June 17, 2010

Mr Bitchin'

"Robert Williams paintings...take us into the world of subjective theory - a mock realm of violated graphic physics. This is his theoretic search to pinpoint the exact location where the sky meets the ground, with the golden socket wrench used only by quantum mechanics. His art is the first step on that hypothetical journey, but it is not a hapless sojourn through metaphysical superstition or false mystery. It is simply the next logical step in abstract thought." -Barrett Bingham

I went to LACMA last night for the world premier of Mr Bitchin, a 20 years in the making biographical film of Mr Williams' personal life and artistic career. As much as his aesthetic is at the foreground of any discussion about his work, one of the most rewarding aspects of the film was the statement that it is his ideas which really drive and inspire his work. I have to admit that it was his aesthetic and subject matter which first pulled me in when I was first exposed to his work in the late 80's, mainly due to Guns n Roses use of his painting Appetite for Destruction.

But after having arrived at San Francisco Art Institute in 1999 to pursue a BFA degree in painting I, by happen chance, came across a copy of "Views from a Tortured Libido." Then, it was his words and statements about his work, the work of others and the nature of the art world that really spoke to me. With that in mind, the chance to hear Mr Williams speak with Coagula Art Journal founder, Mat Gleason, on art theory and art world politics after the films finish was a once in a lifetime treat that I am truly thankful for.