face” to see the strength within…

    • I stepped away from my comfort zone again yesterday at the “Western Art” museum near here… I never thought cowboys-and-Indians pictures belonged in a museum, but I did see a couple that I liked!

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