I first met Robert Williams when we were part of the underground art community called the Zero One in the early 1980’s. He had always been a star in the Zap comic Book community, but his paintings were so much more than comics, so much bigger, more colorful, cruder, richer and funnier than all of the others. Even as his popularity grew, he remained a down home man
For the next two months, Williams’ show, “SLANG Aesthetics,” will be on exhibit at Barnsdall Art Park in conjunction with “20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz,” which is curated by Andrew Hosner of Thinkspace Gary Pressman of Copro Gallery.
At the opening, the Gallery was stuffed full of folks. The movie, “Mr. Bitchen,” played to a packed house. People are always captivated by Williams’ comic book art gone wild. Robert said that the show was meant to be shown in New York, but the gallery closed at the last minute. Lucky for those of us at Barnsdall Art Park. Here we are, at a place where Robert first saw Salvador Dali. Now it is his turn.
“20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz” is a celebration of 20 years of art from the magazine, and it is a feast for the eyes and the soul. Robert Williams and his wife Susanne created Juxtapose Magazine in the 90’s and never looked back. Susanne is also an artist. The met in school, and he says it was love at first sight. They always seem to have fun together, even during his opening at Barnsdall Park. Susanne Williams asked me, “Who would have thought it?”
I replied, “I did.”
She said, “No, outside of us…”
Well, I did.
The show runs until April 19th, 2015 at Barnsdall Art Park. This Saturday, February 28, Robert Williams will be giving a talk at 2:00 p.m. On Saturday, March 28, Robert Williams will be signing books at 2pm.
Previously on the LA Beat: Offbeat LA: Offbeat L.A.: Artist Robert Williams: SLANG Aesthetics! The Master of Low Brow Questions Sophistication at Barnsdall Park