Gangstas for Life

In Ebony Patterson‘s imagination, the music industry in Jamaica is populated by rhinestone-studded young men in colourful, lace-bedecked garb, visibly wearing make-up and sporting pale, bleached faces. Represented in familiar antagonistic poses spun from Kingston’s fervid dancehall culture, Patterson’s innovative tapestries riff on the contradictions of Jamaican masculinity: extreme machismo laced with fantastical frills and foppery. Perhaps this is the inevitable outcome when young boys raised by grandmothers with a penchant for Victoriana eventually become thugs?

 

 

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Marvini, from the Disciplez Series, 2009. Mixed media on paper with shelves, plastic toys.

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