Monday, October 26, 2009
Lowbrow Art, also known as Pop Surrealism, is an art movement that has its origins in the 1960s and 1970s, coming originally from California hot rod / kustom car culture, underground comix, countercultures from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, and other subcultures as well.
The term Lowbrow art came about as a reaction to the highbrow* art typically found in many art galleries and museums. Where the mainstream of much contemporary art places little emphasis on skill, artists in the lowbrow movement are typically highly skilled; many come from an illustration background.
*definition of highbrow: a person with intellectual or cultural pretensions; an intellectual snob. May also refer to pretentious art galleries and museums-- supposedly sophisticated, but maybe not!
One of the major promoters of lowbrow art is the magazine Juxtapoz, founded by lowbrow artist Robert Williams. Williams worked as an "underground comix" artist in the 1960's, appearing in Zap and other comic books as well. Prior to that he worked for Kustom Kar designer Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, who was also the creator the the character Rat Fink.
Ed "Big Daddy" Roth
A great place to see a lot of lowbrow art online is the website for the California gallery La Luz de Jesus.
Some lowbrow artist links: