Keep it surreal

Gary Panter is an oddity in the art world – he straddles commercial and fine art and offers custom drawings at knock-down prices.

Panter and his wife, graphic designer Helene Silverman, have just self-published a collection of the first 100 drawings commissioned. Taken together with the forthcoming Satiroplastic, they offer a great insight into Panter’s wonderfully weird and constantly inventive world. Where does he find the energy to keep working, particularly over such a wide range? ‘Making things – drawing things – makes me happy and excited once I get going,’ says Panter simply.

Ah, back to drawing. It’s odd that, with the contents of the book being so organic and the sense of the hand so evident in them, the cover of Satiroplastic (the first of three volumes) is so determinedly progressive, futuristic and computer-generated, but Panter’s explanation is simple: ‘If you go to the shop on the site you’ll see the store appears as various shacks. Since the drawings are sold in the shop, we thought it would be neat to show the store on the book.’

Despite the outward surrealism, the offbeat wit of the website and the genuine idiosyncrasy of Panter’s work, you suspect everything about this man is as well thought out as that.

Satiroplastic is published by Drawn And Quarterly in June at $19.95 (£11). The other books, prints, custom drawings and toys are available from www.garypanter.com

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