Jason Patterson


Jason Patterson CV

Jason Patterson’s work focuses on African American history and highlights the role the past has in cultivating our current political and social conditions in the United States. Patterson’s practice is heavily research-based, with the majority of his studio time dedicated to that research to ensure that the historical and social narratives presented are well represented.

Patterson’s figurative work is based on archived images. The work emphasizes the original medium, making it clear to the viewer that these drawings were modeled after daguerreotypes, film, newspaper clippings, and digital images. The intent is to show that the way these images were originally created is just as important as the subject matter they represent. This work investigates the different ways images, in those varying forms, structure the way we visually comprehend our history and define our present.

Patterson also focuses on woodworking and the fabrication and aesthetic reimagining of historical documents. Designing and building stylized wood frames to house his work, these frames are as much a part of the artwork as the portraits and papers within them. Each frame design references the graphic, interior, and architectural design of the subject matter’s time period. The creation of documents is a way to stimulate thought on the subjects the work covers and offers a visually pleasing vehicle through which to incorporate important text. In our culture, especially in public spaces, when a document or an image is framed it suggests importance. Often the history Patterson is highlighting isn’t given its correct context or due respect in mainstream histories. Patterson’s work aims to change that.

Jason Patterson (born Champaign, IL, 1984) is a fellow at the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College, where he also teaches drawing.