Grear Patterson

Artist Statement

Fisher Price began as an independent company in the 1930’s that manufactured small set of wooden toys. Today Fisher Price is synonymous with the candy coated industrial blues, yellows, and oranges we see on miniature play sets in yards, schools, and living rooms. Fisher Price represents the opposite of craft, every piece is machine made and scrutinized for optimal safety. Like many childrens toys they mimic the scale of familiar objects, miniature basketball hoops, tiny slides, phony lawn mowers, they provide children with a head start on what’s to come. These are not the type of toys that spring to life when paired with the imagination of a kid but rather toys that are ready to be played with at any given moment.

It is not uncommon to see a faded fisher price slide set, forlorn in a dismal back yard, its colors completely faded by the outside conditions. Here these fisher price toys represent the inevitability of neglect even within the most secure of loving conditions. Grear Patterson’s work dissects this notion of the discarded, giving dignity to the once loved toys now scattered throughout a backyard like a makeshift graveyard. He pairs the organic symbol with their plastic signifier to blur the line between the real and the imagined. 

It is not our duty to live with art just as it is not our duty to scrutinize the greater meaning of toys. 

by Bruno DiCorcia 


Born 1988, in Redding, CT, USA. [Grear] lives and works in New York, NY, USA. He attended the BFA School of Visual Arts New York. The American artist [...] is renowned for his arrangements of custom made image carriers, works in which he establishes connections with art history as well as with his own specific living environment. He became known for his 'Duck Test'-series, canvasses organized to resemble smileys, their trendy lightness connoting a carefree attitude to life, while simultaneously referring to the icons of digital communication. His first sunsets were inspired by Hollywood movies, the sun’s immersion in the horizon mostly took place within a 16:9 or 4:3 format. The new works pick up on the form of the setting sun through the shape of the image carrier. The combination of the different colors on the raw canvas evokes spatial depth and conjures up sporadic associations with rainbows or figments of imagination.

A former member of The Still House Group, Grear Patterson studied at Duke University and the School of Visual Arts in New York. Solo exhibitions include Manhattan Beach, Marlborough Broome Street, NY (2015); Seek and Destroy, DEPART Foundation, Los Angeles (2015); Forest Theatre, The American Academy Rome, (2014) and Duck Test, Ellis King, Dublin (2014). He has been included in group shows at Jonathan Viner, London; Sprovieri, London; Total Project Space, Athens; Frank Pictures Gallery, Santa Monica; Steven Kasher Gallery, NY; Galerie Olivier Robert, Paris and the 9th Shanghai Biennale in 2012