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Rude imagination: Lurid, horrific artwork blends B-movie sensibility with professional design

September 10, 2013|By Jonny Whiteside
  • Bill Rude in his North Hollywood home on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. Rude's art will be on display at 8 Ball in Burbank on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013.
Bill Rude in his North Hollywood home on Thursday, Sept.… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

At a towering 6 feet 4, artist Bill Rude is a figure somewhat akin to the grotesque and menacing characters which populate his extraordinary work. A full-time effects, graphics and animation professional in film and television, Rude leads a shadowy Jekyll & Hyde double life, dividing his time between mainstream show business and creating his deliciously lurid horror-sci-fi-monster-themed artwork.

Rude, whose Retro Horror Art Show will have its opening reception at Magnolia Park’s 8 Ball on Saturday, Sept. 14, has a definite knack for the sinister.

“We are going to have quite a few pieces at 8 Ball, with several different series of work,” Rude said. “Some are posters, there’s a series of shadowboxes of pulp and horror magazine covers, and also some pen and ink drawings of horrific fairy tales, I have Little Miss Moffett, Hansel and Gretel. A lot of it spills over from my professional design work for movies and TV, where you need to create all kinds of renderings. So there are many different mediums, but a lot of my work is about the accuracy of the designs.”

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Many of his pieces are presented as posters for never-made movies and magazines, yet somehow each of these spring, with fully imagined exposition and denouement, from within Rude’s own imagination. “They just present themselves,” he said. “I venture into the realm of B Movie Horror, but it’s always based on a narrative line that comes from me personally.”

With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film and Digital media from the prestigious Minneapolis College of Art & Design, most of Rude’s formal training was aimed at commercial application, yet his penchant for the gruesome, long simmering within his psyche, had to come out.

“I taught myself to paint about four years ago, I had never done it before, but I just had this idea to do a fame movie poster and it just went from there,” he said. “It’s always about expressing a story and they tend to intertwine together. One inspires the next, so it really is a false history, a medium that never existed but it does blur the lines between reality and art.”

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