Ebony G. Patterson Launches Cheap & Clean

By ARC Magazine Friday, November 23rd, 2012 Categories: ARC, Updates

Cheap & Clean, developed by the artist Ebony G. Patterson, seeks to investigate the performative association of gender through explorations of the masculine as it relates to popular Jamaican dancehall culture. The project relates to an ongoing body of work that has utilized the performative, as mode for explorations of masculine ideologies that function within dancehall construct. These experiences however, were fabricated by the artist. Employing dancehall fashion, language and ‘actors’ who were instructed by the artist in various scenarios.

View the recently launched website for

Cheap & Clean 

Cheap and Clean Krew: From the Interrogating Masculinities Project. All images by Marvin Bartley

Given the youth driven nature of dancehall the artist worked with 14 young men and explored their own ideas about masculinity through fashion. Participants were asked to design outfits based on these ideas/ideals. The artist then had the outfits made and embellished, for the participants to wear and have their pictures taken in an embellished ‘photo studio’. Posing and /or posturing as their idealize male. The photo studio space, made based on a Georgian dollhouse structure, used in reference to the both the domestic and toys. Both object and space are important ‘tools’ in of understanding wider gender associations from an early age. The ‘studio’ was based in Downtown, Kingston in Jamaica. All participants  were able keep their hand embellished tailored outfits along with a photograph of themselves in said outfit.

Participants were documented in both clothing and space, not only photographically but  also in video. The recording of the project was viewed live virally projected to the following locations – Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, Bermuda, Bahamas, United States and the web via Facebook on March 10th.

In addition  a series of ten ‘street interviews’ dubbed Real Talk were conducted with a number of young men  from communities in and around Downtown Kingston around a series of questions examining notions of the masculine as it relates to roles, performativity, fashion, home, relationships and community.

Demar - From the Cheap and Clean Interrogating Masculitnities Project.


This project was funded by the 2011 Rex Nettleford Fellowship for Cultural Studies, and supported by the Multi-Care Foundation of Jamaica, a not –for- profit organization working with youth from the inner city in the Arts and Sports.



Ebony G. Patterson (Kingston, Jamiaca, 1981 ),graduated from the Edna Manley College of the Visual  and Performing Arts in 2004,where she received an Honors Diploma in Painting and from Sam Fox  College of Art and Design at the Washington University in St. Louis in 2006 , with a MFA in Printmaking and Drawing . She has exhibited in several institutions such as The Studio Museum in Harlem ,Brooklyn Museum  Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft National Gallery of Jamaica , National Gallery of  Bermuda,Weathespoon Museum, Santa Monica Art Museum, MOCA Los Angeles , and an up coming exhibition in 2013 at the Frost Museum . Her work has been reviewed in serveral  publications such as, Art Papers, The New York Times The Miami Herals , Small Axe, Studio  Magazine, IRAAA, Caribbean Beat, Art Nexus. In addition to being a 2011 Rex Nettleford  Fellow,  Patterson is also a  the recipient of a Musgrave Award (Bronze 2012), Small Axe Magazine and  Andy Warhol Commisioned Grant (2011), Priminister’s Youth Award (2006) , Under 40 Artist of the  Year 2005.  Patterson is Assistant Professor in Painting and Mixed Media at the  School of Visual arts and Visual  Studies at the University of  Kentucky, Lexington KY . Patterson Lives and works in Kingston, Jamaica and Lexington, KY. To learn more about Patterson and her work visit : http://ebonygpatterson.com | http://www.theof72project.com | http://www.cheapandcleanproject.com/

ARC Magazine
ARC Magazine

ARC Inc. is a non-profit print and online publication and social platform launched in 2011. It seeks to fill a certain void by offering a critical space for contemporary artists to present their work while fostering and developing critical dialogues and opportunities for crucial points of exchange. ARC is an online and social space of interaction with a developed methodology of sharing information about contemporary practices, exhibitions, partnerships, and opportunities occurring in the Caribbean region and throughout its diasporas.