Hyper-realism artist speaks on his latest painting

A world-renowned artist has recently been chosen by the United States Postal Service to have his painting appear on a stamp.

Ross Rossin, an oil-on-canvas portrait artist from Bulgaria, painted a 48 by-48 inch portrait of the famous poet Maya Angelou that will now be distributed on postage around the world. “I’m naturally honored and humbled. At the same time, I am excited because her image will go in a million directions — her message of unconditional love and compassion will touch so many people,” Rossin said. “Who else, if not Maya Angelou?” he said.


“I used to say that she was the voice of a generation, but she is much more than that. She is one of the strongest in the century and her message crosses generations, time and political barriers.”


His favorite Maya Angelou quote is “what she said, as selfish as it sounds, at the unveiling of my portrait of her in 2013. She said, ‘that’s exactly how I see myself in that stage of life, and that’s exactly how I want to be remembered,’” Rossin said. “Otherwise, my favorite quote of hers is ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,’” Rossin said.

This goes in hand with Rossin’s philosophy to paint the truth. “My paintings are silent, so the way they speak is through an emotional, psychological and personal connection with the viewer,” Rossin said. The portrait of Maya Angelou currently hangs in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Rossin has accomplished many portraits including Morgan Freeman, Ghandi, and Jackie Kennedy, which are available on his website, www.rossinfineart.com.

The unveiling of his Ghandi portrait two years ago brought the artist to India for the first time, and he has been back multiple times since. “[Indians] are great models and inspiration because they’re in a world with tradition and history, and there is a devotion to the universe that you can read in their eyes,” Rossin said. “I get lost in their eyes like never before because of the profound depth of character.” His advice for aspiring artists is “master your craft, medium and style, but do not lose a connection with real life,” Rossin said. He calls the interaction with reality “artistic food.”

In July, Rossin will be headed to South Africa to meet with nobel prize winning social activist, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the subject of his next portrait.


Maya and Rossin