American Painter Robert Williams Pioneered Lowbrow art
- Erica Iannitti
Robert Williams is an American painter, cartoonist, and the founder of Jutapoz Magazine. A turbulent upbringing steered Williams to mischief at a young age, until he moved to Los Angeles at age 20 and began to turn his life around. He enrolled in art classes at his local city college and was soon contributing art to the school’s newspaper, The Collegiate. Soon after, he joined the ZAP Comix collective, and made his first cover for the magazine in 1969.
Williams’ style is a blend of comic book and cartoon elements, punk, film noir, hot rods and psychedelia.Williams introduced the term “lowbrow art” into the art lexicon with his first art book, The Lowbrow Art of Robt. Williams, published in 1979. His following book, Zombie Mystery Paintings by Robt. Williams, shows Williams embracing his punk art and comic book influences. The primary interest of these paintings, according to Williams, was “stimulation,” which he often achieved through gratuitous and at times violent images of women. Naturally, Williams incurred the ire of the feminist movement for unabashedly objectifying women. His next book, Visual Addiction, marks Williams’ transition towards a more representational style. To see more of Robert Williams’ work, head to his website.