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the masks we wear

feature exhibition

Opening January 6th, 2023

Arch Enemy Arts is pleased to present: THE MASKS WE WEAR, a solo feature of celebrated artist 3rd Version (aka Ben Patterson). Distinctively marrying carefully detailed and realistic creatures with graphic, two-dimensional scenes or embellishments, this series of 8 original oil and acrylic paintings offers a definitive example of what the artist refers to as “highlow” art. 


The Colorado based painter, continuing to evolve his artistic approach, has explored contradictory themes through his work since receiving his BFA in 2013. Now five years into his current iteration, Ben writes on his personal motivation behind Masks:


“The inspiration for this series came as I was trying to figure out why I self-sabotage myself through fear and self-loathing. As I worked through many different things in my own life (and still continually do) my artwork evolved as well. I kept animals as my subjects, they are a great vessel for self-reflection.”


Patterson’s conceptual throughline of the series, while remaining visually light-hearted, touches on the complexities of our psychosocial presentations. Such as the fauna depicted, the artist’s aim is to show that we each have myriad versions of ourselves, masks that we use as disguises for protection or comfort. Each of the titles is, in turn, an example or reason for the alter ego. An envious frog wearing a mask of jealousy, a quail and coyote reclaim their past, and a corvid with hopes of becoming a pigeon– each exudes his deeper narrative. These playful juxtapositions are as nostalgic as they are thoughtful, and the renderings themselves ease us into Patterson’s flight of fancy. One foot grounded in reality, the other dipped into the pool of lowbrow graphic imagery.


The Masks We Wear is 3rd Version’s second solo feature with Arch Enemy Arts, coming after numerous group shows every year since 2017. 

- written by Alex Medlin II

3rd Version's THE MASKS WE WEAR exhibition will be on view from January 6th - January 29th, 2023.
Sold works will begin to ship the week of February 5th, unless other arrangements have been made.

Items marked with a red dot have already been sold.


all works below are available unless marked with a red dot

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