Like most people in the third decade of their life, I was first exposed to the work of Robert Williams through the appearance of his controversial painting on the Guns N Roses Appetite For Destruction album cover. Well, let me rephrase that: the migration of said painting to the inside of the jacket after the people of Wal-Mart threw a hissy over the subject matter.
And as a guy who's done more than his fair share of interviews over his adulthood, I hate reading features on artists that center around the rank-and-file, "boring question and boilerplate answer" route of lazy journalism. That's why I was thrilled to find that the November issue of Juxtapoz Magazine featured a lengthy discussion between Robert Williams and Ed Hardy on the nature of their respective art-forms. No Q&A to speak of, just two grumpy old grouches grumbling about art.
Sadly, issue 106 already appears to be off the newsstands (I'm always a little late to the party), but I wanted to share some quotable gems that were locked within...
Ed Hardy: "I don't give a shit if people get tattoos. I don't even know why people get them. My stance was I shouldn't get looked down on as some subhuman piece of shit because I wear tattoos or want to do them."
Robert Williams: "Eventually I'm going to be completely run over and forgotten by the people who paint big-eyed children, and I'm going to be smeared into a footnote... You're probably going to end up being a fucking footnote, too."
Ed Hardy: "I still think tattooing is the most loaded kind of medium, because of course, it's tied into the whole thing about mortality and social conditioning... But it's just a medium, an innocent meidum, inert as oil paint lying there. Until the paint gets laid on by a human, it's just paint. But it's the power that these images evoke."
For those of you in the NYC Metro Area with any interest in the hallucinogenic work of Mr. Williams, he has a solo show at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery, running until January 31st. For those of you who can't attend, there's also an online slideshow.