FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTEMPORARY ARTIST HONORED BY SOCIETY OF ILLUSTRATORS
Documentary film Mr. Bitchin to screen on April 4th
followed by Q&A with Williams and Guests
LOS ANGELES, CA The Zap Comix anti-hero R. Crumb says of Robert Williams: “He’s an art hero, that’s the truth!” And this April, Robert Williams’ contributions to popular culture are being recognized by the Society of Illustrators during the 2014 Museum of Comic and Cartoon Arts (MoCCA) Arts Festival the weekend of April 5 – 6, 2014 at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan. To kickoff the festival, the documentary film about Williams’ creative process and cultural impact, ROBERT WILLIAMS’ MR. BITCHIN’ will screen on Friday, April 4 at 7:00pm at Beatrice Theatre.
This irreverent documentary delivers insight into multiple American counter-cultures by following the great American artist and underground legend Robert Williams. From Hot Rods to Punk and Metal, from LSD to the top of the art world, the influential paintings of Robert Williams defied categorization until they became their own art movement. Williams, age 70, will be enjoying the fruits of hard-fought recognition when he is honored by the Society of Illustrators. Williams is currently preparing for a one-man show later this Fall at the prestigious Tony Shafrazi Gallery.
The film won Best Documentary at the Comic Con International Film Festival, was an official selection at the Big Sky Film Festival, and has screened to standing room audiences at MoMA, MOCA, OCMA, LACMA, Art Miami-Basel and the American Cinematheque Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles. Called “the best movie about an artist I’ve ever seen,” by artist Ed Ruscha, it is directed and edited by Mary C. Reese and co-directed by Nancye Ferguson (Flying with the Angels), Doug Blake, Stephen Nemeth and Michael LaFetra. Ferguson, Blake (The Sessions) and LaFetra (Night Train), also served as producers and Nemeth (The Sessions, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas) executive produced with Charles Solomon Jr. (Nate & Margaret) co-executive producing.
The screening will take place on Friday, April 4 at 7:00pm at the Beatrice Theatre at SVA, located at 333 West 23rd Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. A Q & A will follow with Williams and Co-Director/Producer Nancye Ferguson, and will be moderated by culture critic and curator Carlo McCormick. The screening is open to the public but tickets are required ($5).
The Society of Illustrators, founded in 1901, is the oldest nonprofit organization solely dedicated to the art and appreciation of illustration in America. Prominent Society members have been Maxfield Parrish, N.C. Wyeth and Norman Rockwell, among others. The Museum of American Illustration was established by the Society in 1981 and is located in the Society’s vintage 1875 carriage house building in mid-town Manhattan. The two-day festival will also recognize the Alison Bechdel, Howard Cruse, and Fiona Staples.
FILM SYNOPSIS: Robert Williams was an artist in search of a movement. A prolific oil painter whose painstakingly detailed work often featured naked women, death, destruction, booze and clowns, he didn’t quite fit the fine art mold. In the early 1960s he was confronted with trendy abstraction and superficial pop art. Schooled in the Hot Rod culture of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and Von Dutch, he emerged as a leader in the Underground Comic revolution along with R. Crumb, contributing regularly to Zap Comix. His antisocial paintings of an alternative reality were marginalized by the art world for decades although he became a hero of sorts for underground artists. His notoriety exploded when his painting Appetite for Destruction was used (and much vilified) as the cover for that 1987 Guns N’ Roses album.
When he started Juxtapoz Magazine in 1994, his movement found him. Legions of artists looking for a place within the contemporary art world for their cartoonish realism identified with his “low brow” aesthetic. At the time, Williams predicted that “low brow and alternative art are the crack in the dam and with this leak the art world will never be the same.”
By 2010 the art world could ignore him no longer and he was included in the prestigious Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. ROBERT WILLIAMS MR. BITCHIN’ documents this influential artist as he rises to the top of the art world, always an outsider.
An irreverent, convention-defying tale of life and art as lived by a maverick in the contemporary art world.
The film is also available from www.cinemalibrestudio.com on DVD and On Deman
ABOUT CINEMA LIBRE: Cinema Libre Studio is a leader in distributing social-issue documentaries and features by passionate filmmakers. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Cinema Libre team has released over one hundred films including the Sundance Audience Award‐Winning FUEL, THE END OF POVERTY?, Rachid Bouchareb’s LONDON RIVER and Oliver Stone’s SOUTH OF THE BORDER. The studio is developing John Perkins’ best‐selling memoirs, CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HIT MAN, into a major motion picture. For more information and updates, please visit: www.cinemalibrestudio.com and www.cinemalibrestore.com| Updates | Facebook | Twitter .
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