We had the good fortune of connecting with John Lewis Rushing Jr and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John Lewis, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have very ambitious goals creating a prestigious line of Fine Art Nude Photography under “Muse Evolution Photography LLC that would be considered a Modern Renaissance and being that this is the year 2020 and that there was only one Renaissance, I want to call this era of Nude Art The Zenaissance because it is Generation Z’s Legacy of Art that they will inherit. I started back to photographing and curating Fine Art Nudes content back in 2011 with the intent to Publish a Fine Art Nude Coffee Table Book… Now I have completed 3 Collector Books Made to Order. I discovered along the path to my dreams were pitfalls, barricades, and diversions. I have had to become resourceful, innovative, and adaptive. I discovered the current reigning galleries do not embrace nor support any photography of this genre or standard with the exception from artists works predating the early 1990’s. I discovered there was a lesser appreciation for Photography as an art form, even less when most works are shot with Digital cameras rather than Analog or Wet Plate. But I did my research on how to be a Blue Chip Fine Art Photographer was to not cut corners or cheapen my art. I also learned in doing this… I cannot afford to market it along side other artists that have made great sacrifice to sell lesser priced art in larger quantities of mass production. So, I had to venture out and cultivate entrepreneurial skills and manufacture avenues of exposure. Social media has been a useful tool for most artists, but for the Art Nude Photographer we have been demonized and web browsing software has been designed and weaponized against us in marketing and advertising. So, I had to find online platforms that embrace Nude Art like Vimeo [Not Pornography], Art Events that embrace this medium and genre of works like an Event I was fortunate to be in called Nude Art LA, and networking with like minded artist and podcast shows like “What Now”? -with Daniel Overberger to do the bear minimum of at least getting my voice out to campaign for my community of fellow artists. This inspired me to create my own Art Podcast Show called, “The Muse Evolution Podcast Show” that my business “Muse Evolution Photography” Sponsors and airs promotional clips of Product and Merchandise. The essence of Muse Evolution is to always Evolve and aside from being self centered, be more of the center point of inspirational change. Without controversy, there is no fulcrum to change… And I feel that beauty should never be met with resistance.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Shooting photography has almost become a running joke. It’s like everyone in Hollywood is an Actor. It’s just now everyone with a camera is a Photographer… Cellphones included. So I dared to venture into photographing the Nude. Nothing new there either… but it’s always a controversial subject matter with wide perimeters. Finding the sweet spot that lays between the realm of implicit and pornographic yet knowing the difference between crass and the bridge of sullied. I wanted to illuminate not just bare naked skin, but to capture the essence of humanity in an array of forms embedded in story with deference and screaming passion. I crave the ambrosia of settings to allow the mind to wander and I sought Muses that were fearless and amplified the allure of empowerment, confidence, and inspiration… they are the vital component to my success and failure. The other component is as I mentioned setting. Most of my works do not reside in a studio setting. I am more adventurous and I seek out nature and abandons. I am of the opinion that most nude works are shot in studios in the comforts of climate controlled settings, with skillful set design or the minimalist approach and very manicured and elaborate wardrobe. I opted for raw, organic, yet yoked the magic of muse collaborations to induce a vibe into a chic, decadent, and enthralling sense of adventurous undertones. My works are always in Rare and Limited Edition, Engraved, Certificates of Authenticity and custom framed. My goal is to create archival pieces that will be timeless and always in style… My works are not for the weak of heart… It is created to be the catalyst of conversation and intrigue. Not to be ignored upon entrance into a room… My goal is to make sure that this is a significant piece of art that speaks to the wide eyed dreamer for art with a bold heart that would want the people in their lives to respect the risk of embracing Art Nudes rather than use a safety net and load up their walls with abstract works. Nothing is wrong with the Bare-Bone Beautiful of Au Natural Art.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I find that people always want to see Hollywood, Universal Studios & City Walk are always entertaining. A nice excursion is always beach vibes… Santa Monica Pier, Venice, or Malibu and I would take them to locations based on their mindset and energy level… I would also take them to the Comedy Store to laugh a bit and relax over drinks or take them to the Whisky A Go Go… Either places are historic landmarks and within walking distance to some interesting shops and local restaurants. If they were Vegan, I would take them to Follow Your Heart which is a restaurant and a store. If they are new to California and Los Angeles and they love fast food… Pitstop is one of a few places when they get in… Non-Vegan In N Out, Tommy Burger, Carney’s Restaurant… I would stop off at some point for Malibu Seafood Patio. Mexican Vegetarian Leonor’s
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First off recognizing the people who helped me starting off that aren’t remotely connected to photography other than helping me Susan Hawkins, Derrick Reed, Ashley Pert, Anait Balayan, Kip Antonelli-Friedman, Tina Marie, Gina Y. Franco, David Heisler, Ana Garcia, John Lewis Rushing III, and Karen Torres for being significant friends and family helping me on some tough location shoots over the years Photography Colleagues I owe much to for guidance Aaron Paul Rogers and Randy Smith (Calvin Smith) for always being helpful and inspirational. I admire you both and your works are a true testament of your artistic aptitude and professionalism. Artist that have been phenomenal in supportiveness… Without a doubt has been my cousin and Artist Lyle Everette Rushing, Gallery Owner of Anga Fine Art Hayk Amirkhanyan for supporting me through some of the toughest times being honest, true, and unwavering and for providing me with Solo Exhibition Opportunities. And TAG Gallery President K. Ryan Henisey for always being helpful in sharing his Worldly Expertise in the Art Industry. Thanks for Nude Art LA and more intimately to Mr. Christopher Wallace for granting me my first exhibition opportunity as well as my first opportunity to interview a successful Entrepreneur in one of Los Angeles area to create a Nude Art Popup Exhibition. I am grateful for having the opportunity to participate in Armenia Art Fair under Bravado Fine Art in Yerevan Armenia, and very blessed to have shown with Conception Art Show. Thank you Rachel Wilkins and Renee Michelle Smith for being extremely kind and having me in their event in San Diego. I am also exceedingly grateful to the Gallery Executive Director Peter Mays of the prestigious Los Angeles Art Association/Gallery 825 for having me in the fold as a Member, as well as thanking Julia Dean the Director and Founder of Los Angeles Center of Photography.
Other: www.themuseevolutionpodcastshow.com www.instagram.com/themuseevolutionpodcastshow www.twitter.com/muse_show www.facebook.com/themuseevolutionpodcastshow https://vimeo.com/user60040971
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