Issue September 1, 2009

Profile: Russel Hulsey

It has to the ultimate non-violent statement when the ultimate non-violent man is hit in the nose. “It was very difficult to do, to hit Gandhi,” says Russel Hulsey, 35. “‘Gandhi Bleeding’ took a year to complete. This was the final act in order to bring the work into completion.”

Hulsey is a multimedia artist working in video, installation and paintings. His interests are deep and vast, including philosophy and comparative religions. The charcoal and graphite on paper portrait of Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi could have stood on its own. But Hulsey knew it needed more, so he covered his fist with red acrylic paint, then hit Gandhi right in the kisser. “The red transforms the straightforward portrait into a statement for peace, yet this effort is achieved through the contradiction of violence.

“Life is not black and white,” says Hulsey. “It is red.”