Paul Rusconi (born 1965) is an American contemporary artist who is currently living and working in Los Angeles.
Born and raised in California, Paul Rusconi has and continues to investigate the portrait with his own photo-based images as well as found or sourced images from popular culture.
This current body of work entitled aptly, "Words and Phrases" encompasses common vernacular ranging from nonstandard language to topical quips relevant to contemporary culture. These paintings are all done with nail polish and engine enamel. Rusconi's fascination with color, language, the shapes and sounds of letters and words all inform this current investigation. His earlier work is a digital screening process often combined with nail polish, oil paint, engine enamel and monochromatic photography. Other bodies of work consist of portraits with a hand applied dot pattern. This application of nail polish can be one color or multi-layred. The work is layered and framed. The shadow image on the substrate (usually a monochromatic photograph which is painted on) is a simple projection through the Plexiglas. There is no image on the actual photograph until one is projected on it by the painted Plexiglas facade.
His own photography is used for images that create a grey scale from blue, magenta, yellow and black. Up close all that is evident are colorful dots - and from about 12 feet away - those dots turn into a grey scale or what looks to be a black and white image. This notion came from the observation that a grey-scale could be created from color and therefore such a grey-scale could be broken down into color. The subjects have included artists, musicians, politicians and with his fascination of pop-culture and its huge and wide-reaching skate sub-culture Rusconi has focused a group of portraits on today’s 14 most influential skateboarders in the world. His early works such as, "Untitled" (No Way Out) features an image of Tom Cruise and then wife Katie Holmes from a magazine cover. The solid background reflects the shadow of the silkscreen. Similarly done, "Untitled" (Tyra) is a contemporary glamour portrait featuring a vignette of model Tyra Banks.
Works by Rusconi are included in the collections of numerous private individuals and public art institutions, including The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, the Interface Foundation, the Castilla Foundation, Madrid, The International Contemporary Art Foundation, The White House, and the Carnegie Art Museum. Several of Paul Rusconi's works have made impressive sales at auction houses such as Sotheby's and Phillips de Pury.