Paulo Knobel
Paulo Knobel

Where this all started...

Paulo was born in “Cidade Maravilhosa”, the “most marvelous” vibrant city in the world, Rio de Janeiro! Never a fan of labels or being tied to them, he’s presently described as a mixed media artist living in NYC.

Many people struggle with their identity their entire lives in an effort to discover their true passion. But this was not the case for Paulo who as a small child was blessed with a gift; the talent to create. At only eight years of age, he discovered an ability to replicate cartoon drawings of Super Hero’s with amazing precision, a very uncommon feat at such a young age. Throughout this time in his life he lived across the way from a construction site which produced massive amounts of clay. He would spend hours upon hours there molding the clay into the form of figurines. Sculpting at only eleven years of age enabled him to experiment with textures and design. Each day as dawn turned to dusk he would practice drawing the figurines he had created earlier.

At the age of 18 two proud moments occurred; Paulo would play semi-professional soccer and be accepted into the Bennet School of Art, a University renowned for it’s fine arts program. As is the case so often, pragmatic parents influenced him away from both soccer and art and towards a path of greater stability; Architecture. While he enjoyed studying architecture, drawing and illustration, he felt confined and constricted from the way he loved to express his creativity, which was through painting.

Leaving Brazil for greater opportunities in the States was not an easy decision for his parents. And as Paulo arrived in NYC, he enrolled in Brooklyn College for Architecture but after just one year, the language barrier posed a threat to his education and he dropped out. A quick pivot to NYU for English as a second language would prove invaluable as soon after he found himself accepted to Parsons School of Visual Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology; the latter being more affordable and less ominous to a newcomer. While at FIT, he fell in love with the Society of Illustrators and was captivated by the NYC art scene.

A teacher’s influence and a book entitled “Picasso’s Eyes”, would determine the path of passion Paulo would lovingly pursue indefinitely. Never one to be conventional or sacrifice self expression, Paulo related to Picasso whom along with other great names helped him to realize that he didn’t have to conform to mainstream tastes. His paintings didn’t have to necessarily portray reality either. To have the freedom to do whatever he wants on a canvas is liberating and remains one of the most gratifying aspects of his work today.