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Rafael Vargas-Suarez, who signs his artworks as "Vargas-Suarez Universal", is an artist based in New York. 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 and Russian 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
Selected collections include: 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; Winzavod Contemporary Art Centre, Moscow, Russian Federation, and the UBS Art Collection.