Saturday, November 27, 2010

How I got my original Robert Williams sketch

Robert Williams is the founding father of Lowbrow Art, a term that has been used to describe my work as well. Being a big fan of his paintings since the early 90's, it was an honor to meet the man on a number of occasions. At a gallery opening back in 1999, I ran into him wearing a bright red jacket. Williams looked at me and said "Howard, I love that jacket. Where did you get it? I've been looking all over the place for one like that!" I told him I found it at a suit shop Hollywood and made him a deal: I'd go pick another one up for him and bring it by his house and art studio in the next few days. He can pay me for it then. We agreed and I got his address. When I went to get the jacket, I wondered... Would he do an exchange for a piece of original art? I was almost embarrassed to ask, but figured I had to. Surprisingly, Mr. Williams agreed, and that's how I got the original sketch for the 1997 painting "The Mexican Goat Sucker"! I recently went to a Robert Williams tribute show at Barnsdale Art Park in Los Feliz and wore my red jacket. Williams was there, saw me, and once again commented: "That's a nice red jacket you got there!" I told him: "I know! I got you one just like it about 10 years ago!" He whispered to me: "Yeah, but it looks like mine is in better shape!"

My sketch I got in exchange for a red jacket!
The final painting
Robt. Williams wearing the red jacket

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