Thursday, May 08, 2008

Gary Panter talk at RISD in 2006

Yesterday I posted a link to my review of Gary Panter’s exhibition “Daydream Trap” at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Here are excerpts from a public talk he gave at RISD on Sept. 20, 2006:
  • “There used to be an underground and only the right people would find it. But now there’s the Internet and everybody finds it. My dad reads it. He’s part of the underground now.”
  • “The Red Hot Chili Peppers used to live on the same street that I did in LA and they used to march bare-chested into traffic … because they were tripping and they wouldn’t have known if someone hit them with a board. Or they would have thought it was interesting.”
  • “In punk rock, how do they look so serious in those pictures? They really know how to stand there and glower. How do they do it without cracking up? I don’t know how they do it.”
  • “I like Bill Gates. I can send e-mail now. I don’t know if he invented it, but I’m going to give him credit because he’s the only computer guy I know. Charles Burns was in junior high with Bill Gates and said he was an okay guy.”
  • “Commercial art is not personal art. For me it’s not. I can try to make it interesting or good … but I’m in their service. … I’m just trying to do whatever they want to do whether it sells corn flakes or uranium.”
  • “In commercial art, I just can’t put my heart in it because someone will say change it, do it over, and I’ll get hurt.”
  • “People think you’re a rich and famous illustrator when you do one of those [Rolling Stone illustrations]. But it’s only 1,225 bucks, so it’s pretty sad around the ranch if that’s all you do all year.”
  • “Once you do a Jack Kirby rip off then suddenly they want big hands on everything you do.”
  • “I was a kid who was doing two things. … ‘You’re going to burn in hell because you’re going to the wrong religion.’ I was that kid on the playground. … The other thing I was into as a kid was dinosaurs. Which was great because it helped me unthink the whole religion because there’s this verse that says dinosaur bones were just put into the ground to make wise men look stupid. That didn’t make much sense to me.”
  • “Some people believe chocolate milk is a gateway drug. … I guess you can do ecstasy. But it made me feel like there was an anvil on me. It didn’t make me love anybody. I just wanted to have the anvil off me.”
  • “My father found [my] ‘The Asshole’ [comic] on the Internet. He was trolling around for stuff. … He said, ‘You must be really proud of that comic.’”
  • “I think painting can stop time. I think it’s a mood control device.”
  • “Elvis was from another planet … the Sun Ra planet. He and Sun Ra came down together. … Why wasn’t Elvis ever in a monster movie? He could have been any monster.”
  • “There’s a lot of people before the age of scanning that aren’t there [on the Internet]. … So go to libraries. They’re throwing out all the books, I know. So wait by the garbage can.”
  • “If you want to fuck up white people, call them pink people.”
  • “I’m very emotional. I cry easily. Every movie I go to I cry.”
More wisdom from Gary Panter tomorrow.

Pictured: Gary Panter, “Traffic,” 2004, courtesy of the artist and Clementine, New York.


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