Friday, May 09, 2008

Gary Panter interview

Earlier this week I posted a link to my review of Gary Panter’s exhibition “Daydream Trap” at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and excerpts from a public talk he gave at RISD in 2006. Below are excerpts from my interview of Panter at his Brooklyn home on April 11, 2008:
  • “I thought the next generation of pop artists would put things into the media and then pull them back out of the media. … And then it would be a warmer kind of pop art. In some way it’s about images running through systems.”
  • On his art: “I think it’s a self-discovery. You’re your own shrink. … I can find out what I like and don’t like about my interests and I can sort of evolve in that way.”
  • “It’s really trying to make a hieroglyphic of my experience as a human in a way.”
  • “It’s got characteristics of infantilism and arrested development and nostalgia. I just tried to find images that were powerful to me in my life. And the funniest.”
  • “It’s a bower bird kind of instinct. … Put the shiny stuff out front of it that I think will be the greatest attraction.”
  • “I want it to be seductive. I want it to control the mood. Because I think that’s what painting does. It tries to emanate or resonate and make some bell tones.”
  • “These things are landscapes. They’re inhabited. … I really like thinking very simply about things. If it’s blue and it’s up high, it’s sky. And if it’s green and it’s down low, it’s grass.”
  • “There’s this kind of mark I want and it comes from a short stubby brush. … This is kind of a really human hand-made printing process.”
  • “When I took LSD in the ‘70s I was really shocked by how everything was in there. I thought I was going to have this organic religious experience. And I was just full of synthetic commercials. It was horrifying.”
  • “Aesthetics are about seduction in some way. It’s coming out of mating symbols in some way. … And then we can use it in different ways.”
  • “If you’re going to be dealing with imagery as a painter it should probably be primal. So it speaks to the species in some way.”
  • “A lot of things is is it poetic or not. If it connects too readily it becomes entertainment. And if it’s poetic it’s probably a little less determined to you. I don’t want to make dead art. I don’t want it to be a TV show.”
  • “Low tech is important in a way. I like cave men art. I think we’re cave men, we’re gophers pretending to be something else.”
  • “It’s a pretty horrible world. You can scream, you can cry, you can laugh or all of the above. … I think humor is wise. If you talk to Sufi and Zen masters, they’re pulling this way. And it’s a way of reconciling opposites. … Zen humor short-circuits your assumptions.”
Pictured: Gary Panter, “Where Was the Air Force,” 2001 from “Satiroplastic” sketchbook, 1999-2001, courtesy of the artist.


Blogger cerebot said...

Great Wisdom. It's amazing that a man who influenced so many of us in the 80's with Pee Wee is still doing so now that I'm in my Thirties. Gary Panter is King!!
Like Kirby but different.

May 9, 2008 at 8:51 PM  

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