About the Photographer
American, b. 1972
Christian Patterson’s Redheaded Peckerwood series presents a crime story through a complex mix of photographs, text, and facsimile documents. The project is based on the real-life string of murders committed by teenage lovers Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate in the winter of 1957-58 in Nebraska and Wyoming. Though Patterson includes some appropriated photographs and documents that stem directly from the crimes, he does not identify them. Rather, he borrows certain points of fact and freely mixes them with fictional elements he creates using photography as his primary tool. By mining a historical archive and injecting the past with possibility, Patterson suggests that the most important implications of the crime are located not in the social or in the collective, but in the interior responses we have to it—emotionally, intellectually, and imaginatively.
Christian Patterson has exhibited nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at Robert Morat in Hamburg, Germany, and VOLTA, New York, NY (2012); Kaune-Sudendorf, Cologne Germany (2008); Robert Koch, San Francisco, CA (2007); Yancey Richardson, New York, NY (2006); and Power House, Memphis, TN (2005). Patterson is the recipient of several awards, including an artist residency at Light Work, Syracuse, NY (2010). His monographs include Sound Affects (2008) and Redheaded Peckerwood (2011), named one of the best photography books of 2011 by Art in America, The New York Times, TIME, and The Guardian and nominated for the 2012 Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards.
Gallery Talk: Christian Patterson discusses his work and process in conjunction with Crime Unseen exhibition at the MoCP