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Patrick Webb

Punchinello Before Pan | 28″ x 38″ | Oil on linen | 2012

Artist Statement 

Webb’s paintings explore contemporary stories of a queer version of the Italian clown Punchinello. Slimmer, without hump, and driven by his appetites (Grimes), Punch’s experiences parallel those of the artist—an I not I. Initially the figure faces the HIV epidemic in a “contemporary dance macabre” (Kunitz), but like the artist Punch survives. He enters the gym in Punchinello Works Out—paintings of longing and physicality (Weinberg). Punch lolls about and roasts marshmallows with others On the Beach at Night. The still lifes include Punch’s mask and his piles of sex toys. Webb received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2016 for his Tinker Tailor Paintings, which raise questions of queer identity in the 21st century (Katz). More recently, Punch visits a bucolic waterfall and returns to the erotic gym and shower.  In Webb’s 2022 NYC exhibition, Punchinello suffers the Cataclysms of our time in long painted friezes marked by heroic firefighters.

Artist Website + Social Media: 
Instagram @patrickwebb115

MR/QD Is Made Possible BY

Artists stipends made possible by Kresge Arts in Detroit

For details and more info on making a contribution to Mighty Real/Queer Detroit, please contact us at

About MR/QD

Mighty Real/Queer Detroit is an art exhibition in June 2022 devoted to 77 years (1945-2022) of Detroit LGBTQ+ art 

The exhibition presents a month-long historical examination of the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and its longtime allies, featuring established & emerging Detroit artists, as well as artists whose careers were shortened by HIV/AIDS.

Mighty Real/Queer Detroit is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to promoting positive and meaningful images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through artistic and intellectual means. © 2023. All Rights Reserved.