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Francesca Pastine


B. 1954

Francesca Pastine considers artists explorers who mine connections between the external world and internal “wanderings.”  Her artwork in Cultural Currency, in particular, revolves around the universal impact of currency and its multifaceted significance in our lives. 

Growing up with her Great Depression-era grandparents, Pastine’s family was quite frugal, and as a result, she has “no aptitude” for money, as she states. Rather, she is interested in the philosophy of money as a belief system. Recent economic recessions and boom and bust cycles have furthered her interest in the fragility of our capitalist culture. 

Inspired by the influence and seductive qualities of the New York Times as a medium – its vibrant colors, typography, smudges, serrated edges, newsprint texture, registration marks, and other printing imperfections – Pastine carefully manipulates its pages to synthesize global and national narratives to reflect her personal concerns. In response to the financial meltdown and subsequent Great Recession in 2008, Pastine created her Mutual Fund Web series utilizing the NYT financial pages. She first carefully drew the designs of real spiderwebs onto the back of the newsprint. Employing a surgical scalpel, she then delicately sliced the pages (replacing the blade every four cuts) into intricate webs that reflect the tenuousness of financial networks. The ephemeral nature of the newspaper pages, combined with the spider-like numbers, intensifies the fragility of capital flows and market manipulations. The spiderweb also serves as a pop culture metaphor for neglect or horror, drawing upon fear. Through her exploration of currency and its intricate ties to our lives, Pastine aims to provoke contemplation and dialogue about the fragility of economic systems and the broader socio-cultural implications of money. As collector Davis Riemer aptly states, “At times, we have all felt a seeming inevitability of being captured by the markets, the system, the web.”

Pastine received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and is a recipient of a Eureka Fellowship, a Pollock-Krasner Grant, and a Kala Art Institute Fellowship. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, the Center for Contemporary Art Santa Fe, Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia, and the National Gallery in Sophia, Bulgaria, among many others. Pastine lives and works in San Francisco and owns the contemporary art gallery, Pastine Projects.


Myrtle Beach’s Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum strives to be one of the finest visual arts museums in the Carolinas. With 11 galleries that change throughout the year, Myrtle Beach’s only art museum offers exhibitions featuring paintings, textiles, sculpture, photography, video, ceramics, assemblage, collage and more. A visit to the Art Museum’s exhibitions can be enhanced by its lively programming, including artist receptions, tours, lectures, workshops and classes for both adults and children.