Vargas-Suarez Universal

Overview

Vargas-Suarez Universal is an artist currently  living and working between New York; Texas and Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic in Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan). He was born in Mexico City and raised in the Houston, Texas suburb of Clear Lake City, adjacent to the Johnson Space Center (NASA). From 1991 to 1996 he studied astronomy and art history at the University of Texas at Austin and moved to New York City in 1997. He is primarily known for large-scale murals, paintings, drawings, and sound recordings. He sources American, Russian, European, Canadian and Japanese spaceflight programs, astronomy, and aerospace architecture to create commissioned, studio-based and public artworks for museums, galleries, private and public spaces. Vargas-Suarez has conducted post-studio research at NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA; Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, FL; Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX; Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Korolyov (Moscow), Russia; and the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. His writings have been published by Right Brain Words, New York; Edizioni Charta, Milano and The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Works
Biography

Vargas Suarez Universal (born 1972, Mexico City, Mexico - lives in New York and Kyrgyz Republic)

Rafael Vargas-Suarez was born in Mexico City and raised in the Houston, Texas suburb of Clear Lake City, near NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Vargas-Suarez enjoyed a creative upbringing, inspired partly by his grandfather’s work as a big-band musician and conductor from the 1920s through the 1950s. As a teenager, Vargas-Suarez played the drums in experimental garage bands with friends and, at sixteen, he began signing his work Vargas-Suarez Universal. The artist studied art history and astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin from 1991 to 1996. In 1997, following his graduation, Vargas-Suarez Universal moved to New York City and continued to draw inspiration from urban spaces, technological innovations, contemporary infrastructure, spaceflight programs, astronaut photography, and Earth science data. 

Vargas-Suarez has conducted post-studio research at NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA; Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, FL; Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX; Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Korolyov (Moscow), Russia; and the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. His work is represented in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art Library, Whitney Museum of American Art, El Museo del Barrio, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, Queens Museum of Art, and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art. His writings have been published by Right Brain Words, New York; Edizioni Charta, Milano and The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. 

 The Museum of Modern Art Library, Whitney Museum of American Art, El Museo del Barrio, Queens Museum of Art, Brooklyn  Museum of Art, Dieu Donne Papermill, Inc. Archives (all in New York); Jersey City Museum, NJ; Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, RI; Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin,TX; Palazzo delle Papesse Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena, Italy; Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain; DA2 (Domus Artium, 2002) Salamanca, Spain; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC), León, Spain, Winzavod Contemporary Art Centre, Moscow, Russian Federation, JPMorgan Chase Art Collection and the UBS Art Collection.

Press
Exhibitions