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Debbie Harry, lead singer of rock group Blondie, recounts how an encounter with serial killer Ted Bundy inspired Robert Williams to paint “Debbie Harry’s Fears” and how it led her to no longer have nightmares of her past.
About The Artist
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 “LowBrow” 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.”