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Paul Rusconi: Words of our time
A contemporary artist living and working in Los Angeles, Paul Rusconi (b.1965), investigates the portrait with his own photo-based images as well as found or sourced images from popular culture.
In viewing the artworks by Rusconi, I am reminded of Plato's shadows at the back of the cave being our reality; of course, there was also Joseph Cornell who captured his world in boxes. Now there is The Rusconi, a creator who makes these images contemporary and in the form of The Word, like his painting “Really” which could be interrupted either as a statement, or a sentence, however it could also be an answer.
There are many profound influences in Rusconi artistry. His mother was an artist who exposed him to all the 1960-70s American contemporaries. Born in 1965 and by the age of sixteen, Paul started his artistic journey with Basquiat, Warhol and the Camera Obsura - they gave him a new way of thinking and perceiving the world. Also his influences began to soar as he got to know many of the artists, including Chuck Close, Gilbert and George, Robert Rauschenberg and Ed Roche.
As a philosophy major at Pepperdine University, Malibu, California, the word was the essence. It was only natural that painted or written word would appear in Paul's work. He left the university to be a part of the art scene in Soho, where he experienced the Word Paintings of Franz Erhard Walther which echoes those his current works today.
Upon his return to the Los Angeles region, Rusconi would capture the worlds of artists, musicians and politicians. Currently, he is fascinated with the iconography of pop culture and wide-reaching skateboarders to sub-culture of the calligraphy of taggers. Rusconi said, "The way in which people speak, including slang and contemporary vernacular is a photographic snapshot of the social and cultural moment in any given time period."
Such is his life, a single father of twin girls; he is more concerned with the Idea and Ambiguity because there is so much room for interpretation. The words and phrases that he captures in his Plexiglas shrines are always in double surfaces with a multitude of meanings; thusly, his very being is reflected in duality and each their own identity.
Rusconi’s works are in institutional collections, including his portrait of Barack Obama in the Art in Embassies Program, Carnegie Art Museum, Fredrick R. Weisman Art Foundation, 20th Century Fox, Batonga Foundation, Washington, D.C., Castilla Foundation, Madrid, Spain, Fundacion Jumex, A.C., and Mexico City, Mexico as well as many others. In addition just to name a few, his art is in many global private collections like Ed Rushcha, Rupert Murdock, Rosetta Getty and Camille Annenberg.
On view through Saturday, September 15, 2012 at the Hadid Gallery (www.hadidgallery.com)