As the godfather of the lowbrow and pop surrealist art movements and founder of Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine, Robert Williams and his work have made a significant mark on contemporary art. We asked a few Baton Rouge-based artists to share the impact Williams has had on the work they produce today.
First up: printmaker and painter Kelsey Livingston.
"The low-brow, pop surrealist, or feral art movement has been incredibly influential to my art practice. This is a group of folks who took the time to learn all the rules, to learn the theories, and take part in the current conversations surrounding contemporary art all while maintaining a special kind of subversive flair that I find alluring. Robert Williams, in particular, utilizes an aesthetic that feels almost claustrophobic. When he wants to, he will fill a composition to the brim with activity that pushes all the air out of the room. Things spill outward toward the viewer in a way that is somehow at once confrontational, and erudite."
"While I don't seek to emulate his work, because they are his voice after all and not my own, I do like to push the limits of space in my own compositions and blur the boundaries between what's considered high art, and (the somewhat ostracized realm of) illustration. I am thankful for these brave painters who laid the ground work and set the presidents for what 'counts' as art."