Rudy Gutierrez   [ Illustrator, Fine Artist ]

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Artist Message



Nov. 17th will be the screening of "Chasing Trane The John Coltrane Documentary" which features art by Rudy Gutierrez animated! Some of which are from Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane's Musical Journey, the book that he illustrated, by Gary Golio.

From Variety:

"But just as Coltrane’s music transcends genre, the film — visually rich with hundreds of never-before-seen photos, home movies, animated paintings by artist Rudy Gutierrez, and other treasures — goes beyond familiar chronological music-doc patterns."

The info is below:

SVA Theatre- NYC
Showtimes- Thurs. Nov 17, 2016, 7:00 PM | SVA Theatre
333 West 23rd street, between 8th and 9th Avenues).

NYC PREMIERE Saxophonist, composer and tireless innovator John Coltrane expanded the frontiers of the jazz idiom, introducing elements from musical traditions the world over. From his magnum opus A Love Supreme to his magical cover of “My Favorite Things,” Coltrane always pushed his music to search deeper and farther. That he accomplished everything he did before his death at age 40 is at once heartbreaking and inspiring.

In Chasing Trane, veteran documentarian John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs. John Lennon) explores the life and work of this singular artist. The film makes inspired use of archive materials, animated murals, readings of Coltrane’s own words by Denzel Washington and a wealth of new interviews. The list of participants is catnip for music lovers: jazz elder statesmen Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins and Reggie Workman; rock legends Carlos Santana and John Densmore; and younger artists such as Common and Kamasi Washington. Scheinfeld also speaks with critic Ben Ratliff, philosopher Cornel West and Coltrane fan Bill Clinton. Their testimonies are eloquent, but there are moments when they fall speechless, reminding us that such powerful music touches something that is beyond words.…/chasing-trane-the-john-coltrane-do…/"


The United States Postal Service recently announced the release of their new Jimi Hendrix commemorative stamp today illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez!

From the official Press Release:

The new limited-edition Jimi Hendrix stamp, designed by artist Rudy Gutierrez, features a vibrant, colorful design fashioned to evoke the movement and rhythm of the late singer and pay homage to the psychedelic rock era of the 1960s.

The stamp pane, designed to resemble a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve, features a painting of Hendrix’s face surrounded by colorful swirls and small icons that reference song lyrics or aspects of Hendrix’s life. The various icons include flowers, a guitar, a mermaid and a butterfly. The stamp art shows Hendrix in performance, wearing one of his trademark vintage military jackets and playing one of his beloved white Fender Stratocaster guitars.

All art in this Portfolio are available as high quality Giclee prints.

For further information or to make a print request please email us at


Rudy's art for various periodicals, book covers, magazines, records, CDs, and children’s books, as well as his paintings have appeared nationally and abroad. Gutierrez is perhaps best known for his iconic painting that was commissioned for the cover of the much anticipated multi-platinum smash hit recording, Santana “Shaman”. He has contributed art to the First Annual Anti- Apartheid show at the United Nations, participated in shows exploring social issues which included an exhibition at The Kassel Documenta in Germany as well as at the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa and contributed, to and Co- Curated “The Prevailing Human Spirit” Exhibition at the Society of Illustrators in NY. The show was a benefit for the victims of the tragic events of 9/11 in New York City.

Rudy was also a contributor to The Education of an Illustrator and Teaching Illustration books published by Allworth Press. His art is featured in the books- Art Revolution: Alternative Approaches for Fine Artists and Illustrators and in the Star Wars Visions that showcased several artists selected by the Star Wars creator George Lucas.

The award winning artist includes the Dean Cornwell Recognition Hall of Fame Award (Since 1958, the Society of Illustrators has elected to it’s Hall of Fame artists recognized for their “distinguished achievement in the art of illustration.), Distinguished Educator in the Arts Award, and a Gold Medal from the NY Society of Illustrators and International Labor Communications Association Honor amongst his honors.

His children’s books have garnered him a Pura Belpré Honor, Américas Book Award, Africa Access Award, Silver Birch Award Nomination and a New York Book Award. His work has been featured by Communication Arts, Step by Step, The Society of Illustrators, Art News, American Artist and Art Direction Magazine.

Gutierrez has taught at Pratt Institute since 1990, as well as lectured at various colleges and institutions including workshops on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, Univa- Universidad del Valle de Atemajac- in Mexico, where he was a featured speaker at the XI International Engineering Congress Presentation and at the 2005 Icon 5 Illustration Conference in NYC.

Gutierrez’s art has been described as “Wall Medicine”, ancient yet contemporary, urban in a sense and musical in feel. He believes that the highest honor and fulfillment is to inspire and uplift.

Recent News

Check out Kanye West commissioned by Entertainment Weekly Dec. 13th issue 2013

When I Get Older : The Story Behind Wavin' Flag. By K'naan with Sol Guy; Rudy Gutierrez (illus.) : Tundra Books has been nominated for the prestigious Canadian Silver Birch Award.Silver Birch® is the oldest award program in the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading® program

Children's Africana Book Awards 2013 - K'naan with Sol Guy; Rudy Gutierrez (illus.) When I Get Older : The Story Behind Wavin' Flag. : Tundra Books. The awards are designed to encourage the publication of accurate, balanced children's materials on Africa, to recognize literary excellence and to acknowledge the research achievements of outstanding authors and illustrators.

Original Art 2013
Spirit Seeker was selected by a Jury for the Society of Illustrators Original Art Exhibition at The Society of Illustrators of Children's book art.

Communication Arts Annual 2013
"A Love Supreme" painting for the Spirit Seeker book was selected by the 2013 jury to appear in Illustration Annual 54, the prestigious Annual May/June 2013 issue of Communication Arts.

New York Public Library 2012
Spirit Seeker was named on Children's Books 2012: 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing. The highs and lows of a legendary jazz artist explored through dynamic, vivid art.

Boston Globe- Spirit Seeker- "Rudy Gutierrez's paintings provide a rich and layered harmony for Golio's poetic text. This picture book pushes the boundaries of the form, in the depth and complexity of its hero, the sophisticated imagery of its art, and the grandeur of its message."

School Library Journal December Reviews -5 STARRED review! Spirit Seeker- is a well-conceived marriage of art and text breathes life and passion into this picture biography. Swirling strokes of vibrant colors give the book an almost cinematic quality, animating Coltrane's
passionate journey from a joyous, nurturing early childhood with a loving extended family to the despair of losing too many loved ones in a short time

KIRKUS-Spirit Seeker was named one of Kirkus’ Best Children’s Books of 2012. Gutierrez’s full-bleed acrylic paintings pulse with emotional intensity and iconic religious images; Coltrane is often shown with a halo or wings. Expressionist color channels Coltrane’s psychic life. Lyrically narrated, resplendently illustrated, and deeply respectful of both subject and audience.

Pratt 125
Santana Shaman painting was nominated as a Pratt Institute icon. Known for creating images that combine elements of indigenous art with that of urban culture, Gutierrez was commissioned to paint the cover for Santana's multi-platinum smash hit record.

Recent interviews with Rudy

In his first book for children, When I Get Older, Somali-Canadian poet, rapper, singer, and songwriter K’NAAN tells his own story. Born in Somalia, he grew up in Mogadishu. His grandfather was a renowned poet who passed on his love of words to his grandson. When the Somali Civil War began in 1991, K’NAAN was just thirteen. His mother made the difficult decision to move her family so that they could grow up in safety. First in New York and then in Toronto, K’NAAN faced many challenges.

Spirit Seeker John Coltrane's Musical Journey by Gary Golio with paintings by Rudy Gutierrez will be released October 23,2012

Growing up, John was a seeker. He wondered about spirit, and the meaning of life. And whether music could be a key to unlocking those mysteries. Like his grandfather’s preaching and his parents’ songs, could John’s music bring people closer to God?
Told in moving prose and powerfully illustrated, this is the story of a shy, curious boy from a deeply religious family who grew up to find solace and inspiration in his own unique approach to both spirituality and music. John Coltrane—a legendary jazz musician whose work shattered boundaries and continues to influence countless artists to this day.

Please note that all artwork on this website are available as prints- contact for prices

See Member Spotlight here at Altpick for Nov. 17,'03 interview.


Hear an interview with Rudy Gutierrez on "Sidebar, Four Color Conversations on Comics, Art & Pop Culture" website.
August 24, 2009

Rudy's art is featured in the book- Art Revolution: Alternative Approaches for Fine Artists and Illustrators (Paperback) Artists featured include: Marshall Arisman, Brad Holland, Dave McKean, Barron Storey, David Mack, Kazuhiko Sano, Fred Otnes, Michael Mew, Kathleen Conover, Rudy Gutierrez, Lynne Foster, Lisa L. Cyr, Cynthia von Buhler, Robert Maloney, Susan Leopold, AE Ryan, Matt Manley, Stephanie Dalton Cowan, Richard Tuschman, Dorothy Simpson Krause and Camille Utterback.

The Artist's Magazine July/August 2009 issue Art Revolution is profiled and Kazu Sano, Fred Otnes, Rudy Gutierrez, Michael Mew, and Kathleen Conover have work from the book featured.

in 2008 Gutierrez was commissioned by Western Union to create a piece of art to be reproduced as murals in various cities as part of a project called “Proyecto Raices” Western Union developed the national program to celebrate Latino Heritage and honor America’s Latino roots. The project was created with the purpose of beautifying and uplifting the communities where these murals are erected. The Murals can be now seen in Homestead. Miami, Dallas, Texas, and Los Angeles,CA

Look for Papå and Me and Mama and Me (Rayo / Harper Collins) the children's picture books by Arthur Dorros featuring art by Rudy.

Papa and Me was selected to be part of the show “The Original Art” at the Society Of Illustrators in NYC. This annual exhibit showcases original art from the year's best children's books-New York City- 10/08

Gutierrez's art also won a Pura Belpré Honor Award for Papa and Me. The honor is given by the ALA (American Library Association) to Latino authors and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children’s books

Check out Pelé King of Soccer, (El rey del futbol) by Monica Brown . The billingual picture book is illustrated by Rudy and tells the story of the greatest soccer star that the world has known. It has been released by Rayo /Harper Collins.

If you are in Tempe, Arizona, Walnut Creek, San Diego or Mill Valley, CA go check out large prints of Rudy's art that grace the walls in the New Maria, Maria restaurants. The restaurant's ambience and environment are inspired by the music of Santana, reflecting its passion and spirit with vibrant artwork, sensuous lighting, rustically elegant decor and a palette of rich, warm earth tones.

Rudy's work has also been featured in Step by Step magazine with a cover and article.- (Volume 17 Number 6) as well as in Step by Step's Annual Competition issue - (Volume 18 Number 2)
It has also been seen in various Society of Illustrators Annuals, as well as in Communication Arts.