125 Maiden Lane – New York, New York
May 11, 2007 – July 27, 2007
“While growing up in a town on the Jersey shore, I was exposed to a world filled with chrome, flashing colors and checkered flags. It was a life of fast machines such as drag cars, powerboats and motorcycles combined with the bliss of the seaside. They were and remain subjects looked upon with marvel. The intense stimulus produced by these cultures provides a platform for creativity. Now, I look at elements of these environments, extract certain qualities and transfer them to works. It could be the glimmer of a supercharged engine, the fun and absurdity of boardwalk games, or even the curves of a sexy body lying on the beach that trigger inspiration.. It’s an ongoing investigation of attraction.” – Anthony Patti
57,200,000 results on google for “car culture america” alone. More than 120 songs were written between 1905 and 1908 in which the automobile was the subject. Ever since Henry Ford began churning out the motorized hunks of metal en masse, cars have been vehicles for dozens of things other than their intended purpose. “The American,” William Faulkner lamented in 1948, “really loves nothing but his automobile.” Our intense love affair with cars began as soon as they were invented. Since its first appearance in the 1890s, the automobile has embodied deep-seated cultural and emotional values that have become an integral part of the American Dream. All of the romantic mythology associated with the frontier experience has been transferred to the car culture. Americans have always cherished personal freedom and mobility, rugged individualism and masculine force. Still the automobile retains its firm hold over our psyche because it continues to represent a metaphor for what Americans have always prized: the seductive ideal of private freedom, personal mobility, and empowered spontaneity.
Anthony Patti plays in his sculptural work with this big romantic myth. His joyful celebration of form, color, light and metaphor references reality but the expectation is displaced by the artist’s vision. He disappoints the promised desire, he denies the ideal. The sculptures are too small to be real, too big to be toys.
Trained as a custom car and boat mechanic from the Jersey shore, Patti’s work evokes his days spent hot rod racing coupled with the youthful energy he found on the boardwalk. His slick automotive finishes produce a candy-like visual that is both seductive and precious. Flowing with desire and sexuality, Patti’s sculptures hang on the wall like high-gloss sport collector’s icons. Patti was born in 1976 and raised in Toms River, New Jersey and studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Jersey Boy is curated by Elisabeth Akkerman and is sponsored by the Time Equities Inc. (TEI) Art-in-Buildings Program. TEI is committed to enriching the experience of our properties through the Art-in-Buildings Program, an innovative approach that brings contemporary art by emerging and mid-career artists to non-traditional exhibition spaces in the interest of promoting artists, expanding the audience for art, and creating a more interesting environment for our building occupants, residents, and their guests.