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Gyasi Ross: Steve Judd shares his Kiowa art genius everywhere

Filed Under: Arts & Entertainment | Opinion
More on: gyasi ross, kiowa, steve judd

Art by Steven Judd - Lego My Land. Photo from Smoke Signals from a Reverse Psychologist

Gyasi Ross pays tribute to Kiowa artist Steven Judd:
When all is said and done, Judd will be remembered as ONE of the MOST important Natives of the 21st century. He will do much to positively affect Native people’s self-esteem. Huge statement, but I truly believe it. I’ll tell you why. Soon.

First, I first met Judd almost 20 years ago at Haskell Indian Nations University, then called “Haskell Junior College.” He bowled with a team of rowdy Kiowas (yes, we had bowling nights at Haskell) and their team name was the “Kiowa Love Machines.” He had a limp, always had a smile on his face, and was the Kiowa kid (other than Mike Primus and Roger Stickler) that I got along with best.

Nice kid. Good looking, goofy, yet nice. Always had a smile on his face. I didn’t know that there was an artistic genius developing on the inside.

Fast forward 18 years. Judd is still the goofy, good looking Kiowa kid with the ever-present smile on his face. He doesn’t have a limp anymore, and my guess is that he hung up the bowling career years ago. Thank God.

What’s replaced the bowling instead is a one man factory of pop art ideas that are constantly new and constantly provocative. They’re fun. I mean, no disrespect to Steve, but his art is not “high brow”—it’s meant for everyday chumps, like me, to enjoy and contemplate!

Get the Story:
Gyasi Ross: Man Crush Monday: The Audacious Genius Art of Steve Judd, Kiowa Love Machine (Indian Country Today 5/26)

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