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Robert Williams

Born 1943 in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Lives and works in Chatsworth, California

Robert Williams’s watercolors picture a world in which the laws of physics wreak havoc on suburban neighborhoods and tommy gun–wielding cowboys with tomatoes for heads haunt the forests. Williams’s self-described “lowbrow” aesthetic is idiosyncratic and deeply rooted in the vernacular aesthetics of Californian subcultures. To create his meticulously crafted works, he applies classical fine art techniques to the visual language of underground comix and custom cars, informed by his early experiences of painting hot rods at Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s legendary auto shop and contributing mind-expanded drawings to R. Crumb’s Zap Comix in the 1960s. In the cultural space between the museum and the comic book convention, Williams’s work has fostered an audience for self-conscious, uncompromising art that can also be truly popular.

Read about the artist

Our Monster
Artnet

Art in Review; Robert Williams
New York Times (January 2010)

Picks: Robert Williams
Artforum (June 2005; note: registration required)

Helter Skelter
Artforum (October 2004; note: registration required)