Patrick Webb


I first came across the humorous and deadly serious figure of Punchinello in 1989 at the Ca’ Rezzonico in Venice in the work of G.D. Tiepolo. I was immediately attracted to Punchinello. His phallic red nose and white hat struck me with their sexual provocativeness. His mask not only disguised him but marked him as an outsider. I realized that Punchinello, the trickster or fool from the tradition of the Commedia dell’Arte, could become the protagonist for my contemporary narratives. Punchinello has had many experiences. He died and was reborn, traveled into the American West, worked out in gyms, and played cards. He now meanders the streets of New York and Provincetown in his quest for self.