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 Joyce Pensato  (1941 - )

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: cartoonish figures-paintings, installations, works on paper

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Working with a palette that is primarily black and white, Joyce Pensato "explores emotional and psychological gray areas in her turbulent recasting of big, bouncy cartoon characters and stuffed animals as randy rogues of dubious intent."  Much of her work is a "commentary on the American Dream gone sour", and she has a strong following in Europe, especially France.  Some critics suggest that the cartoon figures she creates are ones with which she personally identifies, both for their gusto and their neuroses.

Many of these characters have faces with expressions ranging from leering to outright positive enthusiasm and wonder.  She often uses familiar cartoon names from Warner Brothers and Disney such as Mickey, Snoopy, and Porky.  Among her works are Mr. MotoMickey, "an amalgam of Mickey Mouse and the Japanese secret agent played by Peter Lorre in numerous films"; Donald Rising, an "Oedipal Donald Duck", (221) and a series, Wanted, which are mug shots of some of these characters in various poses from looking surprised to cocky and confident.

Pensato has been active in the New York art scene for many years, although she keeps a low profile.  She works in a variety of mediums such as enamel, charcoal and pastel and also does installations such as paint splattered stuffed animals combined with photographs.

Stephen Maine. "Toon Noir", Art in America, June/July 2007, p. 194

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