Published on the occasion of the exhibition Joyce Pensato: I Killed Kenny, at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, June 1 - October 5, 2013, and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis January 24 - April 13, 2014.
For more than 30 years New York–based artist Joyce Pensato (born 1941) has transformed America's most iconic cartoon characters into psychologically charged enamel paintings and charcoal drawings. Her subjects, such as Mickey Mouse, Felix the Cat, Donald and Daisy Duck, the Simpsons, Batman and South Park's Kyle and Stan, oscillate between comedic representation and menacing abstraction. I Killed Kenny is the first museum exhibition devoted to Pensato's work and features the monumental wall painting "Running Mickeys," created on-site for CAM. Presenting a selection of key paintings and works on paper spanning Pensato's career—from being mentored by Joan Mitchell and Mercedes Matter at the New York Studio School in the 1970s to her most recent metallic painting, "Gold Batman"—this book reveals her work's evolution.