As we approach up-and-coming artist Bob Rules’s studio you can tell his living space reflects his artwork, from the brittle gray sidewalk to the pitch-black door with hazy splashes of orange. He draws throughout the duration of our interview — an interviewer’s dream is to witness an artist at work.
Rules’s paintings of a luridly twisted style require no explanation. They are an idealistic depiction of a grim reality. “I want to bring something new into the spotlight for the San Antonio art scene; if not for myself then most definitely for my family, who I thank God for everyday,” says Rules.
Rules never received any formal art training, but as a young child his artisitic side came to the fore. “Since I was 7 or 6, I was always drawing these creatures, places, and ideas in my mind out on sheets of notebook paper,” he recalls.
A skinny mustache under his nose disguises a kind smile, which adds more character to his masterpiece of a left arm. His arm is covered in tattoos he’s designed himself — simple, darkly colored images. Rules admits that tattoos are a painful yet fulfilling experience he has come to enjoy.
Rules’s journey to becoming an artist hasn’t been an easy one. He left school at a young age and has been struggling to make a living ever since. Redirecting his attention to the wall of paintings, his eyes start to scan each one. He knows that his best painting thus far is “Severity Two.”
“Every detail I had imagined came out for the first time on that painting; I felt that I had reached this new level and I was telling everybody about it, you know, calling people over so that they could see it,” says Rules. “I can’t believe it looks exactly as I pictured it.” The pink vein-like curves of the piece recall an entity Discovery Channel-divers might find in the deepest subterranean holes. Other works, such as “Kymearah,” illustrate what looks like the formation of an elephant. Or its decomposition.
A personal favorite from his works is “Self- Expression Nine.” The yellow, snarling teeth, circular, hazy eyes, and thunder-blue background create a blissfully shocking scene.
“With creativity you can make a world of change. My paintings are truly optimistic, even though they may be labeled dark at first sight. I hope people really grasp the hard work,” says Rules. •
Bob Rules w/ A Symphony for the Deaf
8pm-1am Fri, Nov 2
Ruta Maya Riverwalk
107 E. Martin