Volume 80, Number 38 | February 17 - 24, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Clayton's Page

Photos by Clayton Patterson

‘Bitchin’’ (cool) artists and cartoonists, then and now

Robert Williams is known as the godfather of Southern California Lowbrow art and the founder of Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine, as well as a member of the Zap Comix collective. His painting “Appetite for Destruction” was notably used on the cover of the Guns N’ Roses album of the same name. The screening of a new movie about him, “Robert Williams: Mr. Bitchin’,” brought his illustrator and artist friends to MoMA on Feb. 7. Back in the 1980’s, Williams’s first major New York art show, at the Psychedelic Solution gallery, at Eighth and MacDougal Sts., brought the Zap Comix crew from California to the Village. Above right, Williams, at left, being interviewed after the film’s screening on Feb. 7 by Carlo McCormick, the Lower East Side art critic and writer. Above left, Zap Comix members 20 years earlier at Williams’s Psychedelic Solution show, from left, Spain Rodriguez, S. Clay Wilson, Robert Williams, Rick Griffin (who later died in a motorcycle accident), Gilbert Shelton, R. Crumb and Victor Moscoso. “That show was huge,” documentarian Clayton Patterson recalled. “There was a lineup around the block to get into that show.” Below left, New York City friends at the “Mr. Bitchin’” screening, from left, Adam Alexander, who specializes in computers and fractals; his wife, illustrator Leslie Sternberg; artist Joe Coleman; Axel, a jewelry designer who famously made Keith Richards’s skull ring; and Coleman’s wife, Whitney, with back to the camera. At right, Coleman in the ’80s. Coleman currently paints large canvases featuring obsessively detailed miniature scenes, “kind of like an anthill,” Patterson said. “His friends are in there…serial killers — it’s kind of like Joe Coleman’s world.”


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