New York, NY
Paul Deo is a visionary artist revolutionizing the integration of spirit and technology. Growing up between NYC and New Orleans in a family of MardiGras/Black Indians, he found early inspiration in performances of the Apollo Theater’s soulful artists and second line parades in New Orleans. Deo’s public art evokes the collective, drawing upon ancestral oral tradition as well as threads of modern mythology in order to establish a space for communal dialogue. Harnessing the power of creative visualization and imagination in his murals, multimedia projects, sculptures and canvas works, he seeks to engage and inspire communities through his dreamscapes that bridge familiar subjects with a world of possibilities and inspiration. Deo’s well known mural, "Planet Harlem," located at the corner of 126th St. and Lenox Avenue, has been a mainstay of the community since its initial completion in 2014 and upgrade in 2017. A regular stop on official tours through the neighborhood, it was chosen by essayist Garnette Cadogan as his favorite place in NYC in 2018 for New York Magazine’s 14th Annual “Reasons to Love New York” feature. He is currently developing an augmented reality experience that will animate the mural’s characters for viewers via a digital app. Known for his uplifting, energetic teaching style, Deo’s art students include incarcerated, at-risk high school teens, Central American refugees and young people from elementary to college level. Most recently, he received the prestigious Carnegie Hall NeON Arts Grant and used it to start StarSeed Art and Technology, a digital arts entrepreneurship school, where he is teaching young people how to use virtual reality technology for visual arts, sports and gaming design. As Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University, Paul worked with students and local Native American tribes to create the school’s first augmented reality mural. In 2019, he was honored to be selected by visionary director Spike Lee to paint the official mural for his 30th Anniversary celebration of the film, “Do The Right Thing.” Deo was recently commissioned to create a new mural, “The Day Harlem Saved Dr. King,” slated for permanent installation in March, 2020 as part of the “Harlem is…” installation, established by New Heritage Theatre Group (NHTG) and Community Works (CW) adjacent to the famed mural pavilion in Harlem Hospital Center (HHC). It tells the story of how Dr. Martin Luther King survived a 1958 knife attack and was treated at the famed hospital, gaining a new lease on life to enter his most politically charged years. The mural will be in the company of a number of major, historical public art projects at the hospital illuminating the black experience, including WPA-era murals that were the first to depict people of color in civic and medical roles. This new mural will also contain an animated, augmented reality component as well as a virtual reality experience.
Multimedia Visionary Artist
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