A Lifetime Achievement Award for the Lowbrow Art of Robert Williams


Robert Williams has been painting sexy girls, hot rods, and cartoon monsters in his San Fernando Valley studio for more than 50 years. This week he will be honored with a lifetime achievement award at the L.A. Art Show and celebrated on Chung King Road in Chinatown where six galleries will host a big street party in his honor.

After a stint at Chouinard Art Institute (now part of CalArts) in the early 1960s, Williams worked in the studio of custom car legend Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. In an era when everyday amusements like comic books, tattoos, and monster movies were hardly considered art, Williams used “Old Master” techniques to weave them into his psychedelic paintings. His work has been described as “lowbrow” and “pop surrealist,” and it has influenced generations of artists, many of whom Williams features in his Juxtapoz magazine, which has become the largest selling art magazine in the world.

The L.A. Art Show is the first art fair to devote a section to pop surrealist art and runs January 27-31 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.