P A U L A  C R O W N   &   J O H N  R U S S O

Interview } Ken Waller

Photographs by} Tas Limur

Multimedia Artist Paula Crown teams up with Celebrity Photographer John Russo to create Art from Art using Paula’s Red Solo Cup series #solotogether. We sat down with John Russo to talk about this very cool collaboration.


Ken: How did this meeting of the minds come together?

John:  I have admired Paula’s work for quite some time and was looking for a way to work together. When I heard Paula was in the process of creating her latest show, #solotogether, at Rockefeller Center https://www.rockefellercenter.com/events/paula-crown-at-rockefeller-center/in NYC, I thought, hmmm, this is my way to get involved.


Ken: What is it about Paula’s work that intrigues you?

John: I love her process of creation. She thinks outside the box, doesn’t follow any rules (which I love), and goes with exactly what she’s feeling. I also love the messaging in her work. She has created many incredible series that question authority and initiate conversations. She touches on current hot topics and is not afraid. As an artist, being “Not Afraid” is probably one of the best traits to have.


Ken: Can you explain to me your thought process on the collaboration?

John: I love her red solo cup series, so they were the perfect objects for me to photograph to create another form of art.I love the process of distortion, manipulation, and cross-processing.  I used a series of lenses to get close to her art, shooting multiple pieces to create depth. The process was captured in a controlled environment.


Ken: What do you say to the people who may think creating art from someone else art is plagiarism?

John: I’d say it’s a natural occurrence that happens daily in almost every form of art. Whether it shooting Roman statues that a sculptor created thousands of years ago or taking inspiration from the masters to create their own art, I think people who read into that narrative ( plagiarism) need a hobby or a cause. May I suggest tennis? (laughs)


Ken:  How involved was Paula in your process?

John: The thing I love about Paula is her level of respect for other artists. We discussed the concept, I told her my vision, and she said go, literally. Trusting the process is the process.


Ken: The pieces I have seen from the collaboration are incredible. Do you have any plans to make a show from this new Art?

John: Very kind of you; we just did it to create something cool. It doesn’t always have to result in a show or publication. Sometimes it’s just great to create amazing things with no expectation or reason. It’s kind of how I’m rolling these days. ( laughs)


To learn more about the work of Paula Crown, visit http://paulacrownatelier.com

To learn more about the work of John Russo, visit http://johnrussophoto.com