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The $16 Burger Show: Clayton Patterson with Elsa Rensaa.

Clayton Patterson has been Lower East Side’s resident archiver, historian, and photographer since he and his long-time partner and collaborator, Elsa Rensaa, moved to New York City from Canada in 1979. ┬áBy being present in the zeitgeist of Lower East Side and lower Manhattan from the 80’s to now, through their photography, art, books, film, underground illegal tattoos, and fashion in the style of Clayton Hats, Clayton and Elsa have achieved the very rare feat of documenting the transformation of Downtown Manhattan while still continuing to live and breathe it. To this day, they are still there, Clayton’s name in neon in the glass of their home on Essex Street. Clayton and Elsa have called this building on Essex, with a gallery as a storefront, which has hosted shows for the likes of Dash Snow and Peter Missing, home since the early 80’s.

In every aspect of Clayton Patterson's work, Elsa Rensaa has played a significant role. She was his editor on his first video work of shows at Pyramid Club and CBGB; assisted the creation of the underground Tattoo Society of New York; designed and printed the invites and posters for the NYC International Tattoo Convention once tattooing became legal (due to Clayton and Elsa’s political push); and hand-stitched the embroidery on Clayton’s Hats, a direct reflection of their intimate working relationship. But to say that Elsa Rensaa is Clayton Patterson’s muse is an understatement. Galerie ABP is honored to be the first gallery to showcase Elsa Rensaa’s original artwork. Her work is painted with the skill of Michelangelo yet laced with the unparalleled attitude of a real deal New Yorker privy to what it is to stomp its mean streets everyday.

Clayton's influence on the Lower East Side reaches further than the corners of Essex and Houston or Ludlow and Stanton; his photographs, paintings and writings document cultural and economic changes of all of New York City, and, one can argue, the entire world. He is one of the last ones standing of an era that gave birth to Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Madonna and Blondie. From an era where an unknown artist could live in a loft in Soho or in Tribeca off income from selling prints in the street. An era that is long gone. This is why the location for The $16 Burger Show at Galerie ABP is so fitting. The Meatpacking District, or as Clayton calls it: Dead Meat District, is ground zero for the transformation of Downtown Manhattan. Located in an empty retail space that used to house an overpriced burger restaurant, Galerie ABP is surrounded by two of the world’s biggest corporations: Google and Apple. It is a few blocks down from Chelsea and the dozens of galleries that form the pulse of the global art commerce. A full circle of sorts will take place with The $16 Burger Show. A celebration of two of the most important figures of Lower Manhattan culture in the last three decades.

The pop up gallery, opening for a month on April 15th, will foreground never before seen works dug up from deep inside Clayton and Elsa’s museum-like house on Essex street, a selection of the artist's eponymous Clayton Hats, and an array of new works. This show is a rare peek into the life of a New York City legend who has quietly maintained an immense amount of creative output throughout the past three decades, much of which has been crafted in partnership with his wife. Screenings of films relevant to Clayton's prolific career, Captured and 10 Men Talking, are scheduled throughout the month.

“The $16 Burger Show: Clayton Patterson with Elsa Rensaa”, 58-60 9th Ave. Exhibition until May 14.


GalerieABP presents the $16 Burger Show: Clayton Patterson & Elsa Rensaa - April 15th through May 15th - Support by BRONX.STUDIO