R Nicholas Kuszyk Saves Lunch

by | Aug 12, 2009 | ART

If you see someone pointing to a piece of Nick Kuszyk’s artwork the next thing you’ll usually hear come out of their mouth is “It’s The Robot Guy!”.

If you see someone pointing to a piece of Nick Kuszyk’s artwork the next thing you’ll usually hear come out of their mouth is “It’s The Robot Guy!”. His work is easily recognizable but not forgettable. With colorful 1950’s sci-fi style renditions of artificial intelligence, no one portrays robots quite like “The Robot Guy” (I’ve never called him that until just now, by the way). Nick’s robots visually pop off the surface and always hint at a deeper narrative. Over the years he’s evolved his work to place the robots in more complicated, more detailed, and zanier scenarios. So it makes perfect sense that he’s finally created a book, R Robot Saves Lunch. Taking his creations from Richmond to NYC a few years ago Nick’s been a busy robot-maker these days. Later this month you’ll get to experience the bots in a group show, “Long Gone”, launching at the Red Door Gallery but sooner than that you can catch him at a book signing at Chop Suey this Saturday from 4-7pm.

Parker: How did the book R Robot Saves Lunch come to fruition?

R. Nicholas Kuszyk: Pilates.

Doing pilates helped the book happen?

My friend is a pilates teacher and one of her students happened to be the president of Penguin Young Readers Group. My friend was wearing a robot shirt I had made and the president asked who it was and a book was born… after two years of emails and proposals.

That’s how it usually happens though, of course. So that’s not unusual. How did the strippers and cocaine come into play in the creation of this book?

I gave coke to the strippers and they wrote and drew the book. Pretty cut and dry actually but I cut the coke real thin with meth powder so the profit margin is actually quite impressive.

Again, that’s how it usually happens though, right?

Yep. Industry talk…so boring!


In general how have the robots changed since you first started creating them?

A lot has changed since 9/11. The first ones looked like cave paintings. The new stuff looks like computer generated ritualistic futurescapes of magic wonderfulness.

How’s the big apple treating you these days?

Rad. It’s way better than Richmond…ha! I love it.

How dare you!

I love Richmond too though.

Yeah, me too. It’s a love/hate relationship. The people that run this city are idiots but you know that.

The people that run everything are idiots usually, especially insurance companies and banks.

Point taken! Have you been producing a lot of work? You seem to crank it out like a factory.

I’m working on three books right now and have a few paintings going. It’s easier for me to set up shit like assembly line style. I have homies do the small ones with me to get more done for shows…”assistants”.

What are the other books? More kids style?

I’m starting to layout a graphic novel for Penguin that’s gonna be for much younger kids than the usual graphic novels are. The internet has made 10 year olds smarter and dumber at the same time, more mature comprehension of complex narratives but the reading level has decreased. AND a rad abstract robot narrative book called JAMMER SLAMMER with Andrew Blossom that he is putting out independently, and a potential project with Abrams that’s too early to call.




Gotcha. What’s the premise of Jammer Slammer?

Religion sucks.

Most definitely. So Jammer Slammer is about religion sucking balls and robots?

It’s about two groups that are different for reasons they don’t understand. Then one of them disappears, then it begins… no external comparison. You gonna plug the Red Door show? It’s called “Long Gone.”

Are you in it?


Then… no. I kid! I kid! Of course. How many pieces are you going to have in that show?

Twenty five or so, making a sculpture thing too with Brent, kind of a monolith/fort/planter/tower/sculpture thing.

Who all is in the group show at the Red Door?

Brent Loverde, elKamino, Chip7, Dalek, Marshall Higgins, Brad Bacon, Me, Ed Trask and others. Trask put it together.

Dalek is in it?

He big time!

He real big time! What’s next for the robots? Animated? You need to animate those fuckers!



Do people ever ask you when you will stop doing robots?

All the time, but most people dont care.

You see how I asked a question about a question…and then asked a question about that?

What else you got?

Any more shows planned after Red Door?

Cinders Gallery (Brooklyn) early next year.

One last question (I’m completely ripping off my coworker, Ian Graham with this). If you could go head to head with one person in the Thunderdome who would it be?

Catherine Zeta Jones fifteen years ago.


Obvious reasons.

Because she chose Michael Douglas over you?

She’s never met me.

Or because she was in that terrible Zorro movie.

I like that movie.

My mom likes that movie.


Be at Chop Suey Books this Saturday from 4-7pm to get your copy of R Robot Saves Lunch…signed even. Also catch Nick’s work in the group show “Long Gone” at the Red Door Gallery (along with Ed Trask, Chris Milk, Brent Loverde, James “Dalek” Marshall, Marshall Higgins, Brad Bacon, Chip 7, and elKamino) on August 21st-Sept. 26 . Opening reception on Friday August 21st from 6-9pm. AND go to www.rrobots.com to check out more mad creations.

RVA Staff

RVA Staff

Since 2005, the dedicated team at RVA Magazine, known as RVA Staff, has been delivering the cultural news that matters in Richmond, VA. This talented group of professionals is committed to keeping you informed about the events and happenings in the city.

more in art

Lewis Ginter’s New Vibe: Kyle Epps’ Artistry in Full Bloom

It’s been long-known that the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is Richmond’s horticultural Eden. You might even know Lewis Ginter was a notoriously generous philanthropist who established the eponymous park and The Jefferson Hotel. But if you go to the park this Summer,...

Can You Dig It? Richmond’s ‘Game of Shrooms’ is On!

This Saturday, June 8, you’re in for a quirky twist on your morning jaunt around Richmond. Prepare to encounter some wildly creative, fungus-fueled art installations as the 'Game of Shrooms' returns to sprinkle its spores around the globe—and right here in River City....

Cadavers Find Your Happy Place at BODY WORLDS Richmond

There’s a pretty cheeky juxtaposition of themes going on at the Science Museum right now. As you stroll through the BODY WORLDS: The Anatomy of Happiness exhibition, artfully posed cadavers go about their epoxied business with joints or muscle structures peeled back...

2nd Best Comedy Fest Delivers Top-Tier Entertainment!

Hello reader! The weekend of June 6-8th, Richmond is set to erupt in laughter with the 2nd Best Comedy Fest, featuring a dazzling array of talent from major comedy hubs like LA, Chicago, New York, and beyond. Taking place at the Coalition Theater and The Basement, the...

The Kids Are Alright: Cristian Espinoza’s Street Life Photos

Cristian Espinoza has been capturing the essence of youth street life for some time, and his film photography provides a raw, authentic look into the underground and art culture of the DMV area. We had the opportunity to send him a few questions. R. Anthony Harris:...