Artist Rich Tu's Love-Hate Relationship With “Jersey Shore”

Artist and illustrator Rich Tu has made a name for himself crafting colorful portraits influenced by his suburban background and religious upbringing. While his work is also informed by pop culture, the New Jersey native wrestles with the state’s most recent claim to fame: MTV's "Jersey Shore."

"I think as a show, there’s definitely a hate-love [relationship], and I think I’m skewing towards hate,” Tu told Niteside at the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series party in his honor at the Griffin last night.

The super-tanned party animals aren’t representative of the entire state, Tu said.

“I think the name Jersey plus Shore plus these guys skews what people think. I’m from the Oranges, which is like North Jersey, I never go to the Shore. I go to Newark more than I go to the Shore,“ he said.

But the artist confessed that he isn't immune to the charms of what's become America's guilty pleasure

“They’re ok people, I love them," he said of the cast. "The Situation’s cool. He’s alright, he’s doing his thing. He’s living his life. “

Tu copped to having something in common with the rowdy "Shore" crew: an affinity for partying.

“I embarrassed myself in front of Jason Lee," he said. "I saw Gina Gershon and I wanted to embarrass myself in front of her too.”

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