Yung Jake - Artist portrait, photo via

Yung Jake /   Jake Patterson

United States 2011

Installation, Digital Art

Yung Jake
Jake Patterson
United States
September 17, 2014
Music, Gestalt, .

Living his artistic life exclusively online, Yung Jake is the primarily virtual persona, then an artist, rapper, programmer and videographer. Born on the internet, 2011, his first big viral success was in March next year with interactive HTML5 music video, which was even nominated for the MTV Music Award for Best Interactive Music Video. He also creates digital drawings, like portraits of celebrities made out of emojis, or transforming white lighted canvases. Making a personal performance of preoccupation with technology, Jake has no interest in distinguishing between his rap and art practice.

White pannels are transformed into the digital drawings

Yung Jake - Drawings, 2014 (installation view), photo via youtube feat aufrufe charlie prod max heat david larry
Yung Jake – Drawings, 2014 (installation view), photo via

Conquering the Online World

Born as Jake Patterson, he attended the prestigious California Institute of Fine Arts in Valencia, received his BFA and gained the knowledge in traditional mediums, like drawing and painting. Having the frustrations in the art world where his work was labeled as African-American art, he took an interest in rap and started to make songs and spots cruising around in a car with his crew, like people expected from one African American. His blackness suddenly wasn’t the issue anymore and Jake was overrunning art, rap and internet world, erasing the lines between all three.

Portraits of celebrities are made of emojis

Yung Jake - Rihanna, photo via youtube feat aufrufe charlie prod max heat david
Yung Jake – Rihanna, photo via

Digital World of Presence

Placing the series of lighted white canvases into the totally dark room, Jake named this exhibition Drawings. Having the closer look, these canvases transform into digital drawings, containing a computer cursor in motion, resembling a brushstroke that never finds its place, or just furiously running over the screen. The other interesting work consists of portraits of celebrities, made only out of emojis. Joining together these two iconic things of our age, his ironic expression reveals the senselessness of nowadays culture and interests.

Yung Jake – Datamosh, 2011

Techology, Hip-Hop and Contemporary Art

Best known for his rap videos that connect hip-hop lyrics, social media, technology and contemporary art, using the parody as a main way of expression, Jake provokes the common sense of the viewer with his jokes and special digital techniques that distort the images. In Datamosh, for example, he raps about the common internet trend of images that crumble into a colorful tide of pixels. Jake’s work has been exhibited at two solo shows with Steve Turner and a solo project at 2014 fair, Art Berlin Contemporary. It has also been screened at Sundance, and he has performed in Los Angeles at the Hammer Museum and Redcat and at MOCA.

Yung Yake lives and works in Los Angeles.

Featured image: Artist portrait, photo via
All images used for illustrative purpose only

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016HydrationSteve Turner, Los AngelesSolo
2016Dear DTLAThe Ace Hotel, Los AngelesGroup
2015The Real WorldSteve Turner, Los AngelesSolo
2015Performance at The Getty CenterLos AngelesGroup
2015Space ProgramSteve Turner, Los AngelesSolo
2015Performance at SXSWAustinGroup
2014Unfollow, Premier and presentationAhmanson Auditorium, MOCA, Los Angeles, CASolo
2014Yung Jake - New  Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles, CASolo
2014Yung Jake - DrawingsSteve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles, CASolo
2013Performance. Augmented World ExpoSilicon Valley, CAGroup
2013Datamosh. New Frontier Short FilmsSundance Film Festival, Park City, UTGroup, New Frontier exhibitSundance Film Festival, Park City, UTGroup
2013Augmented Real. New Frontier exhibitSundance Film Festival, Park City, UTGroup
2013Performance. RedcatLos Angeles, CAGroup
2013Performance @ Art BaselAbsolute Vodka Night Court, Miami, FLGroup
2013Water exhibitionTripoli Gallery, Southampton, NYGroup
2013Datamosh, Shorts ProgramAFI fest (won Special Jury Mention), Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013PerformanceHammer Museum, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Performance. TimeWarner Storytellers SummitLaguna, CAGroup
2013Performance. The Future of Story Telling ConferenceStaten Island, NYGroup
2012Datamosh. screeningChicago, IL and Amsterdam, NetherlandsGroup
2012Datamosh. Bruciennial group showNew York, NYGroup
2012Workshop. New Frontier Story LabSundance Film Festival, Park City, UTGroup
2012Affordable CareMana Wynwood, MiamiGroup
2012FootprintsTripoli Gallery of Contemporary Art, Southampton, NYGroup
2012Datamosh. Off the AirAdult Swim, TVGroup