@ Riverside Art Museum

October 1 – November 8, 2011

The art movements known as “Pop Surrealism” and “Lowbrow” have excited the public with their mixture of nostalgia and decadence. Originating as a hybridization “bastard” art movement, these movements have gained an increasingly mainstream fan base, championed by well known alternative art chronicle JUXTAPOZ magazine, as well as recent publications such as Hi Fructose, and numerous blogs and websites.

Founded originally as Baby Tattoo Books, a publishing company for underground illustrators and writers, Baby Tattoo has since then evolved into a robust and diverse collective of contemporary artists and collectors. This exhibition is grounded in the work of artists in the first generation of the ‘lowbrow’ movement as well as many that may be considered on the fringes of or outside the movement today. Rejecting traditional notions of what is considered “fine art,” the works draw from comic books, fantasy illustration, Neoclassicism, street art, and psychedelia. 

Marking the fifth anniversary of Baby Tattoo, this exhibit includes notable works by artists Robert Williams, Coop, Anthony Ausgang, Van Arno, Ron English, Michael Hussar, Lola, Shag, Jeff Soto, James Gurney, and William Stout, who have expanded the movement into different areas of expression, further broadening the already loose term that is “Lowbrow.” This year’s expansive two-gallery exhibition features all of the artists that have shown over the past three years of Baby Tattooville exhibitions at RAM. 

In conjunction with this exhibit, Baby Tattooville will host a private event for artists and collectors at the Mission Inn in Riverside. Guests can learn more about any of the artists in the exhibition by scanning the QR codes on the wall labels with their smartphone device to link directly to the artists’ websites. RAM exhibitions and programs are supported by the City of Riverside and the James Irvine Foundation.