Baby Tattooville 2010 Recap

Zap Comics No 6 : Spain Rodriguez

Back in the 1890’s, Riverside was one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, attracting the elite traveler and citrus investor. The Mission Inn has been a Riverside cornerstone since 1876 presenting 21 different architectural styles indicative of the California Mission tradition. The Mission Inn can be described as eclectic, gothic, Baroque, haunted and perfect for an artist retreat weekend. A unique vision realized by Bob Self in 2007.

In the Land of Retinal Delights Laguna museum exhibition
featured many of the esteemed guests

Bob Self, tireless publisher of Baby Tattoo books, assembled an All-Star line up of artists responsible for establishing the underground comix of the 1960s and the major contributors of the “Low Brow” art movement. Caught in the center of it all, Juxtapoz Magazine’s historic co-founder and patron saint, Robert Williams. Robert’s participation was a distinct contrast to the past three years, as his presence seemed to elevate the historic significance of this year’s Baby Tattooville.

Tim Biskup, Michael Hussar, Ragnar

I say this with high regard. Year one was a 72 -hour party binge that featured a slap fest exchanged between Tim Biskup, Gary Baseman and Tara McPherson. 2008 Delivered an ER visit by Tim Biskup who managed to fall off a clay tiled roof after correcting a major equipment malfunction with his foot at Jeff Soto’s studio earlier the same day. 2009-2010 featured a Michael Hussar sexual lair complete with floor to ceiling paintings and models oozing with sexuality and erotic etiquette. Regardless of what you might think, each weekend has promoted a “lack of sleep” ethos that guarantees curious encounters.

Spain Rodriguez

For the past four years, Baby Tattooville has been the premier gathering place for collectors and artists who have taken advantage of quality hang time with James Jean, Jeff Soto, Coop, Frank Kozik, Spain Rodriguez, Tim Biskup, Ana Bagayan and many others. This year’s Baby Tattooville (BT) was entitled “Secret Society.” “Secrets? Most definitely, Yes!” Witnessing 3 of the past 4 installments (revealing a couple of secrets above), I find that each year unveils a hush-hush fact or two.

2008 Signature Book created by Murphy Design : Article Link

This intimate gathering is only open to 50 collectors, invited artists and a select group of sponsors. Each registered guest represents a number that earns the right to collect the same numbered and signed editions, drawings and one-of-a-kind creations at the end of the 3-day conference.

Spain Rodriguez, Robert and Suzanne Williams

2010 BT Featured: Van Arno, Anthony Ausgang, Coop, Ron English, Michael Hussar, Johnny Ryan, Spain, William Stout, Robert Williams and Suzanne Williams. Robert Williams assisted in this year’s selection process. And prior to the BT weekend, Bob Self agreed to honor Robert William’s request of not painting on the group canvas and would contribute under his own volition. Somehow, Bob Self did convince Mr. Williams into a Saturday night roast.

Riverside Art Museum exhibit with Robert Williams

After the Riverside Art Museum exhibition Williams was roasted by his artist pals and most, were kind in their approach. Johnny Ryan, however, delivered a deep jab. “So what do you say to an underground comic artist icon of the sixties? You say, Hey! How’re you doing R. Crumb!” Mr. Williams replied, “That really hurts.” Anthony Ausgang claims he wiped his ass with Zap Comics Issue No. 6. Robert had his time for rebuttal—offering humor, historic references and his special blend of kindness.

Art Jam 2010

The best part of Baby Tattooville, for me is the “Art Jam,” which features each guest artist contributing to a group canvas. The raw state is loose, interpretive strokes to frame in the idea. Everyone takes a turn, no easy task, as everyone looks on, closely recording each brush stroke. You can never guess where the final painting will end up nor imagine the final outcome.

Johnny Ryan original and Dave Cooper’s latest “Bent”

Bob Self organized a historic group of artists this year and now approaches his fifth year. Year five will be action packed and the talk of the town. I am sure many of the past artists will pay a visit and congratulate Bob for making such a great event “amazing.” Stay tuned for more details. (More? 2008 Article, In the Land of Retinal Delights, Hang Out, 10_1_10 Baby Tattooville)

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