09 January - 20 February 2009
Was born in Chicago in 1958. His mother’s heroin addiction led to estrangement from her family and Michael and his sister were raised by an adoptive family. As a result, one of the artist’s formative childhood memories is of attending an African-American church during the civil rights struggle. Patterson-Carver has since been a lifelong activist, working for various causes ranging from environmental protection to social justice. As of late, Patterson-Carver has been working in opposition to the so-called “Patriot Act,” and to expose the fallacies and crimes of the Bush regime. Michael Patterson-Carver’s drawings range from small groups of colorful figures protesting specific issues to political allegories where nazis, klansmen, robber barons and terrorists meet current day political leaders. His drawings address both current and historical struggles and in this way exhibit both ongoing themes of cultural and political repression and the hypocrisy of past and present injustices. Drawings of protests of suffragettes, Japanese internees and the anti-prohibition and civil rights movements depict battles for inalienable rights that we often take for granted. Exhibited alongside drawings illustrating the present state of the union, Patterson-Carver’s work is a call to action. While some of the drawings depict dark humor, there is an underlying optimism to the work. In the words of the artist, “in order to succeed at anything the first step you must take is to BELIEVE. This is the reason that everyone in my demonstration scenes is smiling- they are confident of success. The future is not something that just happens to us- we are in the act of creating it as you read this. Let’s make it a good one!”
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