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Joyce Pensato was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She has exhibited widely, including exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the St. Louis Art Museum (with Mike Kelley and Raymond Pettibon). Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and FRAC des Pays de la Loire, France, among others . She lives and works in Brooklyn. For many years Joyce Pensato has mined the field of cartoon imagery for both the inspiration and subject matter of her predominantly black and white paintings and drawings. In particular, the artist has repeatedly returned to the iconic images created by Walt Disney in the early 20th century, most notably Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. These characters inhabit the world of Pop, but in Pensato’s hands, they have been altered, arguably mutilated and deformed, to such an extent that these works have almost nothing to do with a Warholian Pop lineage and everything to do with the energy and intention of the Abstract Expressionists. Pensato is not interested in sparing the already implicated – viewer or subject. She confronts us with a world in which the familiar cartoon becomes the embodiment and reflection of a profoundly flawed and marginalized existence, where the sanitized is smeared off to reveal our own particularly American dystopia.


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