Video: Documentary Depicting the Art & Influences of Robert Williams

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One of Robert Williams’ most well-known hot rod painting “The Hot Rod Race” is a timeless example of Williams’ talent. Images: Robert Williams

For those who know the work of Robert Williams, they know that his cartoon-styled artwork has been quintessential to hot rod and Kustom Kulture. A part of the famed Big Daddy Roth movement, Williams continues to create mind-bending works of art even today. On July 30th, hot rod, cartoon and art enthusiasts alike will get an indepth glimpse into the world of Williams’ outlaw-inspired artwork through the documentary titled Robert Williams Mr. Bitchin. Check out the trailer above.

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Williams stands by his sculpture “The Brain Trap.”

Born to a tumultuous family, Williams was introduced to hot rod culture at a young age thanks to his father Robert Wandell Williams, who owned a drive-in restaurant frequented by hot rodders called The Parkmore. At age 12, Williams became even more involved in the car scene, receiving his first car, a 1934 Ford 5 window coupe, from his father.

Although Williams’ childhood was defined by military school, moving frequently and parents that married and divorced one another four times, he went on to excel in the world of art.

After going to college in L.A. and then spending a short term at The Chouinard Art Institute, Williams found a job working for the great Ed “Big Daddy” Roth starting in 1965. While doing graphics for Roth, Williams also created some of his most famous pieces of work, including “Appetite for Destruction.”

When Roth’s studio closed, Williams moved on to create characters like his famous Coochy Cooty, and other notable works of art. These can all be found in Williams’ 1979 book “The Lowbrow Art of Robt. Williams.”

Releasing several more books, characters and paintings, Williams founded the JUXTAPOZ magazine in 1994, where his mix of characters, California car culture, and psychedelic imagery continue to showcase his unique Conceptual Realism art movement.

The upcoming documentary showcasing the many years of Williams’ art and influences will be available on DVD and Video On Demand on July 30th. Be sure to check it out!

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Williams’ creation “Death on the Boards.”

About the author

Lindsey Fisher

Lindsey is a freelance writer and lover of anything with a rumble. Hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles - she's owned and driven it all. When she's not busy writing about them, she's out in her garage wrenching away. Who doesn't love a tech-savy gal that knows her way around a garage?
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