Joyce Pensato draws in charcoal and paints in enamel — dense, clinging soot and viscous liquid. For years her palette has been black, white and silver, though color is beginning to make an appearance in her recent paintings, mostly as splatters and drips. The drawing process is one of making marks, rubbing them out and making more marks, with line being the essential form. In the paintings, the line is made of enamel that initially appears to have been applied quickly, though its varying densities and its field of drips and splatters makes it clear that it wasn’t done in a single shot. In both drawing and painting Pensato is committed to finding the linear form that captures her subject matter, be it Homer Simpson, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Batman, Groucho Marx, Felix the Cat, toy clowns, or not-so-cuddly monkeys.
Star Wars Modern has posted an extensive essay on the evolution of American superheroes, particularly Batman and Superman, and their relationship to modernity and urbanism. His post incorporates many figures that loom large in the 20th C. American urban imagination and he focuses mainly on pop culture as a barometer of changing public attitudes. The essay, titled “The Urbanism of Superheroes,” careens across many ideas and suggests there is more that binds these seemingly disparate things than may be evident at first glance.