Supernatural events are attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature and are not limited to mysticism or black magic, the ability to cull power from these supernatural powers in ways that benefit the holder’s will. Black magic, traditionally, has been linked to the dichotomy of the Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path, two forms of magic, both opposing in the natural and supernational world. While neither is necessarily evil, the notion of Black Magic and the Left-Hand Path has been equated with a rejection societal convention and the status quo, two notions that can hinder the desire for individualism and thus, creativity. Pardon the lesson on black magic here, but bear with me.
In 2016, Rudi Jung of Gold Coast Bicycle Manufacturing and Black Magic Paint was injured in a motorcycle accident, rendering his right hand suffering severe nerve damage, forcing Rudi to adapt his life to only use his left hand. After extensive physical therapy and as you might imagine, much mental adjustment, Rudi decided to leave his Gold Coast frame building operation and focus solely on Black Magic…
Black Magic Paint that is. Although it’s hard, being a fan of the occult myself, to deny the connection between the Left-Hand Path and Black Magic. Spend enough time around Rudi and his work, and you’ll find yourself asking “how in the hell can this man paint so damn well with only one hand?!” Rudi is a talented individual, one who has fought for every square inch of what he has created at Black Magic Paint. Success, notoriety, and clients don’t come easy, however. Rudi has worked his ass off, thinking outside the box, or in this case, the paint booth.
While in Portland earlier this month, I spent a brief moment at Black Magic Paint, shooting the shit with Rudi, catching up – we normally only see each other for a few minutes at NAHBS – and talking tech. He shared some new techniques he’s using for various brands like Moots and other builders, combining ceramic masking alongside traditional anodizing, while trying to cover up any secret projects he’s working on.
Inside his shop, the walls are covered with stickers, punk rock and metal insignia, pieces from Rudi’s past as a frame builder, and inspirational bric-a-brac. While custom frames are a majority of Black Magic’s work, they do a fair amount of frame restorations, stripping bikes of their aged paint and prepping them before applying fresh paint and decals. In between discussing projects, we talked with Rudi about how he’s adapted his life as a cyclist while avoiding faceplants on his BMX bike. Seriously, Rudi, go easy on your body, brother!
The use of only his left hand didn’t come easy for Rudi but then again, nothing good is ever easy. Evan and Ben, Rudi’s employees have been crucial in the survival of Black Magic. I’m confident that Rudi’s work is powered by a Black Magic pact, a by-product of some Left-Hand Path ritual because, at the surface, it appears his work is supernatural.
Human beings are wonderfully adaptable creatures and stories like Rudi’s are a testament to that.
If you are working on a custom frame with a builder, don’t hesitate to send it to Black Magic Paint!
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