Rudy Shepherd's latest work explores the nature of evil through the mediums of painting and sculpture. This exploration involves investigations into the lives of criminals and victims of crime. He explores the complexity of these stories and the grey areas between innocence and guilt in a series of paintings and drawings of both the criminals and the victims, making no visual distinctions between the two. By presenting the people first and the stories second, a space is created for humanity to be re-instilled into the lives of people who have been reduced to mere headlines by the popular press. Going along with these portraits is a series of sculptures called the Black Rock Negative Energy Absorbers. They are a group of sculptures meant to remove negative energy from people allowing them to respond to life with the more positive aspects of their personality. The series is, on the one hand, a response to living in New York City and witnessing the madness that takes place in this American microcosm. At the same time, it is also an approach to political art that seeks to push the dialogue started in the late-80s/early-90s forward into 2015 by looking at the problems of society in a more comprehensive way and advancing practices culled from new-age mythology and ancient religions to heal our still divided and troubled country.
Based in New York City, Rudy Shepherd received a BS in Biology and Studio Art from Wake Forest University and an MFA in Sculpture from the School of Art Institute of Chicago. He has been in group exhibitions at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, NY, The Studio Museum of Harlem, NY, Bronx Museum of Art, NY, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Art in General, NY, Triple Candie, NY, Socrates Sculpture Park, NY, Cheekwood Museum of Art, TN, Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, CT, Southeastern Center of Contemporary Art, NC, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL, NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Fl, Tart Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Analix Forever Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland and solo exhibitions at Mixed Greens Gallery, NY, Regina Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. He has been awarded Artist in Residence at PS1 National/International Studio Program, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY, Artist in Residence Visual + Harlem, Jacob Lawrence Institute for the Visual Arts, New York, NY, Process Space Artist in Residence Governors Island, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, NY and Emerging Artist Fellowship, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY, Artist in Residence, Location One, NY. He is currently represented by Mixed Greens Gallery, NY.