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The Lowbrow Art of Robert Williams

  • 2 min read

A controversial and formidable artist, Robert Williams has influenced generations of others and given a voice to so called underground artists over a career that has spanned several decades. Despite his impact on the art world his rebellious nature has left him somewhat an outsider.

He is probably best known as one of the founders of JUTAPOZ magazine where he was able to give young artists a forum through which they could gain exposure. Williams began the landmark magazine in 1994 which propelled to fame many new artists such as and rose to become one of the highest circulated art magazines. Artists who have gained exposure through the magazine include Charming Baker, David Choe and Mr Brainwash.

Known as the "artist's artist" Robert Williams held early punk rock art shows in after-hours clubs and soon pioneered the first break-away art movement in California since the late 1920s. Williams learned to function as an artist outside the walls of conventional art.

As an artist he is known for his use of underground cartoon figuration, paired with harshly contrasted psychedelic colours within a kind of mock reality. He has also raised eyebrows with his portrayal of women in his work.

Robert Williams personal art work didn't fit comfortably into the accepted definition of fine art as he began to embrace some of the figurative graphics that formal art academia tended to reject: comic books, movie posters, trading cards, surfer art, hot rod illustration. At the forefront of a wider alternative art movement Robert Williams brought the term "lowbrow" into the fine arts lexicon, with his ground breaking 1979 book, “The Lowbrow Art of Robt. Williams”.

He has consistently had sell out shows across America and worldwide. His work is now collected by people such as Nicolas Cage, Debbie Harry and Leonardo DiCaprio. He has also collaborated with Vans for their Vans Vault limited edition sneakers line. Williams lives in the San Fernando Valley in California with his wife Suzanne who is a professional artist in her own right.

If you would like further information of available works or to enquire about other works and artist’s we have in the gallery please call +44 (0)1273 724829 or email brighton@artrepublic.com

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