The Glorious, Profane Spoils of Robert Williamsâ€™ 50-Year War With Mainstream Art | The California Report | KQED News
â€œThere is suggestion of some kind of sexual violation, but you wouldnâ€™t be able to figure out whatÂ the robot could do to her,â€ explains Williams.Â â€œShe did have her panties around her ankles and she did have one breast exposed. Now, in the other half of this painting, thereâ€™s this monster jumping over the fence to avenge her.
â€œI have not gone without avenging this graphic crime.â€
Williams told the band fine, use it. But he warned them the cover would probably land them in trouble with religious and feminist groups. It did. OneÂ organizationÂ famously referred toÂ it as a â€œglorification of rape.â€
The band rallied to his defense, singer Axl Rose telling MTV that he thought people were overlooking Williamsâ€™ artistic genius.
â€œI think since it was such an outrageous picture that the skill gets overlooked,â€ said Rose, standing alongside Williams in an interview shortly after the albumâ€™s release.Â â€œA lot more people, I think, are turned on to Robertâ€™s artwork (because of the album) than were before, and Iâ€™m really glad to be a part of that.â€
But the band ultimately caved and yanked the artwork.
The paintingÂ caused a stir again in 2012 when a reformed Guns Nâ€™ Roses used the image in a concert poster and companion DVD. Subsequent copies of the DVD stillÂ employ the Williams painting, but in denuded form. The girl is removed, the painting devoidÂ Â of its original power.