artnet Asks: The Artist Marcos Amaro

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Marcos Amaro, Double Check Before You Hit That Button (2016). Courtesy of the Nina Torres Gallery, photo by Marcelo Auge.

The expression, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” may be a cliché, but there’s truly no better way to describe the medium employed by contemporary Brazilian artist Marcos Amaro. The 31-year-old salvages airplane parts from boneyards in order to create unique works. Rudders, propellers, and mechanical parts are all re-purposed into sculptures such as Passagem para um tempo presente (2016), metamorphosing from debris to a complex reflection of the artist’s emotions. Though self-taught, Amaro has quickly risen to fame in the art world, amassing an impressive following on Instagram. He’s also a business mogul, though sculpture is now his main focus. However, the artist doesn’t just create art for art’s sake—the raw materials he utilizes make social commentary on urban waste. And his foundation, Fundação Marcos Amaro, helps fellow artists find their identities and promote their work.

We recently sat down with the artist to learn about his current exhibition, the connective power of social media, and his plans for the near future.

World Red Eyes, artwork from "After Destruction and Compilation" series. Courtesy of the Nina Torres Gallery.

Photo by World Red Eyes, artwork from the “After Destruction and Compilation” series. Courtesy of the Nina Torres Gallery.

 Tell us about your current solo show, “After Destruction & Compilation,” at Nina Torres Gallery in Miami.

I’m really happy with the exhibition, it was such a great experience preparing for it. For this particular exhibition, I found the airplane scraps in a boneyard in Missouri.

 You work in several mediums and incorporate different materials in your sculptures. What is your favorite medium to work with?

I enjoy making sculptures with airplane scraps I find in American aircraft boneyards, that’s my main material. I also like to play with other materials such as textiles.

What was it like growing up with a fashion designer and pilot as parents? Would you say they are among your biggest influences?

My parents are my most relevant influence. When I grew up, artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Tom Sachs, Joseph Beuys, and Leonardo da Vinci also started to influence my work.

Marcelo Auge,Marcos Amaro in his brazilian atelier. Courtesy of the Nina Torres Gallery.

Photo by Marcelo Auge, Marcos Amaro in his brazilian atelier. Courtesy of the Nina Torres Gallery.

 You have 17.7k followers on Instagram (great posts, by the way). What would you say are the advantages and disadvantages of social media as a platform for artists to promote themselves?

Social media opens up a whole new door in connecting with and approaching people who follow my work. It’s a bridge that allows people to see and better understand my art. My main focus, however, is to develop my work through depth, life, and face-to-face contact—something that social media currently lacks.

Why did you decide to start the Fundação Marcos Amaro? What is the foundation’s mission?

The mission of the foundation is to support dreams and develop artistic expressions. Through that, I am able to contemplate the work of international and national artists, and of course, support art development in Brazil.

Art dealer Helly Nahmad bought a work of yours at Andrea Rehder Arte Contemporânea’s SCOPE Basel booth. How was that experience for you? Where were you when the gallery informed you?

I’m flattered to be in his collection. I was actually at the booth when he bought it and was really excited! We are developing a close friendship. I’m really happy that he likes and supports my work!

Marcos Amaro, Tava Verde Pra Mim! (2013). Courtesy of the Nina Torres Gallery.

Marcos Amaro, Tava Verde Pra Mim! (2013). Courtesy of the Nina Torres Gallery, photo by Marcelo Auge.

What has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced so far?

My existence is my greatest challenge. I deal with a significant amount of feelings and complex emotions from my childhood in my day to day life—my work reflects this greatly.

What’s your next exhibition? What are you working on at the moment?

My next exhibition will be in New York, “When Visual Guidance Isn’t Enough,” I’m developing it with New Minds Studio and the curator Alexander Clark.

If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead, who would you choose?

I would have dinner with Nietzsche to get to know more about his life and work.

Eduardo Chacon, "Artwork presented at Context NY." Courtesy of Nina Torres Gallery.

Photo by Eduardo Chacon, “Artwork presented at Context NY.” Courtesy of Nina Torres Gallery.

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