A compliant electrostatic gripper with bipolar voltage polarity for a pick-and-place manipulation is presented. The compliance, realized by the introduction of an array of micropillars which act as the electrode, extends the application of electrostatic-based gripper to manipulating fragile, rough-surfaced dielectric objects at macro scale. A prototype consisting of two arrays is developed by a chemical etching process. The experimental force is then compared with the theoretical force obtained from a simulation, showing a discrepancy between them. The sources of the discrepancy are analyzed to provide design insight for force improvement. To assess the reliability, the prototype is used for a manipulation demonstration of flat-surfaced paper. The result shows a good repeatability, and the necessary pick-up condition is confirmed. Subsequently, as the proof of the concept, another pick-up for rough-surfaced objects represented by a tissue paper with different roughness condition is also demonstrated. The effect of the rough surfaces to the generated forces is qualitatively discussed.