Patrick Alston

My process of creating an artwork begins with finding materials. Based on the materials that I find, I then begin to lay out a composition that incorporates found objects in addition to hand-dyed and store-bought fabrics that function as the base for the pieces. Upon laying out the base orientation of the paintings, I then sew these elements together, and from that point, I stretch the work and then begin the process of painting.

—  Patrick Alston's quote about his process on Ross + Kramer press release for Patrick's show, "Let There Be Light".


Installation shot of Patrick Alston's "Let There Be Light" at Ross = Kramer Gallery (2021).

Patrick’s works bring to question what it is to live in urban areas through his use of objects, color, and light. A native of the Bronx, Patrick asks viewers to find “beauty in unexpected places” - incorporating everything from torn tarp from nearby construction sites to grand opening signs, flags, and other items found while walking around his community. In his composition, these overlooked items are sewn into attention and painted on creating the vivid works you see.

Patrick’s ongoing interrogation of the spaces we occupy through abstract expressionism leaves the viewer to consider our own relationship with those who call the same place home. Through color and light, both in what is apparent and hidden, we are asked to consider what is revealed or obscured through its placement. In its context of an urban landscape, it calls out broader questions of who is obscured, and who benefits from this access of light and visibility.

This is further punctuated in his careful choice of titling, from Dreams Deferred, a reference to Langston Hughes’ poem of a similar name, to works such as Fruit of the Spirit, a Biblical reference to the attributes one living in accordance with the Holy Spirit follows. 

Y — A — 2020