In the fall of 2018 we spearheaded the development of two abstract commissions by Patrick Eugene for a private client. Inspired by a quote by the great James Baldwin,
“I was very young, and the assumptions of the people by whom I was surrounded, who now were white people, were so fatally different that I was really in trouble. I was in danger of thinking myself out of existence, because … an unknown helpless black boy, wandering around the way I did and thinking the way I thought, was obviously a dangerous kind of freak. Obviously, you say what you think, and there is no way to hide what you think. People look at you with great wonder and great hostility, and I got scared because I could see that I wouldn’t be able to function in this world or even in this language, and I went away.”
After a few introductory and briefing meetings we worked closely with Eugene to establish a directional color palette, key material elements, and desired scale before creating studies and the final work you see above. The client was so inspired by what was created, another work on paper was commissioned, this time to be much larger, approximately double the size to serve as the staple piece in their stairway.