Jennifer Samet interviews painter Joyce Pensato.
Pensato comments: “I have to look at something for the drawing and the structure …
What I also do is mix up parts to throw off expectations. You’re not quite sure what you’re looking at. I sometimes use Felix the Cat’s eyes, a clown’s mouth, and Mickey’s ears. I have to connect to whatever I’m looking at. I could work from the same source images over and over again, but I still have to be looking at something, constantly. It triggers something in me.
I’ve been working at the same image for a long time — all these Mickeys. First they were figures and then I found myself drawn to the head — so why not just do the head? To me a clown face, with its big mouth, nose, and round eyes, is so gestural; it is like Abstract Expressionism. It looks to me like a Kline — just splashing away.”