Exposure: Paul Rousteau

Art Director Gem Fletcher examines the work of Paul Rousteau, in the latest installment of a series looking into talent in photography, from recent graduates to photographers breaking the rules…


Bible illustrations, Fra Angelico, Monet and Jehovah’s Witness Leaflets are just some of the inspirations that fuel the work of French photographer Paul Rousteau. Bright and drenched in colour, his work blurs the boundaries between the real and surreal. His energetic and painterly aesthetic has seen him move seamlessly between fashion, still life and fine art, and he’s just getting started.

Paul’s work celebrates clichés; his visual vocabulary is unapologetically focused on the search for beauty and happiness. Blending spirituality with kitsch, intimate emotions with the banal. The work wanders and is free from hierarchy. He successfully frames both fantasy and the everyday.

Taking a photograph is just the first part of his process. Like many of his peers, Paul experiments with the surface of his images. Through analogue intervention, he deliberately blurs, smudges and collages elements together bringing physicality to the work. These imperfections heighten the sense of illusion in his altered reality and add greater dimension to every image.

Uninterested in the single image, Paul has a fluid and intuitive approach to the presentation of his work. Images are shown in collections. Groups of images layered together to create interlaced narratives that are open to reinterpretation. As viewers, we are use to experiencing images in one constant flow thanks to social, but where this presentation gets really interesting is when is goes offline and takes up residency on the walls of a gallery or pages of a magazine.

Mysticism and daydreams fuel Paul Rousteau’s esoteric aesthetic. His instinctive approach pushes beyond the industry’s obsession with the technically perfect and gives us a body of work that is visceral, immediate and exciting.




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