“There are many shades from one end of the spectrum to the other, but everything has an opposite. My work is about finding what comes next.”
Paul Rousso, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina was born in 1958. He attended the Cleveland Institute of Art in Ohio before being sidelined by a too-close encounter with a power saw. Rousso’s period of convalescence turned into a months-long stint in New York City, where he found work as a member of an interior design team drawing plans for the home of Robert De Niro. After completing his B.F.A. in 1981 at California College of the Arts in Oakland, California, Rousso was hired by Warner Brothers as a scenic painter for films. He went on to serve as an art director and illustrator for Revlon, Clairol, Condé Nast, and Bloomingdale’s before becoming a full-time artist.
Paul Rousso uses heat infusion on polystyrene to create hyper-realistic, hyper-sized, sculptures of everyday print objects. Advances in technology have enabled him to delve into the heat-tempered sculpting of the world’s ephemera in surprising ways. Through exaggerations of size, Rousso places such familiar items as a crumpled-up ten-dollar bill or a bubble gum wrapper on the same relative plane as the viewer. Rousso’s art speaks to the conversion of physical objects and the effect of that transformation on the viewer. He points out that, “all this stuff is going away,” and as the ink and paper era is drawing to a close, Rousso wants you to take a good long look.