DENNIS PALMER / SELECTED ARTWORK / BIOGRAPHY / ARTIST STATEMENT / INTERVIEW
Dennis Palmer - Interview
La Playa Gallery: Hi! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Can you tell us your name, where you live, and a little bit about your past?
El Palmero: Sure. It's a pleasure to talk to you. My given name is Dennis Palmer. I have been working under the pseudonym El Palmero since the late 1960's. I grew up on Long Island in New York. Most of my friends and I were involved in the social upheaval of the time in some form or other (often represented musically or artistically). By the mid seventies I had calmed down a bit and moved to San Diego.
LPG: Can you give us a brief overview of the work you create?
EP: While I've worked in a variety of styles and mediums, the majority of my works are surrealist images on canvas.
LPG: How and when did you get started?
EP: My mother was a portrait artist and my father was an architect. I can't remember a time when I wasn't drawing. I took art classes in high school. I also majored in Fine Arts in the two colleges I attended.
LPG: Wow! Sounds like you came from a very creative family. What motivates you to create new work?
EP: It's difficult for me to sit anywhere and not start drawing something that comes to mind. I keep a collection of these quick sketches. When I'm about to create something, I often consult these sketches to combine them into a cohesive work.
LPG: Is there a specific series you are currently creating and what is the inspiration behind it?
EP: Well, it's not really a series, but there is a current theme. Lately, I've been fascinated by the early concepts of rockets and futurism. I have been incorporating images in some of my pieces from the early 20th-century movie serials such as "Flash Gordon" and "Commando Cody."
LPG: What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
EP: Since all my works start with sketches, I probably would say that my collection of pencils, pens and brushes (including air brushes), inks and paints are the instruments most essential to my work. Proper lighting is also important.
LPG: Do you have a routine you follow for creating, or only work when inspiration hits?
EP: Since I can only work when everything is quiet in my work environment, I start most of my work in the evenings, often working into the early morning hours. There's always some ongoing project I'm working on. Since these works can take weeks to complete, by the time I finish one piece, I usually have the next piece in mind.
LPG: A quiet environment is very important. Some of the most well-known artists required it. What artist or artists have influenced you the most?
EP: From early on I was influenced by the surrealists (Dalí, Magritte, Ernst, etc). Many of my early pieces were influenced by the graphic artist M.C. Escher. I also was influenced by the static art of Roy Lichtenstein and the colorful, psychedelic art of Peter Max.
LPG: Well, thank you for letting us into your creative world. It's been a pleasure, and we are really looking forward to featuring your work at La Playa Gallery.
EP: Thank you for your interest!