Skot Foreman Gallery
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July 1, 2004
Welcome to the Lowbrow art world - the underground world of art.

Lowbrow is a movement which has begun to pick up momentum in the underground art scene by collectors seeking a more unique style of intelligent artwork. It doesn’t necessarily care if “The Art World” recognizes it as such. What matters to Lowbrow is that most of us average people do recognize it. Anyone who has ever watched cartoons, read Mad magazine, enjoyed a John Waters film, consumed a product with a corporate logo or possessed a sense of humor shouldn’t have a hard time getting comfy with Lowbrow.

Lowbrow-the-Movement has here been assigned a “circa” of 1994, as that is the year that Lowbrow artist extraordinaire Robert Williams founded Juxtapoz magazine. Juxtapoz showcases Lowbrow artists and is currently the second best-selling art magazine in the U.S. (Williams claims copyright on the word “Lowbrow”).

The roots of Lowbrow, however, go back decades to Southern California hotrods (“Kustom Kars”) and surf culture. Ed (“Big Daddy”) Roth is frequently credited with getting Lowbrow, as a movement, underway by creating Rat Fink in the late 1950s. During the 60s, Lowbrow (not known as such then) branced out into underground Comix (yes, that is how it is spelled in this context) – particularly “Zap” and the work of R. Crumb (remember “Keep on Truckin’”?), Victor Moscoso, S. Clay Wilson and the aforementioned Williams.

Over the years, Lowbrow has unapologetically absorbed influences from classic cartoons, 60s TV sitcoms, psychedelic (and any other type of) rock music, pulp art, soft porn, comic books, sci-fi, “B” (or lower) horror movies, Japanese anime and black velvet Elvis, among many other “subcultural” offerings.

Is Lowbrow a legitimate movement? If the test of time for legitimacy (as an artistic movement) means that Lowbrow speaks/spoke, in visual terms, to the millions of us who share a common cultural, symbolic and media-driven language – then, yes, Lowbrow is here to stay. Anthropologists will probably study Lowbrow in the future, to attempt figure out late 20th and early 21st U.S. societal influences.


“Marchman’s paintings pull Margaret Keane’s pictures of giant-eyed children out of the kitsch yard sale pile. Steering a tawdry middle course between Mark Ryden and Lisa Yuskavage…”
Phil Oppenheim
Art Papers Magazine

Download:   Marchman Lowbrow

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An important source for Contemporary American and European Post-War Art; Skot Foreman gallery inventory consists of paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and limited-edition prints by artists such as Salvador Dali, M.C. Escher, Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Howard Finster, Tom Wesselmann and Purvis Young (Estate)

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