StudioTalk: Vargas-Suarez Universal

April 4, 2017/ by Olivia Ramirez

Vargas-Suarez Universal has worked closely with The Yard for years to develop one of a kind artworks custom for our spaces. His murals, located in Lincoln Square, Herald Square and Williamsburg, are large-scale pieces that provide an inspiring and therapeutic landscape for our community to work alongside day to day.

We chatted with Vargas-Suarez Universal about the murals he developed for The Yard and how all of his art transcends time – and space!

You’ve mentioned that your art is influenced by your interests and even by your previous career path. How exactly has your life influenced your style?

My biography is of the pretty standard upper-middle class upbringing, but it occurred within the NASA community in Houston, Texas. This became the most influential source for my work. My interest in architecture and later in astronomy and medicine also became very important subjects for my own understanding of my surroundings, purpose and development.

We have three of your large-scale, stunning art installations at The Yard. How do you see these murals influencing members and the small businesses here?

I’m not sure if these artworks have that ability or power, but the point I’d like members to understand is that these paintings were made specifically for these three spaces. Each painting is unique, aesthetically and conceptually. The unifying trope within them is about connectivity, information and form. I think these are elements that can be looked at as metaphors for work and collaboration and synthesis.

Vargas-Suarez Universal The Yard Herald Square coworking private offices

Art installation by Vargas-Suarez Universal at The Yard: Herald Square.

Are you working on any new projects in the upcoming months?

New York:

I’m working on many different projects all the time. As always, studio work will go to exhibitions in galleries and museums. The next group show here in NYC is in early May at g-module (gallery). That exhibition is based on drawings from a private collection.

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View of the audience at Church of the Epiphany, NYC, listening to “Subsonic to Supersonic”. Dec. 9, 2016.

Recently, I also made a sound artwork in collaboration with composer Stephen Barber, titled “Subsonic to Supersonic”. We will present it for the second time next month at the Church of the Epiphany here in NYC.

In terms of public artworks, I’m in the final stages of a commission I was awarded from Public Art for Public Schools. We’ve been working on the project since 2012, and it will consist of two large porcelain mosaic murals and a ceiling secco mural.

International:

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Vargas-Suarez Universal in Kyrgyzstan.

In Kyrgyzstan I am making about 16 large paintings on silk. I’m going back there this summer to start creating designs for new tapestries, felt rugs and fabrics. I also want to design my own hi-tech yurts with wifi, telescopes and solar power.

Additionally, there’s a large solo show at the Fundación Canaria para el Desarollo de la Pintura (FCDP) museum in Spain next year that I’m making large paintings for.

You faced a huge change in your career at one point. Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs and creatives interested in starting a new business or simply taking a leap of faith with their work?

The change was that I studied science with the intention to potentially become a doctor, but my art chose my path for me. I always knew it was a risky decision, but the events of 9/11 cemented my decision and belief that you have to do what you love. I also believe in being defined by your work. My advice is to do what you love and share it, especially with those that have helped you along the way.


A huge thank you to Vargas-Suarez Universal for giving us a special sneak peek at his upcoming shows and global projects. We can’t wait to see what comes next!