It isn’t often these days that an artist manages both to conceive and find a publisher for an illustrated erotic volume, which makes Pablo Gallo’s El libro del voyeur (The Voyeur’s Book) a rare project worth celebrating. Not only did Gallo produce the thought-provoking and witty pen-and-ink keyhole images, he also found and commissioned the authors of the sixty-nine accompanying texts, which demonstrates an uncommon single-mindedness and perseverance.

You will need to be able to read Spanish to get full value from Gallo’s book, but it is worth buying for the illustrations alone; all the publisher’s details can be found here. We have translated his introduction to the book to give you a head start …

The origin of The Voyeur’s Book

During 2007 I started a series of erotic circular drawings. I began to make them without a particular purpose, just for the mere pleasure of drawing. Drawing is one of the things that I love in this life. If my hands were cut off, I would draw with my feet. If they then cut off my feet, I think it wouldn’t take long to learn to draw with my mouth.

When I reached a hundred drawings I spread them out on the floor, to observe them at a distance. It occurred to me that it would be good to see them gathered together in a book, and that it would be even better to see them accompanied with short texts by different writers.

In January 2008, thinking about the next stage of the project, I bought a laptop and installed the internet at home; until then I’d visited a booth or a municipal library from time to time to access it. Once immersed in cyberspace I spent some time browsing blogs and literary websites, thus obtaining a good number of writers’ email addresses. I sent my proposal to my chosen writers, sending them two or three drawings and asking them to choose one to set a text to if they wanted to collaborate.

Many of them answered enthusiastically, and little by little I gathered the texts that would accompany the drawings. And since drawing is one of the things I like the most in this life (especially drawing in black and white, I guess due to my colour blindness), I thought afterwards that it would be good to portray each writer, and show the faces of those who they had dared to look through the hole. So I did enough to reach 69, a number that seemed appropriate to me for a book with erotic content.

At the end of 2009, after seeing various publishers that showed interest in the project, The Voyeur’s Book came to fruition. It landed at Ediciones del Viento, a Galician publishing house located in La Coruña, my hometown.

And that was, more or less, roughly speaking, the birth of the book you now have in your hands, the origin of The Voyeur’s Book.

Pablo Gallo
Bilbao, January 2010