Poet; Visual Artist: Crafts; Visual Artist: Paintings; Visual Artist: Sculpture / Pottery
NEWS NOTE: I am pleased to announce that two (2) of three (3) of my works [1THESSALONIANS 4:17 and SWOONING JOHN CONTEMPLATES REDEMPTION AFTER SEEING THE FALLEN CHRIST (SELF-PORTRAIT IN A BOWLER HAT) ] has been accpeted for the juried exhibition, SHOWCASE SHOWDOWN 2008, at Xnihilo Gallery, 2115 Taft Street; Houston, TX 77006 1THESSALONIANS 4:17 pictured in gallery, below.It is true that Art lends itself to many interpretations and, in that, graciously accepts them. However, it has a specific truth. Art is a reality. Most communication is confusion. In my opinion, if art communicated more than one thing, then it lies to itself and to the audience. To this mean, I have sought to develop a style in which to speak without compromising my position of not using art as a communicative tool. I had to somehow fit my ideal into a form in which art and communication could reasonably merge and become one flesh. In doing this, I was faced with the challenge of appropriating a language in which communication would be clearly understood.Therefore, I turned inward to my spirituality; that is to say, my God-focused spirituality. Therefore, I started seeking peace- listening to music and reading poetry. Then, I found myself in uncharted territory; I began to read books. Aside from the Bible, I happened upon Edward Luis Coleâ€™s book, Maximized Manhood, and W.E.B. Duboisâ€™ book, The Souls of Black Folks. These three books were very instrumental in my immergence. My passion was slowly restored. This restoration led me to explore a new way of thinking and using my art. Everything became referential- words, text, signs, symbols; everything. In all this, while repristinating a childlike innocence and sensibility to keep it simple and pure, a language library began to immerge. In this simplicity, there was evidence of a profoundness that was, and is, totally inspiring. This two year journey was the birth of my new style which I have termed, URBAN EXPRESSIONISM- copyright 2002.â€ My goal is to promote the ideal of a striving artist; and not the clichÃ©â€™ of a starving artist. My aim is become more nationally recognized as well as internationally recognized. I seek to create works of art that are both complex but yet simple at the same time. And this new style, URBAN EXPRESSIONISM, allows me to be that; spontaneous and playful, and also serious, with my work. Itâ€™s like being in recess but knowing exactly what you want to do while in recess. All that is required is to accept it and take hold of it. These ideas and words would come to me- as many words do- in thought particles that are constantly floating in my space. In the feverish play of words where I exist, my mind opened up to receive these particles of thought. As they came to me I play with them, change them; wondering if they are actual words, signs, and symbols. Some are real, but most are not; which I possess and store into my own language library. Then, I let my connection with the Spirit flow through the work; as I am not interested in preaching with my work, or even to intellectualize my work. The result is both rhythmically and spiritually flowing in nature. The approach to the work and the results are rhythmically disjointed like jazz notes; to make the flow resonate into your soul. Spiritually speaking, the work is not only Modern and Contemporary in aesthetics- which is only scratching the surface deep; but also the context of the work is from Christian concepts, symbolism, and sensibility. Although, my affinities are rooted in the Classical and Traditional aspects of art, the appeal of the Modern and Contemporary has been fused into it to make the rhythmical and the spiritual more pronounced; like an adverb- Proverb. Things are etched or scratched out to invoke feeling of intuitive knowing and investigation. There is purity and truth that solely lay within the traditions and classics; but it can also be expressed within the Modern; the Contemporary. So, I endeavor to show this purity and truth in this era- my time. And I believe my time is now. Pattenâ€™s URBAN EXPRESSIONISM-copyright 2002 style although definitely abstract and modern is anything but vague. There is no denying the message of his work: maybe art is pretension and a sham but the artist is not a sham. It is a sentiment that one can readily believe in when faced with the true nature of a disposable, consumer society. Nothing is real any more so why should art be? And yet Patten strives to confront the viewer with what is real to him, his belief in God, his opinion of how the exploitation of sex, politics, and trend complicates modern society; and his memories of growing up as a person of color in a color-oriented society. His style, although very similar to Basquiatâ€™s, is truly his own. Yet Patten does not send any message about getting even with white society or even fighting against intolerance, Patten chooses instead to almost seduce the viewer with his depictions of how he dealt with such issues and rejected the all too obvious answer to fight back. Patten would rather make the viewer think about why such labels are so readily placed upon others. The result is like the feeling one gets while contemplating one of his paintings: no one should be made to suffer for being what they are. If only the Republican Party could adopt such a sentiment.â€“Tomas Sustaita; poet, writer, critic.