ABOUT THE ARTIST
Marcus Vinicius De Paula is a Brazilian-American sculptor based in New York.
De Paula’s practice centers on exploring his identity as a child of immigrants from Brazil, with a father who has gone from a small town in São Paulo to directing missions to Mars at NASA. His father's career has him reflect on the relative place of humanity within the history of earth and the universe. The stone and light sculptures Marcus fabricates blend ancient materials with a futuristic vision, bridging the past with the present as he imagines relics from another world.
Marcus Vinicius names his sculptures after moons of Saturn, forms at once alien, yet familiar, intimating known objects but wholly unique unto themselves; their titles approximate places of origin as much as aspirational destinations. De Paula uses this narrative to engender a discussion of humanity’s fragility and legacy. The COVID-19 pandemic is an inescapable context for the creation of some of these works - some pieces were created while the artist lived nomadically during the pandemic in remote locations across the United States.
The use of volcanic rock, granite, and alabaster, some as old as one billion years, also forces an acknowledgment of the age and longevity of these materials in perspective with humans' time on earth. The seemingly interminable length of the recent past is given context in how De Paula combines the ancient and the timeless; the technologically advanced LED lights and hand-blown neon gas tubes meld seamlessly with stone as though they were formed simultaneously and not manipulated by the artist’s hand and mind.
Within these materials, Marcus embeds lines of light throughout to cast an ethereal otherworldliness. As with the stone, he handcrafts these elements himself from neon glass and resin, which illuminate the minerality within the stones as swirls of interstellar matter. By contrasting classical stones with charged noble gasses and brutalist cyberpunk aesthetic, the monumental works begin to transcend terrestrial notions of time.
De Paula considers his works maquettes unlimited in their potential scale, informed by the soaring Brutalist and Modernist structures of his parents’ native Brazil. As a teen visiting his grandparents, Marcus would ride the bus for hours around Rio De Janeiro to absorb the city’s visual culture, supplementing his parents’ shared memories with sensory immersion. By incorporating those experiences into his practice, De Paula navigates his evolving relationship with that heritage.
Marcus Vinícius De Paula is a Brazilian-American multidisciplinary artist born in 1986 in California. He has designed with light for over 15 years across theater, film, and live performance. He has led creative direction and design for interactive installations at South by Southwest, on tour with indie-rock band Ra Ra Riot, and for multiple productions at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. De Paula’s sculptures have most recently been exhibited at Burning Man (2022), Six Square House (2022), and a solo exhibition at the Davidson Gallery in Chelsea (2022).
SELECT EXHIBITIONS & PRODUCTIONS
2022 Six Square House (Group Show), Verso Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY
2022 Burning Man, Black Rock City, Nevada
2022 Solo Exhibition, Superluminal, Davidson Gallery, New York
2022 NYCxDesign, CURRENT Spring Group Show
2021 NYCxDesign, CURRENT Fall Group Show
2021 Day Marks - Arisohn + Murphy, Brooklyn, New York
2021 Radiator - NYCxDesign emerging artist exhibition, Brooklyn, New York
2016 The ARC - South by Southwest Festival (Creative Director & Producer), Austin, Texas
2013 Ra Ra Riot Beta Love North American Tour (Lighting and Set Designer), USA & CA
2010 Pardon the Interruption & Around the Horn (Lighting Designer), Washington, DC
“10 Installations at Burning Man 2022” Arch Daily, September 21, 2022
“Burning Man: 11 instalações artísticas e arquitetônicas que foram destaque” Casa e Jardim (Brazil), September 20, 2022
“Best Art at Burning Man, 2022” Moss and Fog, September 15, 2022
“Eleven Burning Man 2022 installations that showcase deep-desert design,” Dezeen, September 9, 2022
““SUPERLUMINAL” by Marcus De Paula.” Art Above The Law, June 10, 2022
“Three exhibitions to see in New York this weekend” The Art Newspaper, June 3, 2022
“NYCxDesign 2022: Highlights From a Whirlwind New York Design Week” Architectural Digest, May 24, 2022
“NYCXDESIGN 2022: 12 MUST-VISIT DESIGN EXHIBITIONS IN NEW YORK CITY” Archipanic, May 10, 2022
“CURRENT 2022”, SEEN.TODAY, May 9, 2022
“Marcus Vinícius De Paula: Superluminal” SURFACE, May 5, 2022
“Marcus Vinícius De Paula – ‘SUPERLUMINAL’", Art In America, May 5, 2022
“Brazil Arts & Culture - May 2022” Consulate General of Brazil in New York, May 5, 2022
“NYCxDESIGN: 10th Anniversary Edition” Interior Furniture Design Magazine, February 10, 2022
“Exhibitors at New York Design Week 2021 pulled out all the stops” AN INTERIOR, December 8, 2021
“Designer of the Day: Marcus De Paula.” SURFACE. August 12, 2021
“Radiator in Brooklyn showcases emerging New York design talent.” Dezeen. May 12, 2021
Interiores Spain. September 2021 Issue
“A New Way Of Experiencing Music, Straight Out Of Tron.” Fast Company. March 11, 2016
“The ARC: a creative rethink at the intersection of art and science during SXSW.” The Drum. March 13 2016
“The ARC is a drum Circle out of tron, featuring electronic artist RAC.” The Verge. March 12, 2016