Here’s a fun online event, happening courtesy of Tompkins Square Library, on Thursday, June 11, 2020, from 2pm – 3pm: Local legend, Clayton Patterson will discuss the recent graphic novel, based on his own LES history, Clayton: Godfather of Lower East Side Documentary, with its author and illustrators. Tompkins writes:
For the first time ever, legendary photographer and videographer Clayton Patterson—who Anthony Bourdain described as the “archivist of all things Lower East Side”—is the subject of a biographical graphic novel anthology. Like no other, Clayton has documented the often-overlooked people and cultural contributions of New York’s Lower East Side—sometimes finding himself in perilous situations as a result.
For decades, Clayton has, as his friend Ai Weiwei puts it, “relentlessly devoted himself to a kind of culture that examines authority.” Best known for his documentation of the Tompkins Square police riot in 1988, Clayton lived at the intersection of numerous underground cultures, from drag queens to punks, gangbangers to tattoo artists, breathing in the same creative energy that gave life to Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, the Talking Heads, Blondie, and other New York icons.
In a time when the future of the city is threatened by hyper-gentrification, Clayton, whose work has documented the creative DIY underbelly of the Lower East Side, has become an icon of an increasingly vanishing New York. Now, in the tradition of Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor, eighteen artists pay tribute to him in this graphic novel anthology—the first biography of this iconic artist intertwined with a rich history of the Lower East Side over the last thirty years.
Clayton Patterson will discuss the graphic novel with author Julian Voloj as well as illustrators Sasha Kimiatek and Seanne Catedral. The event will be moderated by Eddy Portnoy.
Seanne Catedral is a Filipinx-American illustrator and tattooist. Born in the Philippines, she moved to New York at age two. Seanne embraces the duality of growing up American and being part of the Filipina diaspora in her artistic work and has contributed to a number of zines and group exhibitions. “Clayton: Godfather of Lower East Side Documentary” is her first published graphic novel.
Sasha Kimiatek is a production artist and illustrator who has worked for Marvel, IDW, and Boom, among others. Born in Connecticut, Sasha grew up in a cross-section of religions and cultures: her father is of Jewish Polish background, her mother a Christian Lebanese war refugee, and she spent most of her teenage years in Puerto Rico. Sasha now resides in Jersey City.
Eddy Portnoy is the Academic Advisor and Director of Exhibitions at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. He is the author of Bad Rabbi and Other Strange but True Stories from the Yiddish Press, a collection of tales focusing on the seamy underbelly of New York’s Lower East Side and Warsaw’s Jewish Quarter prior to World War II.
Julian Voloj is a New York based writer and photographer. Born in Germany to Colombian parents, he is the author of a number of graphic novels including Ghetto Brother (NBM, 2015), Joe Shuster (SuperGenius, 2018) and Basquiat (SelfMadeHero, 2019). He lives in Sunnyside, Queens.
To attend this free online discussion, please register (here)…[for] the meeting link before the start time.