Marissa Paternoster & Michael Moore
Commonweal is pleased to feature the illustrations of Marissa Paternoster and Michael Moore for our first exhibition of 2022. Though separated by decades, both Paternoster and Moore use their idiosyncratic approaches to visual world-building to push the capacity of their imagery away from depiction and towards discovery, inviting the audience to question how they construct meaning in the greater world.
Paternoster (b. 1986) is an artist, singer, and guitarist active in the band Screaming Females. Her artwork is informed by the aesthetics of the punk and DIY scenes as well as the juxtaposition of adult content in child-like surroundings, reminiscent of the cartoons, Mad Magazines and comic books which she engaged with throughout her youth. Marissa uses her unique style of illustration to subvert the soft edges and colors of the entities and places which inhabit her visual worlds through staging them to engage with power imbalances, social calamity and existential threats. Her works provide a sly commentary on the inequities affecting many members of contemporary American society. Paternoster has been performing and traveling with Screaming Females for the past 15 years, playing over 1300+ shows worldwide. She graduated from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2008 with a BFA in painting & drawing.
Moore’s (b. 1940) imagery is the result of his focus on the craft of drawing. Not content with setting out from the beginning to resolve a final image, he uses a variety of implements such as sticks, nibs and brushes to alter the delivery of his lines as a way to create texture and to begin the shaping of the conceptual space each work inhabits. Moore embraces the intuitive connection between mind and hand to allow an understanding of a work’s completion to be when a sense of balance has been achieved between the positive and negative space. Inspired by his undergraduate education’s focus on cartooning in the late 1960s, Moore intends the resolution of the resulting imagery to be a negotiation between the works themselves and the interpretive reflection of their audience. A leading professor at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts for almost thirty years until his recent retirement, Moore has influenced generations of artists with his open-ended and generous methodology of developing an approach to art which reflects each artist’s approach to navigating the larger world.