Nick, who I did a collaboration with last fall, has a show up in Chicago. It looks mind-blowing. The folder he emailed was called "stokedonmyballs", a fitting title. I know I am.
R Nicholas Kuszyk, “Check Out My Green Balls”
April 11 – May 10, 2008
From GARDENfresh Gallery's Website:
R Nicholas Kuszyk was five when his Christian Science missionary parents were murdered by an unknown cannibal tribe in the Ratanakiri Province of Cambodia. R Nicholas spent the next seven years of his childhood headhunting in Cambodia and Laos with his surrogate family of pigmy warriors. By the time he was eleven R Nicholas had become deputy chief of his tribe and was the most skilled poison dart maker in the region. At the height of his poison dart making career, just a single dart made by R Nicholas could be traded for the entire decapitated body of a mature female boar. On his thirteenth birthday he was crowned ambassador of national security under King Norodom Sihamoni, and the eighth member of the Nine Thrones of the Parliament of Cambodia. Although it is not recorded, there are rumors of one of R Nicholas's darts being the weapon that killed the King six months later. R Nicholas denies any involvement in the assassination but having become a close friend to the king (rumors of a more intimate relationship circulated,) this event is said to be the cause of R Nicholas's emotional exile back into the animistic tribal forrest of the Ratanakiri Province where he abandoned his mastery of the blow dart and took up Theravada Buddhist scripture calligraphy. During this time R Nicholas was the first person to receive an associates degree in calligraphic copyright law through Ratanakiri Community College's internet degree program. Using his degree combined with his blow dart making techniques R Nicholas was able to manufacture and license Cambodia's first trademark registered ball point pen made from the hollowed femur bone of the overpopulating howler monkey and a grain of rice. For the ink he used mud. It is here, inspired by the spirit of the rain forrest creatures, where R Nicholas began to develop his style of character illustration. R Nicholas is said to be the only person to have drawn a portrait of more than 3500 endangered and extinct species from life. R Nicholas admits to having eaten the last member of over 1000 bug species due to the extreme conditions of deep canopy life. "It's either them or me." He said in the candid 1999 National Geographic interview entitled "Why am I so much taller than all my friends?" It was this article that caught the eye of Virginia Commonwealth University's art school recruiter Myron Helfgott, who brought R Nicholas to the new world and taught him modern and contemporary techniques of artistic expression. Now known as the "robot." R Nicholas's portraits of the creatures of the shrinking Cambodian rain forrest have evolved naturally over these 9 years into a playful representation of the homogeneous nature of America's unnatural spiritual, social, and aesthetic sterility. R Nicholas Kuszyk now lives in Brooklyn and is working on a children's book being published by Penguin Young Readers group.