In dialogue with Grear Patterson, to remember that things, like artists, are not necessarily what they appear to be


Grear Patterson solo exhibition at Ellis King in Dublin will open in a couple of days. Simply it will be a show of “duck test painting” – the duck test is a form of inductive reasoning to recognize an unknown subjects from its habitual characteristics. But along with the paintings he will present a film, called “Slow earth”, about lighting and storms on the surface of the earth, shown from out of space. And there will also be some sculptures hidden by car covers. “It looks like there are cars parked in the gallery – says the artist – but actually what’s underneath the car covers is just balloons. You think it’s a car but it is not“.

According to Patterson, each duck test painting will have its own narrative, and its own character and personality. The works on show are going to represent the characters from the film Stand By Me. “The pieces – continues Patterson – refer to that moment when the group of kids discovered the dead body of their peer who has been killed. It is a kind of loss of innocence moment. What was really going on wasn’t about finding a dead body and that goes back to the whole concept of the duck test”.


Do you consider this kind of works a series?


I consider the duck test paintings to be more like a family, like a group of brothers or like an infantry, like an army. Each one has its own personality, as a kid in a family does. Each member is different, but they are from the same “bread and butter”, from the same bloodline. They all do share a genetic thread.


How are they made?


I got slightly better at making them over time. I do the template, do the shape and then I just do a double-edged and it’s really easy. 


Which is your favorite subject?


I guess probably true love from the perspective of an 11-year-old.


Do you believe in abstraction?


Given the way the world works, we are constantly in abstraction, all the time.


Which is the most inspiring place for you?


My mind. But if you are talking about a physical place, my favourite ones so far are: CasaBlanca, Tokyo, Minami-Senju (Japan), New York, a tiny tiny beach in the Bahamas.


Which is the quality you prefer in an art dealer?


Trust and honesty.


Which one in a collector?


I want them to have their own taste, being an individual.


Who is your favorite artist?


Walker Evans.


Is there any colour or shape you really hate?


There is no colour or any shape that bothers me. I’m always surrounded by things that I don’t like and i just find things in them that I am ok with.


What makes an idea become an artwork?


I think both the format of the idea, how it comes to you and whether you can get it out of your mind or not.


Which novel is better comparable to your idea of art?


Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.


Which song or kind of music would be the ideal soundtrack for your exhibition?


The Motown and all that era of the sixties.


What would you have done if you were not an artist?


Some sort of engineer, anything from like designing soda pop to industrial design. I learned how to fly planes when I was younger and I really liked that as well. But that is a very terrible occupation.

September 22, 2014