Artist Whose Work I Love: Patrick Dougherty

Patrick Dougherty works with sticks, entwining and tangling them together in order to make architecture-like works of art.


I believe Dougherty’s main focus is to communicate childhood–its innocence and pure joy and adventure–to his viewers.

His art certainly has a whimsical feeling to it, with the organic and fluid motion of most of his pieces. He also has made installations on buildings and I think that definitely communicates a feeling of freedom and adventure in places that don’t hold such fond feelings.

I think Dougherty is very successful is communicating his idea because I think the idea of a “treehouse” is often associated with childhood and the fluid feeling in his work reminds me of the blissful ignorance of childhood. Because Dougherty uses sticks as his medium, I think his idea is further communicated. He uses an imperfect item that is natural to communicate the idea of the unexpected adventure childhood is.

I really enjoy Dougherty’s work because of how he so fluidly integrates his work with the locations he chooses. I like the idea of using nature and natural items to build a work of art right back into nature. I also like the idea of using material that will break down over time. His works last about 2 years, which is long enough to seem permanent but also remind you that everything on Earth will decay eventually, which you get to see in his work.


Interview with American Sculptor Patrick Dougherty


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