Keep making stuff. Keep being stoked. Don’t let the squares ruin everything. What the squares don’t realize is all the crap they’re fighting against and scared of is what makes the world better and worth living in.
– Nick Kuszyk, aka R.Robots
Kuszyk is the artist taking on the wall at Bob’s Gun Shop. He’s fresh from London, where he was participating in the Street Art London program. He has degrees in painting and sculpture from VCU, the top public arts school in the country, according to US News and World Report. Kuszyk currently lives and works in one of the epicenters of contemporary and cutting edge street art, Bushwick, Brooklyn. In addition to painting murals Kuszyk is also a children’s book author, having published R. Robot Saves Lunch through Penguin.
His design for Bob’s is heavily inspired by a military concept called dazzle camouflage.
“The razzle dazzle was implemented initially by England in WWI,” he said. “They hired artists to develop camouflage for their naval fleet. They made these crazy optical patterns to confuse to people looking with a telescope trying to see how far away the ship was. It’s a weird marriage of the Navy and art.”
Kuszyk, now 36, lived in Richmond until he was 26. His dad used to keep a boat docked in Virginia Beach; he has friends and family throughout the area.
“My dad took me to Bob’s,” he reminisced. “My dad is a hunter and has an arsenal.”
Logistics are still being finalized, but Kuszyk should begin work in the next two weeks, completing the mural in about a week. He has seen first hand the way large scale public art transforms a neighborhood.
“It becomes an attraction,” he said. “There are places that have become street art districts and are fully functioning as commercial attractions just for the art… the perfect way to generate energy is to paint a wall.”
Kuszyk has this advice for our burgeoning arts district: “Make a bunch of shit. Make stuff! Don’t be hindered by the lack of commercial success. There are all these creative minded people. Be as diligent as possible if you’re trying to create an environment more conducive to public art, studio art, and creativity.”
If all else fails, there’s always the option of an art revolution. “Overthrow the local government,” he said. “and throw up an art country where art is the dictator.”
For more of R.Robots, here is his website.