Born in Croydon in 1953, Horace Panter graduated from Lanchester Polytechnic (now Coventry University) with a BA in Fine Art in 1972. Whilst there, he met Jerry Dammers and, together with Lynval Golding, he founded ‘The Specials’. Although better known as a musician, Horace has always kept up with his art practice, gradually moving away from the ethos of ‘art language’ to return to painting, influenced by the artists he had first encountered as a child of the 60s: Warhol, Lichenstein, Rauschenburg, Hopper, Blake, Rousseau.
Pop Culture informs both his audio and his visual aesthetic, hence his giant ‘cassette’ paintings. The emphasis is on the cassette itself as an icon in terms of its place in musical and cultural history. Each one represents a band/song, which has stood the test of time and become a classic in the pop genre, and the recording studio in which it was produced. Many of those studios no longer exist so each cassette is meticulously researched to give accurate information. “The studio demo contained the bare bones of a song before it was finished/edited/mixed… crucial tool for musicians to hear how they sounded.” The cassette turned out to be ephemeral but together with the Sony Walkman, it was revolutionary: “For the very first time, music was portable and individual; making mixtapes was just so liberating in terms of choosing what to listen to… I still don’t get Spotify!”
From 2008 Horace has exhibited his work throughout the UK but also in New York, Los Angeles and Singapore. The ‘Cassette Versus Vinyl’ exhibition is separate from his other bodies of work and is a team effort with Morgan Howell (vinyl) and Chris Barton (cassette). It first showed in Manchester in 2016, then went straight to Los Angeles and London. Although Horace has played in Dublin with ‘The Specials’ this will be his first exhibition there: “I’ve been looking for months for a suitable venue in Dublin to exhibit and am delighted to have found EBOW Gallery… perfect synergy right there!”
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