Paul Deo began painting at age 5 under the tutelage of his aunt Auressa Moore. She shared her artistic techniques and spiritual world knowledge with the young Paul. He was considered a child prodigy after winning a city-wide New York City art competition at 6 years old.
Many challenges defined Deo’s life as he grew up, moving between New York City and New Orleans. There his first son was born, inspiring Deo to support his family by creating again and moving his family to NYC. He worked as an art director and scenic painter on Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X”. Deo has exhibited live action and animation films and art telling his cosmic visionary stories. His visions flow through folk artsy graphic novels, mixed-media paintings, sculpture, flash animation, and video.
In 2009 with a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant, Paul Deo created the 75′ x 60′ fiberglass sculpture mural “House of the Rising Sun” in New Orleans. This mural inspired a devastated area of New Orleans hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. Paul evacuated New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina with his two sons who now reside in New York City.
- Planet Harlem mural Revitalization. New York City, NY.
- Planet Teaneck mural, Teaneck, NJ.
- Artist in Residence, University of Pennsylvania.
- “We are Stronger Together” Rush Arts, Philadelphia, PA
- Artist in Residence, Harvard University Cambridge, MA
- Garden Playground mural, Bronx, NY
- Artist in Residence, Joan Mitchell Foundation. New Orleans, LA.
- “Planet Harlem” featured on PBS mini series “Many Rivers to Cross” with Dr. Henry Louis Gates.
- “Coltrane Series” Crescent Consciousness paintings inspired by John Coltrane’s newly discovered performance at Temple University.
- Lead Artist with Groundswell Mural Projects 260′ mixed media mural in Riverbank State Park in NYC.
- 1st Place mural design competition: “Planet Harlem” a mixed media mural in Harlem, NY.
- Professor Greg Tate’s course on Afro-Futurism introduced Deo’s work to Brown University students.
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.
Spinning inspirational stories visually allows for an inclusive experience, allowing all to access the power of imagination. Ancestral oral tradition and modern myths meet, creating a world for viewers to tap into their childlike imaginative abilities, regenerating a sense of balance among contemporary obstacles. I work to reach that doubt in the subconscious that prevents freedom of expression and ambition toward one’s visionary dreams.
I create art that evokes the collective, drawing upon ancestral oral tradition as well as threads of modern mythology in order to establish a space for communal dialogue. Essentially, the murals, multimedia projects, sculptures and canvas works are crafted with the vision of telling a story that seeks to engage and inspire absolutely everyone. Lives of people like Martin Luther King, Fela Kuti, Emma Goldman, Romare Bearden, Harriet Tubman, and the Mirabal Sisters are carefully researched, and then rendered. Each study is developed into a visual biography, unfolding pivotal moments in history, and concentrate on themes that heal, preserve, and bond. I carefully select and depict events in the lives of iconic figures that speak of inspiration, change, and triumph over what most would consider the “odds”. Creative visualization, imagination, and dreamscapes are constructed to bridge familiar subjects with a world of possibilities and inspiration.
Growing up, I moved back and forth from New York City to New Orleans. My inspiration came from my aunt Auressa Moore who was a fine arts artist. She taught me various art techniques while she was a student at the School of the Visual Arts in New York City. She exposed me to the Apollo Theater in Harlem and my art aesthetics were born. I saw art and the Apollo Theater experiences as ONE in spirit. I remember James Brown entering the stage already sweating. Was he dancing backstage getting ready to take us to the cosmos? I think so. I wanted to BE James Brown. I wanted the ability to take people to their highest joyful feeling, GIVING and over-delivering that Love with effort and imagination. I loved basketball and how Michael Jordan represented his love for life through his passion for winning. For me, over delivering is the way of allowing God to shine through you.
Studying astrophysics and astronomy has influenced my perspectives on art. There is more unknown than known about our life and our universe. When I look up to the stars or clouds, I know the pure spirit is there. I equate the black hole with our subconscious mind. Experts say we only use 10% of our brain. What is in that remaining 90% of our brain? What is beyond light ? Infinity. When I create I trust my subconscious mind to lead. I connect traditional art with digital technologies merging art and science just as merging left and right brain. I smile with those amazing, organic, spontaneous clouds, stars and colors designed to give hope to EVERYONE . In this I trust, it is beyond man, beyond end. I create so that a homeless child can smile and become motivated to share their Light with the world to levels of HOPE beyond anyone’s expectations.