The corridor of the low rent thin-walled hotel was loud with adolescent prattle from the hood; brawling squawk and pre-pubescent bravado amok. And down the hall a group of charismatic pentecostals were having a vociferous prayer meeting. Not only were they talking in tongues they were also shrieking in tongues.
We were in the red room, the din pounding through the walls. But with the music of our fuck we silenced the chaos outside the door. We shut it down by making love.
And everything's been pretty relaxed since then.
"Artist Skip Williamson (is) Trippier than a sheet of windowpane acid, and often more political than compatriots like R. Crumb, Williamson also invented the "Playboy Funnies" section of America's favorite lad mag. Check out hiscandy-colored paintings and culture-vulture collages."
-- Diablo Cody, Academy Award winning author of "Juno"
Skip Williamson has been painting his colorful and innovative canvasses and penning skeptic mirth for more than 40 years. The Chicago Tribune said "Williamson has a wicked and wordly pen...and his skill as a social commentator is sharp." And Kenneth Baker (Art critic for the San Francisco Examiner) described Williamson's art as "Dead-on as satire and warped cultural memoir. During his thirty year tenure in Chicago New City called him the "Dean of Chicago cartoonists" And William Post Ross observed that Skip Williamson has "Talent not only as a cartoonist, but also as a social prophet of some newly evolved form"
Skip Williamson's work has been exhibited at the New York Cultural Center (NYC), the Maryland Institute of Design (Baltimore), The Chicago 4 Show (Chicago), The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago), the Phoenix Gallery (Berkeley CA), the American Contemporary Graphics Exhibition (a traveling exhibition), the Museum of Comic Art (Northhampton MA), the Cororan Gallery at the Dupont Center (Washington DC), the Lucca Festival (Lucca Italy), the Tate Gallery of Modern Art (London), the La Luz de Jesus gallery (LA), Gallery Bink (Portland OR), L'art Noir New Orleans (New Orleans LA) and many others. His work has been shown throughout Europe in the Comix 2000 traveling exhibition sponsored by the French publisher L'Association.
In 2000 Williamson exhibited his paintings in a solo show at Atlanta's Eyedrum Gallery. Dr. Jerry Cullum (Senior editor of Art Papers) wrote in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution "Williamson knows how to put together a picture, balancing color and skewed perspective as effectively as any realist painter would...He fits perfectly into a type of art…in which a cartoon style is put to intelligent but outrageous uses. And his cynical view of humanity, worthy of such past satirists as Honore Daumier, is dead-on regarding the place where most people are".
"And yet, so much art reveals the places where people never even consider going. But that's not Williamson's concern. He reflectively steps on toes, and he rocks."
Williamson has taught and/or lectured at the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Chicago, Harper College, Columbia College, the University of Illinois, the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Atlanta College of Art and more. And he has received over 40 awards for his art and design, including a Gold Award from the Art Director's Club of New York, a Silver from the Society of Illustrators, six consecutive awards from Communication Arts magazine, five certificates of distinction from Art Direction magazine, Society of Publication Design Award of Merit and an Award of Design Excellence from the Tokyo Designer's Gaukin College.
Williamson is undoubtedly best known for his own dissolute cartoon and comic strip menagerie. One that has been translated into over a dozen languages and has "been hung in art galleries from Berkeley to Paris. Natives from New Guinea have written fan letters by firelight. CBS television covered his career, and never one to hesitate at the footlights to success, he always took the existential leap into the crowd." Skip Williamson has been described as "a modern day visual Boswell." And his drawings and paintings have been auctioned at Sotheby's, Christie's and Heritage auction houses.
In 1968, along with Robert Crumb and Jay Lynch, Williamson helped launch Bijou Funnies, one of the earliest and longest running underground comix titles. Some years later The Comix Journal said "Skip Williamson is still the quintessential underground comix artist." And that "where (Robert) Crumb's primary comix aim was introspective...Williamson took a broader look, skewering both left-wing trendiness and right-wing over-reaction at a time of much-publicized left-wing trendiness. Crumb's approach may have been more...artistically "legitimate". But to those of us struggling to make sense of the socio-political chaos, Williamson was frequently the funnier."
During the 70s and 80s Skip Williamson was art director at Playboy magazine. At Playboy he created the popular "Playboy Funnies" section and introduced millions of readers to his characters, the sordid Neon Vincent and the post-modern couple Nell 'n' Void.
As a cartoon illustrator Williamson's art has been published by such diverse institutions as The National Lampoon and Encyclopaedia Britannica. Or Money magazine and the Industrial Worker.
In the corporate arena Skip Williamson has produced print advertising for McDonald's, Seven-Up, Bosch, United Airlines and many more.
Williamson is completing work on a massive collection of his art and an accompanying memoir titled "Terra Incognita". And documentary filmmaker John Kinhart is currently making a film about Skip Williamson's life and art, tentatively titled "Pigheaded".