Lou Rusconi is an underground artist with an artistic bent for the macabre. His imaginative graphic renderings of vividly colorful gore have graced various galleries, album covers, and prints.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? What from your earliest days influenced you to create as you do today?
I currently work in the medical field for my day job. I have done a lot of different things over my life; fast food, retail, construction work, and production art. Nothing satisfies as much as helping people. I have always loved unconventional and challenging artwork. Underground comics from the 70’s rocked my life and changed my style forever. Seeing that there was a place for people like me and an audience who wants this is amazing.
Who are some of your own favorite artists?
My lifelong favorite artists are in no particular order: Dali, Bosch, Robt. Williams, Frazetta and H.R. Giger. My contemporary favorites are Sergio Zuniga, Mike Diana, Danny Hellman, Mike Stoneroad, Frank Russo, Martina Secundo Russo, Terry Bizarro, The Fabulous B.S., Ryan “Humanburger” Jones, Reuben Fulci, Jose Angeles and so, so many more.
What are some of the very first things you remember liking to draw most as a child?
I wanted to be a cop or fireman, picture that, I drew a lot of cops and cars. BUT, my main joy came from drawing MONSTERS, from movies and imagination. Monsters have always intrigued me and still do to this day.
When did you first know you wanted to be an artist?
As a kid I watched my Old Man paint and I wanted to be like him. I think I took to it easier and more naturally than him though and he stopped painting earlier in my life while I continued. My parents were very supportive of me creatively.
Why do your works feature such vivid color while depicting such dark things?
I get lumped in a lot of times with Dark Art and I’m cool with that, only I use bright colors and fluorescents in my dark art. I fucking hate rules and will always bend or break them. Fuck rules. Give it a name, ya know?
Do you find colors can be therapeutic?
They work for me, I stopped self-medicating at 33 and take no maintenance medicine yet. There is a feeling I get from the bright colors both exciting and calming.
Your work has often faced censorship. What are your personal feelings on censorship in general?
I fucking despise censorship. A drawn penis or vagina has never harmed anyone. Drawn violence hurts no one either. These perceived Politically Correct Monitors are stifling art and it is sad that artists feel the need to create what they think others want or what will sell. I always figured one day, the Dream Police will come for me in the middle of the night and take me away (too much Kafka, I think). I will create what I want, when I want and if it offends you, that is a feeling and reaction and that is what good art does, stimulates, repulses, inspires, etc. If censorship is there to protect children that is bullshit, I bought Underground Comics at age 10, I stole and bought porno at age 12. If kids want something and it is verboten, they will find a way to it! If I had the goddamn internet as a kid….holy shit!! People who are easily offended need to get a fucking life and do something worthwhile.
What advice would you offer other artists in regards to creating things that appeal to their own individuality?
Do what YOU think is right, don’t follow trends. Go with your heart and do your own style, keep exploring and find your individuality. Being creative does not always mean you will be successful, don’t expect it. Keep working, this is a lifelong experiment and no one gets out.
Do you think the business side of art often clashes with the creative side of it?
Absolutely. The glut of artwork in LA seems to follow trends. While there is money to be made, I don’t feel that what is being made is always “artwork”, especially if you anticipate what your market wants. That is dumbing down the audience unfortunately. I respect my friends and fans too much to offer them the same SHIT over and over again.
Are there any little known things about you that your fans might be surprised to know?
I sometimes MC Burlesque show which is amazing because I am kind of a quiet guy. It is fun, when I get the chance and freedom to express myself verbally and visually. I’m typically a shy guy, so this is how I challenge myself to think outside of my comfort zones. Free ID and Super Ego! Let them run wild and see what happens.
Another fun fact is I do not drink or do drugs. I stopped over 20 years ago and my health and life are better for it. As young artists we are geared up to think we need to be self destructive, but that is bullshit and a crutch. It is more challenging to not be a fuck up and work harder every day. I do not preach or push my ideas on anyone though. I think that is bullshit too. One more fun fact, I’m vegetarian, this is for health and compassion. Again, I do not preach to others about this.
Is there anything else you’d like to say in closing?
I would like to thank all of my friends and fans, but I really want to thank Bill Shafer of Burbank’s Hyaena Gallery (www.hyaenagallery.com) and Frank and Martina Russo of Brooklyn’s MF Gallery (www.mfgallery.net), both galleries have been so kind and encouraging to me over the years and they are both fabulous galleries for artists such as myself. The art world is very large, but to find a place that allows you to be you and express what you want with no censorship or fuckery is amazing. I salute both of these galleries and everyone should seek them out and support them.
Thank you so much for you time and platform, I appreciate it very much!
Please go to my facebook page for more art and up to date notices http://www.facebook.com/lou.rusconi?success=1#!/lou.rusconi Check out the new website being worked on!! : WWW.RUSCONIART.COM