Born in Belém, Brazil, in 1960, Paulo Paes moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1978, where he joined the Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage, first as a student and subsequently as a teacher, until 1992. The artist is currently investigating the routines (operations and manoeuvers) involving devices in the marine biome designed to attract and retain life. These routines produce material culture: (marine) paintings, underwater photographs, samples of mature colonies, drawings, videos, vessels, texts, the devices and their component parts, tools, etc. The artist lives in Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro, where he undertakes his experiments in partnership with IEAPM (Instituto de Estudos do Mar da Marinha Almirante Paulo Moreira) in the research area of Farol island in Arraial do Cabo. Parallel to this, he is also investigating inflatable sculptures made of tissue paper originally from hot-air balloons.
In 2018 he held the solo exhibition ‘Missa Para os Mortos’ at A Gentil Carioca and participated in the group exhibition ‘Intervenções Urbanas’, Bondinho Pão de Açúcar’, both in Rio de Janeiro. In 2016 held the solo show ‘Continentes Flutuantes’ at Centro Cultural Banco do Nordeste, Fortaleza, and participated in the group exhibition ‘Baía de Guanabara: Águas e Vidas Escondidas’ at MAC-Niterói (Contemporary Art Museum), Rio de Janeiro. In 2015 held the solo ‘Djanir’ at A Gentil Carioca and also participated in the group exhibitions ‘Sphères 8’ at Galleria Continua, France, ‘Ver e ser visto’, MAM – Rio de Janeiro (Museum of Modern Art) and ‘Encontros Carbônicos’ at Oi Futuro Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro. In 2012 won the following prizes: ‘Prêmio Funarte de Arte Contemporânea’, ‘Prêmio de Arte Contemporânea do Ministério da Cultura’ and ‘Medellín 07/Contemporary Art Practices’, Colômbia. In the same year held the solo ‘Pneumática’ at Palácio Gustavo Capanema and Caixa Cultural, both in Rio de Janeiro. ‘Pneumática’ was also shown at Centro Cultural dos Correios, Pernambuco, Brasil, in 2010. In 1998 held a solo exhibition at Blue Star Art Complex gallery and participated in a group exhibition at University of Incarnate Word, both in the USA. In 1997 was a scholarship holder from Bolsa Rio Arte. In 1991 participated in the ‘21ª Bienal Internacional de São Paulo’. His first participation in collective exhibitions was in the emblematic ‘Como vai você Geração 80?’ at Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro.