Ebony G. Patterson is a graduate of the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts who is currently working as an Assistant Professor in Painting at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. While still a students she gained a great deal of attention for her bold paintings that focused on female genitalia. Since 2002 she has participated in several shows including Taboo a small group exhibition that she curated. She has been the recipient of several awards. In 2006 she was awarded the Prime Minister's Youth Awards for Excellence in Arts and Culture. The highest award that a young person can receive in this field in Jamaica.
Discussing her work she says: Beauty, gender, body and the grotesque are on going discussion in my work. I am enthralled by the repulsive, the bizarre and the objectness of bodies and the contradictions that both have to art historically and culturally. The Jamaican vernacular, gendered cultural symbolisms and stereotypes serve as a platform for these discussions. I am enthused by words, conditions and experiences that objectify and abjectify.
Menstrual documents, cuts, bruises , language, feminine excrement, peeled skins, bleached skins, decadence, nippled and vulvic forms, the feminine , disease, feminine motifs, and accents are reoccurring images within my work. I seek to reference beauty through the use of the grotesque but visceral, confrontational and deconstructed.
Ebony's most recent exhibition is Gangstas, Disciplez and Doiley Boyz a show dominated by portraits of young Jamaican men who bleach their skin, pluck their eyebrows and wear 'bling' jewellery in defiance of racial and sexual stereotypes. Ebony finds beauty in their psychic violence glamourizing them with glittered halos and luscious lipstick.Through these paintings she questions why young black men, especially those related to Jamaica's dance hall culture, are regularly viewed in terms of aggression. She re-balances this male macho personna with feminine touches and homo-erotica.