Comic book legend Steve Rude‘s gallery show opened at La Luz de Jesus gallery last night. La Luz is my favorite art gallery in Los Angeles. They bring in more artists whose work I want to see than anyone else. Gallery Director Matt Kennedy and I have been friends for a quarter century now. When we met, I was doing BLT and Blue Blood in print and years away from internet publishing and he was a bartender at the coolest goth club in Los Angeles and the actor who got sent out for roles with descriptions like “screaming punk guy” in commercials. People credit Matt for his deep expertise in Low Brow art, but, not only he is he a specialized top art expert, but he is one of the only people I’ve ever met whose broad knowledge of pop culture actually might be deeper than my own.
But I have to go back even farther than when Matt and I first met to when I first fell in love with Steve Rude’s artwork. The indie comics explosion of the 1980’s came at a really formative time for me as both a human and a creative. Most people who have had watershed life moments with comic books have a lot. I have one big white box of what is the best of the best to me. Steve Rude’s beautiful illustration probably features in at least half of that box of books in Mylar bags, with cardboard backing. I think of his work more for his depictions of men, but, taking in his art show at La Luz, I have to say he has a particularly fine eye for the female ass. Like Sir-Mix-A-Lot should be contacting Steve Rude to paint album covers.
Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self to do things differently, but, if they invent time travel, I’d just like to tell my eighteen-year-old self, “Holy fuck, you are going to get to see Steve Rude original art in person and get to say hello and get to tell him how awesome he is!” My eighteen-year-old self wanted very very very much to have intimate relations with Nexus. Or help him kill whoever needed killin’. Whichever. Both.
If you are in Los Angeles, I highly recommend checking out the show while it is hanging and you can check out the La Luz web site for photos of the available art and a price list.