TO BE ANNOUNCED 46
By Sarah Elise Abramson
It comes as no surprise that such vulnerable and passionate art would come from an artist who bears those same traits. Patrick Church is a New York-based artist who I have actually featured once before in this column back in October 2015. Church’s work has since, aggrandized in volume, concept and has caught the attention of famous singers and other artists from around the world.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Church on the phone after the interview. I gained more insight into the artist behind this unceasingly spontaneous, poignant and passionate work he turns out as fast as someone who seems to live every day like it’s his last. Hey Patrick! How are you today? Is it as hot in NY as it is in LA? I’m so happy to be interviewing you for a second time! Your work has changed so much over the last several years. Can you talk a little about that?
Hey! I love that we are doing this again. Yes, everything is changing and evolving so much I don’t know how to even explain it or really express how I’m feeling about it. Change is good and yet, also hard at times. Everything feeling so different. Not in a bad way, just…different.
Well what has changed in your life since our last interview. Any major milestones? Well, I met the love of my life, the most wonderful man in the world. He changed everything. We got married and it’s been the biggest journey. Life feels so different right now. I feel like I’m suddenly able to explore creativity in a completely new and different way.
What do you mean by “completely”? Can you elaborate? Also, CONGRATS! You know I’ve seen the two of you. The most handsome couple if I do say so myself!
I always felt restricted before; I did it to myself. I was always so afraid to let go and experiment. I have so many barriers in my own head and this prevented me from exploring creatively and doing things outside of what’s comfortable. I wanted to stick to the familiar. But now I enjoy the process of feeling completely out of my comfort zone, you know?
Thank you so much. He is so beautiful inside and out, even thinking of him makes me want to cry, I can’t believe I found my soulmate.
Stop it! I’ve been so emotional lately. You’ll make me cry! I absolutely know. That’s an amazing and very important thing to overcome and grow into.
I was reading something the other day and it was talking about the fact that if your head is full of fear and doubt, there’s no room for dreams and creative
exploration. So would you say that your husband somehow scared away those doubts and fears in a sense?
Oh, there was so much fear and so much doubt. It was crippling me. It’s not that he scared them away, I still very much feel like that a lot of the time but I feel supported now. His support means everything to me and makes me a stronger, better artist and person. It gives me the strength to create and push, push, push every day.
Ah…I see. It’s the support factor. Well that’s great and I’m so happy you have that in your life now. Let’s get into your upcoming solo show!
Thank you so much, yes...let’s! I am so nervous and excited. I am putting ALL of my energy into it; blood, sweat and tears. It opens on September 7 at Toth Gallery on Chrystie Street in Manhattan. I will be showing a brand-new series of works along with my new collection. It’s great to fuse the worlds of both art and fashion.
The artwork I have created feels so much more grown up and serious. It involved the painstaking process of layering images and then blocking them out.
Matthew Tierney, the artist I met here, who I consider one of my closest friends, is curating it.
I usually consider my drawings and paintings so precious and it’s that idea of not being able to explore and push myself I wanted to destroy; I wanted to see how I felt by blocking them out over and over. These precious drawings, creating depth and layers…it makes me feel so nervous and uneasy but creates this delicate romantic love story. They are a series of self-portraits and also studies of my husband and us together. I like that the layers become secretive and intimate.
Oh wow! I really enjoy the sound of all that. Extremely personal art has always been my favorite kind of art and yours is forever and always, oozing exactly that. Your art is an extension of you as a person and that’s something I really love about it. Does the show have a title yet? I personally cannot wait to see this new work in its entirety.
The show still doesn’t have a name. I’m so last minute with everything, it still hasn’t come to me, but it will, I’m sure of it.
How does it feel to be a queer artist and making art that is, in and of itself, very queer? Do you think people respond to it in certain ways? I personally think that being a queer artist is a major privilege and task. We have a responsibility to represent the queer community in a positive way. Would you agree with all this?
I agree we have a massive responsibility to show our community in a positive light. I like to bring people together with my work, especially when creating clothing and the fashion aspect of my work. I feel like we are creating a family and a safe space to empower people and allowing people to express themselves freely, without judgement.
My artwork often explores the more vulnerable side of my queer identity, but it feels great when people connect and relate to the messages within my work.
Yeah, and your work really does that. It is incredibly vulnerable. It was so amazing when I got to assist styling singer Lauryn Hill about a month or so ago and as I went through the racks and racks of clothing she had in her hotel room, whose clothing did I come across?! Yours! Does it still feel surreal that such epic performers and artists are collecting and wearing the clothes you make?
Oh, I know! When you sent me that photo I couldn’t believe it! She was everything to me growing up. It feels so exciting and crazy, and I am extremely humbled.
Any other celebrities that you know of who collect your work?
I know SZA, Daya, Teyana Taylor and Kendall Jenner have some pieces too. Anyone ordering something from me always feels so special. I almost can’t believe it every time.
Talented and humble to boot! You’re incredible. Thanks so much for sitting down with me for this interview. Anyone in New York, mark your calendars! Patrick Church’s new solo exhibition opens September 7 at Toth Gallery. You won’t want to miss it.
Thank you so much for everything and all your support, you are wonderful!
If you would like to contact Patrick Church: www.patrickchurchartist.com
1Angelica, acrylic on Khadi paper2I Think About You All the Time, acrylic on Khadi paper3Artist Patrick Church in a custom hand-painted vest.4Effie hand-painted hoodie and bag and never be me boots, made to order. Photo by Chelsy Mitchell.5Sex Diary denim. Photo by Chelsy Mitchell.
Sarah Elise Abramson is a contemporary fine art photographer based in San Pedro, California—a mysterious post-industrial enclave whose offbeat countercultural history and proliferation of unusual sights, sounds and citizens is tailor-made for Abramson’s obsession with everyday surrealism. In both her own photography and in her curatorial and editorial approach to exhibition projects and independent publications, her emphasis is on discovering the eccentric beauty in the things most people overlook. Found objects, hidden messages, secrets of the universe that hide in plain sight—throughout her studies at Parsons The New School for Design and Brooks Institute of Photography, and later at LaChapelle Studios, her work has evolved from finding to intuitively creating original daydreams and shared cosmologies. www.sarahelisephotography.com @slow_toast