Steven Paul Judd is blazing a new trail for Native American artists. After working as a TV writer in Los Angeles, he set out on a path to make art that he couldn’t find anywhere else. His art school was YouTube tutorials and endless hours spent tinkering in Photoshop. This autodidactic approach quickly launched Judd’s name into the street art pantheon, while simultaneously highlighting the untold stories of Indian Country.
Born of Kiowa and Choctaw roots in Oklahoma, Judd’s work often riffs on iconic imagery — allowing Native Americans a chance to reclaim ownership of their cultural icons for the first time in hundreds of years. Alley murals of war paint cans, Plains Indian chiefs rocking out with boom boxes, and teepees that are “not for rent” remind us that there’s a whole side of America that’s most often ignored or grotesquely represented in caricatures. As collectors clamor for his pieces, Judd is also drawing native culture into the mainstream, and reminding the gatekeepers of the importance of Native American voices.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Judd to chat about tagging, murals, life in Indian Country, and the power of social media to shed light on worthy street artists.