Art & Design

Photographer Clayton Patterson to Re-Open Lower East Side ‘Outlaw Art Museum’

Art & Design

Photographer Clayton Patterson to Re-Open Lower East Side ‘Outlaw Art Museum’

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After being closed to the public for 10 years, legendary Lower East Side photographer Clayton Patterson will reopen the Clayton Outlaw Art Museum, located on the ground floor of his longtime home at 161 Essex Street. The rebel artist, famous for documenting his changing neighborhood across decades, will feature a range of original artwork by him and his wife, Elsa Rensaa, all pulled from the couple’s extensive archive.

The reopening will focus on Patterson’s newly revived Clayton Caps—an initiative powered by “Creeper Creeper” collective DAMEHT, to educate a new generation about an important piece of New York’s own fashion history. First introduced in 1986, Clayton Caps redefined the American baseball cap by featuring hand-embroidered designs, which Patterson and Rensaa would personally finish using a 100-year-old machine and then sell to the public out of their Essex Street storefront.


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As struggling artists, Clayton Caps kept the two financially stable in NYC, and garnered a significant amount of attention, both from Hollywood and mainstream media. Recognized by Elle and GQ—then a more reputable feat than it would be today—Clayton Caps eventually found their way to the heads of everyone from Jim Dine to David Hockney, Rob Reiner to Matt Dillon. One of the first reissued Caps, which features Patterson’s abstract interpretation of a devil, was even worn by Keith Haring.

Now, 30 years after their initial launch, the Clayton Outlaw Art Museum will open to display original versions of the Caps alongside DAMEHT’s reissued collection, which notably features an update of Patterson’s iconic Taxi Cab style. A long overdue activation, this gallery reopening follows the collective’s $16 Burger Show, and will take place Monday, Nov. 14, from 7 PM to 10 PM.

Check out the event’s official flyer, below, and RSVP, here


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Featured Portrait by Lucas Garzoli