Recap: Clayton Patterson and Mint&Serf “93 Till Infinity” at Tribes Gallery
Saturday night at the Tribes Gallery, Clayton Patterson took us back into the gritty 1990’s, right on the cusp of the Giuliani era. The Lower East Side, circa 1993, known at the time for the drug pushers, the squatters, anarchists and street gangs, had been thoroughly photographed, taped, and immortalized by Patterson. There weren’t any button up business men, obnoxious bachelorette princess parties, and whiny NYU students walking their new ‘hood’ to the second nearest wine bar. This was where crack was strewn, guns were handled, and cars were flipped for parts and symbolic reasons.
All of the prints were very captivating. To start, the close up portraits crowned important figures of the neighborhood, also recognizing and portraying their personalities. The portraits of the young female youth, exposed to us the next generations voice and attitude. The print of a squatter riot, activism jaunt, was very intense. A burnt out, flipped over car, a trash filled street, workers being demanded by police to weld the squatters inside their building, and a human sized pigeon coop the squatters built to protect themselves from police.
Mint&Serf and the rest of the PPP crew (including Same, CH, Toper, SI, Fore, News, Dkae, DA One, Cayz, Shaun, and more) completely saturated every dark corner of the gallery’s walls, overflowing onto the ceiling. Almost everyone that came out showed some love on the walls, creating dense layers of tags and throwups, perfectly suiting the backdrop for Clayton Patterson’s photographs.
Text and Photo: sheacote