Clayton Patterson
Clayton Patterson’s Front Door: Residents and Writers

June 3–July 15, 2023

Presented as part of Photoville Festival 2023, Clayton Patterson’s Front Door: Residents and Writers features rarely-seen images from the renowned photographer, who has documented the unique cultural ecosystem of the Lower East Side for over 40 years.  The exhibition presents selections from the Front Door series, portraits taken in front of Patterson's 161 Essex Street studio from the mid 1980s to early 2000s. Known as the “Wall of Fame, ” the door served as an important canvas for local graffiti writers and as a backdrop for Patterson’s portraits of local residents.

This exhibition will be installed at the following locations:

  • The exterior gates of LES Coleman Skate Park (corner of Monroe and Pike Streets)
  • The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Park (216 E Broadway)

On June 3 from 4–6pm, join us at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Park (216 E Broadway) for an opening reception to celebrate the exhibitions Clayton Patterson’s Front Door and (In)Visible Guides, with music by a²z.

Clayton Patterson. Image courtesy of the artist.

Clayton Patterson’s Front Door: Residents and Writers is organized by Ali Rosa-Salas, Vice President of Visual and Performing Arts and Lei Takanashi, creator of the graffiti archive Instagram account @CrookNYC.

About Clayton Patterson

Clayton Patterson is a Canadian-born artist, photographer, videographer and folk historian. Since moving to New York City in 1979, his work has focused almost exclusively on documenting the art, life and times of the Lower East Side in Manhattan.

About Lei Takanashi

Lei Takanashi is currently a Staff Writer for Complex’s Style section. Before joining Complex, he covered hip-hop, streetwear, graffiti and New York City culture for publications such as New York Magazine, Mass Appeal, 12ozProphet, and Grailed. A born and raised New Yorker, Lei fell in love with graffiti as a teenager and started taking graffiti flicks on Instagram as @CrookNYC. Today, his account continues to document the current state of New York City graffiti while also sharing archival texts and artifacts to contextualize New York graffiti’s rich past.

About Photoville

Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which the organization strives for, ensuring that the artists whose works are shown are diverse in gender, class, and race.

In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions including its annual Photoville NYC festival.

By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, Photoville is part of a movement to nurture a new lens of representation. Its current festival, which showcases 65 visual stories in all five New York City boroughs, is on view until June 26th.

Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.