City Purchases Two World-Class Pieces at Art Basel Miami Beach for their Inaugural Legacy Purchase Program

(Miami Beach, FL) Dec 6, 2019 -

Today, the City of Miami Beach purchased Jamaican visual artist Ebony G. Patterson’s piece that garnered the greatest number of public votes as part of the city’s new Legacy Purchase Program. Her artwork is entitled “…as the garden secretes a swarm of monarchs feast…a john crow awaits a carcass’ fall while scavengers gather to feast below, as we dig between the cuts…below the leaves…beneath the soil”

“Ms. Patterson’s artwork is a valuable addition to our already extensive public art collection,” said Mayor Dan Gelber. “I’m grateful to the residents who actively participated in the difficult task of voting for their favorite piece. We look forward to continuing the Legacy Purchase Program and our commitment to arts and culture in our community for many years to come.”

Coming in a close second with a three-vote difference was Cobalt Blue Earring by Amoako Boafo.

“It was clear by the vote that our residents loved both pieces, so we decided to purchase Mr. Boafo’s Cobalt Blue Earring as well since it fell within the parameters for this program and had so much positive press behind it going into this year’s fair,” shared City Manager Jimmy L. Morales. “We look forward to having these remarkable works become  a permanent fixture of our collection and be displayed within a dedicated, publicly accessible area of the Miami Beach Convention Center.”

“We are excited to add Ebony’s piece to the city’s public art collection, considering how strong her connection is to Miami, and having Amoako as the first artist in residence with the newly opened Rubell Museum here just makes perfect sense to bring them both home together,” noted Director of Tourism and Culture Matt Kenny.

Monique Meloche gallery, who represents Ebony G. Patterson and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery who represents Amoako Boafo share more than just this common purchase. They are neighbors in Chicago, literally sharing a wall between them, and often partner on artist openings and gallery events and are thrilled to be sharing the spotlight – “both artists were very interested in keeping these specific works in the public realm, where they could be enjoyed by various audiences over a long period of time,” associates from both galleries stated.

“When you have artists who have been featured in the Wall Street Journal and on the cover of various art magazines leading into Miami Art Week, and your Mayor and Commission have pre-approved the purchase, and then your residents are almost tied in their voting — it is pretty clear the only option is to take both the winner and the runner up. These purchases are extremely coveted, with waitlists of some of the largest cultural institutions and most noted art collectors in the world waiting to purchase, had we not added them to our collection,” added Kenny.

The Legacy Purchase Program is made possible from the Miami Beach Convention Center’s Art in Public Places contingency fund. This fund is dedicated to the purchase of public art, that includes the purchase and future maintenance of the artwork. All acquisitions fall under the city’s AiPP ordinance and guidelines.

Click here to read more about the new Legacy Purchase Program.

About the Artists

Ebony G. Patterson is represented by the Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago and holds a Master of Fine Arts from Sam Fox College of Design and Visual Arts. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Jamaica, the United States and abroad, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Nuit Blanche Toronto and the Hales Gallery in New York City to name a few.

Known for her drawings, tapestries, videos, sculptures and installations that involve surfaces layered with flowers, glitter, lace and beads, Patterson’s works investigate forms of embellishment as they relate to youth culture within disenfranchised communities. Her neo-baroque works address violence, masculinity, “bling,” visibility and invisibility within the post-colonial context of her native Jamaica and within black youth culture globally. The references to Carnival in Patterson’s use of beads, plastic ornaments and reflective materials reflect her interest in mining international aesthetics in a practice that is a race against time, as Patterson captures, mourns and glorifies the passing of too many lives.

Amoako Boafo is a painter, born in Accra, Ghana, based in Vienna, Austria. Boafo’s portrait paintings are enticing in their lucidity, accentuating the figures in each work, who are regularly isolated on single color backgrounds, their gaze the focal point of each work. The brushstrokes are thick and gestural, the contours of the body’s almost soften into abstraction. The most well-known of his series, the Black Diaspora portraits serve as a means of celebration of his identity and blackness.

Boafo emphasizes, “The primary idea of my practice is representation, documenting, celebrating and showing new ways to approach blackness.” Much of his work is inspired by his upbringing, commenting on how males are raised to be aggressive and masculine, which he challenges in his works. Although the artists underlying messages are quite intense, there is a certain softness to the works, the poses are serene and the skin luminous.

Boafo studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. In 2017 was awarded with the jury prize, Walter Koschatzky Art Prize. Widely collected by private and public collectors and institutions, most recently by CCS Bard College Hessel Museum of Art and The Albertina Museum Vienna, and has been named as the first artists in residence at the Rubell Museum.