Paul Rousso – What Do You Need to Know?

One boy is just about to turn seven, sitting in his chair, drawing himself on construction paper with his crayons as his teacher told him. He is drawing his eyes correctly with an actual iris and pupil by looking at his reflection in the mirror. Soon, his teacher comes and points out to him, saying we have an artist in the class. He will be taking it to heart and just never stop working on art.

That’s how a 21st-century visual artist and innovator, Paul Rousso, would be born!

Paul Rousso was born in Charlotte, NC. Photo source:

If I had to choose three words to describe Paul Rousso, those words would be pop art, flat depth, and three-dimensional (or two-dimensional?). Pop Art is okay, and we can picture 3D and 2D objects, but how about the flat depth?

Today, we will respond to this question and get to know Paul Rousso, the prodigious perfectionist, while discovering his life bustled with art. Care to join us? 🙂


Paul Rousso was born in Charlotte, NC, in 1958 and educated at the California College of the Arts.
He is a visual artist who focuses on ephemera and analog culture antiques that quickly disappear into the past. Nevertheless, Rousso asserted that the things around us would soon be antiquity, and some things had already started to be. He is willing to make them remember and show them to people who won’t be able to see them, who won’t have any clue about them. Therefore, he defined his art for his audience who has not yet been born.

Calling Him a Visual Artist Would Be Enough?

Rousso is simply more than that. One day he came up with the idea while observing the great artworks. Before him, everything was flat; besides, pop artists also chose to keep up with this vision. But, on the contrary, he seemed with a new language to tell the world, and he seemed to make a significant change. For him, space and illusion are on one side, and the flat is on the other. Then he combined those worlds. Flat depth perception, the substantial balance, came to life like that.

Paul Rousso is with his multi compositions work in his studio. Photo source:

Merging into a Perfect Balance, Flat Depth

He came to a unique idea in art school when he visited a seminal art show of pop art at the Berkeley Museum of Art with his friend. He saw all the seminal pop artists, namely, Jasper Johns, Warhol Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg. They stroke him. After the show, when he and his friend were talking, they realized the subject matter of most of the artwork was two-dimensional flat images. Then they asked how we could make pop art go further. When Rousso was 19, he came out with a flat-depth idea. After this, his art’s primary purpose would be adding an extra dimension to two-dimensional images. And, he undoubtedly accomplished it.

A glance of Paul Rousso’s studio. Photo source:

Throughout his entire professional career, Paul Rousso has been defining his flat depth concept as challenging modern art by rendering a flat object three-dimensional or vice versa. At the same time, flat depth can be defined as the unification of numerous intricate artistic techniques, together with painting, printing, sculpting, welding, chemistry, and digital printing.


First, Paul Rousso chooses subjects to translate into his art. For instance, his subject could be paper, newspaper, comic books, money, candy wrappers, etc. He picks what he finds gorgeous or fabulous, and later, he basically combines them in great harmony.

After choosing his subject, Rousso first scans, for example, the newspapers and, later, prints them out more than their actual size. And then, he preps the work with a UV inhibitor. Then, he needs to paint the edges of the printouts to match colors from time to time. Finally, he heats, bends, and puts them together. And, his larger-than-life sculptures carry inevitable allure.


He simultaneously goes with abstraction and realism in terms of his art style, finding the perfect fellowship between them. Let’s experience this by starting a journey with his works!

Candy Wrappers by Paul Rousso

PEANUT M&MS LARGER SIZE, Mixed Media On Hand Sculpted Acrylic, 27″ × 58″ (69cm × 147cm)
Mixed Media On Hand Sculpted Polystyrene
72″ × 144″ × 10″ (183cm × 366cm × 25cm)
Mixed Media On Hand Sculpted Polystyrene
64″ × 60″ × 7″ (163cm × 152cm × 18cm)

Newspaper Works by Paul Rousso

NYT SUNDAY STYLES 11-6-16, Mixed Media On Hand Sculpted Polystyrene, 50″ × 60″ × 9″ (127cm × 152cm × 23cm)
Mixed Media On Hand Sculpted Polystyrene,
47″ × 49″ × 8″ (119cm × 124cm × 20cm)
Mixed Media On Hand Sculpted Polystyrene,
52″ × 67″ × 10″ (132cm × 170cm × 25cm)

Magazines and Catalogues by Paul Rousso

HARPERS BAZAAR 150TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION, Mixed Media On Hand Sculpted Polystyrene, 80″ × 115″ × 11″
(203cm × 292cm × 28cm)

80″ × 100″ × 12″ (203cm × 254cm × 30cm)

Mixed Media On Hand Sculpted Polystyrene,
57″ × 105″ × 8″ (145cm × 267cm × 20cm)

Comic Books by Paul Rousso

BATMAN #178, Mixed Media On Hand Sculpted Polystyrene, 43″ × 82″ × 7″ (109cm × 208cm × 18cm)
DONALD DUCK 9-1949 VOL.9#12
33″ × 85″ × 7″
(84cm × 216cm × 18cm)
Mixed Media On Hand Sculpted Polystyrene
53″ × 102″ × 9″ (135cm × 259cm × 23cm)

U.S. Currency by Paul Rousso

A GRUMPY BENJAMIN Mixed Media on Hand-Sculpted Acrylic, 2013
Mixed Media On Hand Sculpted Polystyrene
34″ × 53″ × 6″ (86cm × 135cm × 15cm)
Mixed Media On Hand Sculpted Acrylic
56″ × 36″ × 10″ (142cm × 91cm × 25cm)

The Story of Creating U.S.Currency

Paul Rousso uses heat infusion on plexiglass to create hyperrealistic, hyper-sized sculptures of crumpled money. The pieces of American dollar bills and international currencies reach dimensions of 4 feet by 5 feet, gloriously hanging on the walls.

You can find his explanations of how he created this artwork below.

In 2010, I was trying desperately to create a large crumpled piece of paper and I finally figured out how to do it. The first ones I made were not currency, in fact the crumpled currency was made strictly for myself and it sat on the floor of the studio for months. A friend saw the currency and suggested that if I could figure out how to get it on the wall, I might have something. Having yet to imagine the work as a wall piece, I had to set about figuring out how that might be possible.

Once I got it on the wall, I took a picture of it and my wife posted it on Facbook commenting, “look my husband finally learned how to make big money”. An artist aquaintance of mine, Cecil Touchon saw it and called up his gallerist in Miami, Robert Fontaine and said, “look at that”. Fontaine called me and told me that if I could get him a couple of those by the end of the week, he’d show them at Basil. That was no easy task, but I delivered five currency pieces to Fontaine in Miami. As I was driving back to Charlotte, the same day, Fontaine called me to let me know he’d sold two.

Paul Rousso
Paul Rousso, The Heating up Guy!


Avant GalleryAventura / Miami / New York
Laura Rathe Fine ArtHouston / Dallas
Samuel Owen GalleryGreenwich / Nantucket / Palm Beach
Ode To ArtSingapore
Lanoue GalleryBoston
Galerie de BellefeuilleMontreal / Toronto
Smith-DavidsonAmsterdam / Miami
Vickers Collection / Vail Village ArtsAspen / Vail
Proyecto H Contemporáneo / Galería y Editorial HispánicaMexico City / Madrid
Contemporary Art GalleryCologne

All was said by me, yet, the one more thing left to be told by Paul Rousso…

“I don’t paint an object, my work is the object!”

Paul Rousso

Don’t forget to check out another great artist of our time who works with New Media.

Last but not least, if you are into art, we will have a blast seeing you here. I hope every art-related thing will find you; see you in our following review. ????✌

See Also:

And here is a video in case you want to look at his work and his studio.