Robert Williams Mr. Bitchin'

Rated NR 89 min. 2013

Robert Williams was an artist in search of a movement. A prolific oil painter, whose painstakingly detailed work often featured naked women, death, destruction, booze and clowns, he didn't quite fit the fine art mold. In the early 1960s he was confronted with trendy abstraction and superficial pop art. Schooled in the Hot Rod Culture of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth and Von Dutch, he emerged as a leader in the Underground Comic revolution along with R. Crumb, contributing regularly to Zap Comix. His antisocial paintings of an alternative reality were marginalized by the art world for decades although he became a hero of sorts for underground artists. His notoriety hit an all-time high when his artwork Appetite for Destruction was used (and much vilified) as the cover for the 1987 Guns N' Roses' 1987 album.

When he started Juxtapoz Magazine in 1994, his movement found him. Legions of artists looking for a place within the contemporary art world for their cartoonish realism identified with his "LowBrow" aesthetic. At the time, Williams predicted that, "Low brow and alternative art are the crack in the dam and with this leak the art world will never be the same."

By 2010 the art world could ignore him no longer and he was included in the prestigious Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. This film documents this influential artist as he rises to the top of the art world, always an outsider

Film Credits

Director: Mary C Reese, Doug Blake, Nancye Ferguson, Michael LaFetra and Stephen Nemeth

Writer: Nancye Ferguson

Producer: Doug Blake, Nancye Ferguson and Michael LaFetra

Cast: Robert Williams, Suzanne Williams, George DiCaprio, Mat Gleason, Don Ed Hardy, Debbie Harry, Anthony Kiedis, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, Axl Rose and Tony Shafrazi

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