between the elements, a morning with Michael Patton

Michael Patton is one of those artists for whom scale and texture, when apprehended in a secret and detailed manner, can transform, in an alchemical process becoming something so much greater than its parts. It is clear as soon as you look at it. It isn’t vague. a pile of gloves, a circle of nails…They move in a meta-level of meaning and resonate in a land where only the most touched artists can travel.

please click on each image to enlarge

I stopped into to see Michael this morning at his downtown Oakland studio, where he was ready to show me the work his has ready for tomorrow’s install at Zza’s this weekend. for show info click here.

I think this relationship that Michael has to texture and scale is exactly the two factors that have kept him as yet from posting a website. As we know, there is no relative, dimensional intimacy is this cold, cyber-world. That is okay. As a curator it makes me feel that I have something that much more special.

It is certainly not that Michael is not serious. There is a meditative, all encompassing seriousness to the quality of his very professional work. Michael is indeed a local graduate of the California College of the Arts (CCA) and I love that he rarely shows his work. Working with him to put together this show, I can see why he doesn’t: he has put his whole heart into this.

(above) The closest thing to a painting hanging on his studio wall. I have purposefully not pictured here works that will be on display at Zza’s, but rather want to just give you a taste of his environment. Presently, his environment is a small studio in The Hive that I think he is rapidly outgrowing.

When describing his work, Michael uses words like “intimate…memories…emotion” right brain stuff that is held to the objects by, again, their texture and their scope. These formal qualities I lump in my mind with presence and even color. There is a crafted center to his work that is always inviting and certainly classic.

After our coffee was done, I said bye to a very nervous Michael. He is going to spend the whole day installing at Zza’s tomorrow in preparation for Saturday’s reception. Come on by.

For an image/price list of Michael’s work in the show please email me at
or call me at Obi Kaufmann 925-951-7501

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