A Pop-Steeped Tour of Cartoon-Inspired Artist Joyce Pensato's New York

Joined by her American Spaniel Charlie, Brooklyn-based artist Joyce Pensato introduces her vast, paint-spattered studio and local laundromat, captured by director John Strong in Joyceland. The Guggenheim fellow’s paintings reappropriate such well-known characters as Felix the Cat, Donald Duck and Homer Simpson. “I love Donald, he can express every emotion, Mickey too,” says Pensato of her famous muses. “Felix is the bad boy, Homer is very thoughtful. Batman is strong, mysterious and tough. Hardcore.” She was recently exhibited at the Santa Monica Museum of Art for her first major museum show and was last year’s recipient of the Robert De Niro, Snr. award, founded in 2010 by the Hollywood actor in tribute to his late father. Not content with the restrictions of canvas, these iconic characters have filled her home and studio in the form of countless stuffed figures and associated ephemera, providing today's film with a fuzzy, idiosyncratic backdrop. “I love discarded toys with a history and a past,” she says of her hoard. “The collection has become my crew and made my world.”

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    New York La La La

    Hollywood Skaters Prowl the Set in an Aaron Rose and André Saraiva Film for L'Officiel Hommes

    “Paramount Studios is fantastical by nature,” says artist and filmmaker Aaron Rose of the faux New York City streets and sun-baked Los Angeles location of today’s cinematic fashion short. Sweeping through the vacant lot, Rose and his co-director, L'Officiel Hommes editor André Saraiva shot a dreamlike portrait of professional skateboarders Jerry Hsu, Austyn Gillette, and Josh Harmony, besuited in Dior Homme, Saint Laurent, and Prada. Set to the epic pop of Duran Duran’s “The Chauffeur,” the slow-motion skaters are confronted by a trio of models in lace lingerie led by Belgian beauty Anouck Lepere, in a touch that echoes the band's 1980s videos. “It is his bicoastal perspective which started the idea for the film,” explains Saraiva of Rose’s past as founder of downtown New York institution Alleged Gallery, that is juxtaposed with his recent experience as a West Coast-dwelling artist. “We share a similar evolutionary process as creators, so it was natural to work together,” says Rose of his multidisciplinary Paris-based collaborator. “We were shooting two elements simultaneously, this film and a photo editorial. André would be shooting photos, then all of a sudden, he would hand me the stills camera. It was a wonderfully creative ping-pong volley.”

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    Daido Moriyama: The Mighty Power

    The Legendary Photographer Plunges Into the Dark Corners and Bright Lights of Hong Kong

    Acclaimed Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama’s sensual approach to the urban landscape is revealed in this edifying short by the Hong Kong-based filmmaker Ringo Tang. Now in his 70s, Moriyama shot to fame when his grainy black-and-white images depicting a post-war Japan in flux won the country’s New Artist Award in 1967 and has since had major retrospectives at the New York Metropolitan Museum and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1999), the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (2008) and, currently, at Tate Modern in tandem with William Klein. His high-contrast, distorted imagery and raw-verging-on-sordid content has influenced the work of countless photographers. Tang’s relationship to the master of harsh street photography is especially poetic: “The Moriyama black has always fascinated me,” the director writes in homage. “A thick slash of heavy black, so overwhelming.” Filmed while Moriyama was in Hong Kong for his first ever solo exhibition there, the short splices examples of his oeuvre with footage of the artist himself, whose short sentences are layered over the industrial beat of the city. The result taps into Moriyama’s engaged, multi-sensory experience of the metropolis, which he investigates using not only sight, but also smell and sound. Observations such as “The past cannot be captured by the present, the present can only be captured in the moment” crystallize what Moriyama refers to as “the mighty power” of photography. 

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