“I think that there is a lot to point out, and to work against in daily life, particularly with respect to American culture,” said Dane Patterson in an interview with Art Plural Gallery, where he had his last solo show in 2013. “We are creatures of habit and we can quickly fall into routine. We’re rarely aware of the way we compartmentalize everything in our lives, or have had things defined and compartmentalized for us.” His graphite drawings begin as documentations of daily life — but they evolve into strange hybrids of images intended to stir up the ritualistic qualities of our mundane existence. Patterson works from photographs in a process he describes as sculptural. First, he stages a scene, shoots it, and then combine the resulting photographic image with other sourced material to create a meticulous, surreal pencil drawing on paper.
Sometimes Patterson draws directly from his photographs. While much of his work combines several images in a collage-like fashion, copying a photo directly gives him a different angle on his photography. The slow process of drawing — outlining and shading the contours of each object — allows him to intimately get to know the subject matter of each piece in a way he doesn’t experience with a quick snap of his camera. His disorienting images place their characters and objects in strange contexts, reminding us of the subjective ways we view and interpret the world around us.