Gary Panter's philosophy of art is as refreshingly direct as his work. "I want to make paintings that I want to be around."
For decades the Texas-born, Brooklyn-based Panter has been creating work that others want to be around-intensely personal, uncompromising visual artifacts. His work fuses the youthful energy of Jean Dubbuffet with the do-it-yourself attitude of punk fan 'zines and album covers of the late 1970s Los Angeles scene, which quickly claimed Panter as its graphic godfather (earning the fitting title "king of the preposterous").
Gary Panter inherited a cult following off the strength of his early comics, with their fantastic landscapes and seemingly disjointed narratives, as well as from his record covers for such equally inventive artists as The Residents and Frank Zappa. His greatest mainstream success came as head designer for Peewee's Playhouse with its surreal robot-, pterodactyl-, and talking chair-furnished environment of comic Paul "Pee-Wee Herman" Reubens.
Some of Panter's recent work includes a series of Jimbo comic books for Zongo Comics, run by Matt (The Simpsons) Groening, as well as a web-based animated series called The Pink Donkey and the Fly for Cartoon Network Online. Panter says his earliest artistic inspiration was "my father's Cowboys-and-Indians paintings that crowded our house trailer as we moved around the Great Plains in the 1950s," and he describes his own work as a cross between the Mexican muralists and the Jack Kirby-drawn Fantastic Four.