Robert Williams is an artist I have maximum respect for, since I discovered that he was responsible for the name and the cover artwork of one of the most iconic albums not only in rock and music history. Do you have any clue which one I’m referring to?
What about this? Does this look familiar to you?
Yes, Appetite For Destruction was painted by the hot rod artist, and Axl Rose, not only had such a crush on the artwork, but also the name of the piece made such impact on him, he decided, well, better said, suggested, that should be the name for the debut album of the most dangerous band in the album, Guns N’Roses, and my personal favorite as you might already know. I reckon he nailed it. Surely you know this cover was censored due to the explicit content on it. Absolutely insane, yet super hypnotic. I’m sure I already told you about my own replica at the Hellhouse, what can I say?
Williams conceives his prolific work as Conceptual Realism, and also the term Lowbrow is frequently related. Not sure about what that means, you know artistic terms are not my strength, but yeah, it’s true he deals with realistic elements, of course translated into his personal universe. Knowing already my taste for the extreme and sometimes vulgar, you can imagine, illustrations dealing with underground culture imagery, it’s my kind of thing.
Hot Rod, easy women, sex, violence, past-present-future, all kind of icons, comic culture, countless elements to reflect dissatisfaction and disappointment with American society in essence.
If you dig a bit into this artist’s career and personal life, you come to the conclusion he’s a kind of art outlaw, a rebel. Involved in the car culture since very young, seems that his only way to stay out of trouble, and avoid the can, was to focus into his painting skills and passion. And he succeeded, as many publications and Juxtapoz magazine he founded in 1994, are the proof.
I remember seeing all these billboards and ads of Vans Vault Icons, featuring him some years ago in Manhattan. I had a crush on some of his designs.
Williams, a revolutionary with a paintbrush, able to shock the world with his powerful stories, reflecting the lowest and darkest side of the mean society, with corruption, vice, greediness, we’re part of.
Most likely many of you dislike his pieces so color saturated and overloaded. On his credit, so much meaning implicit in every stroke, as to get hooked observing and noticing millions of details impossible to assimilate at just a glance. Personally, I find his work fascinating.