There are things that we can relate to; things that speak to us and make us feel young again. Innocent and wide eyed. I don’t actively subscribe to the old adage that things were better in the past. I always love that scene in Mad Men (last episode of season one) where Don Draper tries to sell a room full of men on the photo Carousel. He speaks of a time long gone, a place we want to go back again. It is something so central to our nature as human beings that Don’s words send one of the grown ass men scurrying from the room and in tears. We wish we could swing back the pendulum and go back to that time when it was different and the world was full of possibilities.
I think that Cimpoe Gallery tries to do that, in some way, without swinging the pendulum too far back. We don’t want to dialogue with sappy nostalgia. Instead, we want to illustrate that part of us that is still very much alive and in love with fandom. I remember what it was like to sneak out of my room at 11pm every night in order to catch repeats of The X-files on the Space channel. I was thirteen and it was my everything. I discovered a universe so different from anything that I had known at that juncture in my life. This was a world beyond the religious fervor that my mother had tried to instill inside me and the passive nihilism that my father preached. It was a world endlessly complicated, convoluted and delightfully abstract. Conspiracies. Cases of the Week. Mulder swinging his fist towards the sky and Scully – ah Scully – my first steadfast example of a woman so unlike any other woman on TV. I still look up to you, lady…more than you will ever know.
Peter’s new collection of illustration hopes to showcase some of these things. They are things that meant to us as much back then as they do now. And it is dialoguing with LGBTQ and feminist issues that makes his work stand apart from others. Peter is entering a new period of illustrations which deals directly with the reality that gay characters and women have always existed in fandom. There has been persistent attempts to sniffle and suffocate these characters out of well established genre such as science fiction, fantasy and horror but these characters have always existed. Now is the time to reclaim these spaces. There will be more essays in the future dealing directly with these issues. The new series of prints and merchandise that we hope to release in the following weeks and months will highlight more of these themes. They will closely resemble the above fantastic illustration that is so close to my heart. Friendship and Fandom. The place where we have always existed.