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Paola Beck, 1983, Mexico City

Currently lives and works in Rome, Italy.
“I’ve been very interested in developing deep positive messages that can impact the people who see them, and somehow influence them to actively respect and take care of our planet”
Transforming Mexico City Walls: Interview with Bernardo Sánchez Navarro Iturbe, Cultura Colectiva, 2015

Paola Beck is best known for her social practice where she aims to change negative social dynamics through public space transformation with community participation. Her large scale mural paintings demonstrate her concern in creating positive messages with significant content. Her work shows profound emotion with deployment of strong color, overlapping sources and inspirations, with repetitive themes like portraits, nature and animals. Moving back and forth to the beach and with strong reminicences of her childhood in Germany, Beck encounters her german landscapes nostalgia with urban context and environmental awareness.

Beck is focused in creating social consciousness and cohesion; in Mexico, where social differences are very strong, she has created a collaborative way of thinking, by inviting other artists to participate in the social artistic matter of the city landscape. Her style is highly intense and non-realistic, brushstrokes can be loose and gestural: typically free. Acrylic applications tend to be generous and highly textured and occasionally dripped. Her body of work tends to be emotional and sometimes mystical.
She has incorporated her work with popular culture in collaborations with musical bands like Dirty Karma and Lebaron, as well as Life Action Painting (2015 Zanka Fest, Zihuatanejo, Mexico, 2010, Zwischenraum Festival, Berlin, Germany; Código, Design Festival & Vive Latino Music Festival, Mexico City)
Her practice includes different media such as drawing, collage, illustration, painting, sculpture and diverse materials like wood, paper, acrylic, marble and stone. 

In 2010, she co-founds CICLO with mexican curator Laura Reséndiz (Anonymous Gallery MX City). This collective project focuses on the transformative power of art to create harmonious environments that promote memory and local identity. In 2016 with the support of CONACULTA (National Council for Culture and Arts), we worked on 9 public spaces in the Magdalena Contreras area (south of Mexico City). This project included 9 murals, 9 parks, more than 40 free art, local identity and permaculture workshops, and the collaboration with 8 other renowned mexican muralists. In 2017 we where invited by SiTE:LAB to do a 2 month artist residency in Grand Rapids, MI, USA, where we worked with the latin migrant community on a collective art installation for ArtPrize 2017.

Solo Exhibitions
2012 “Tropical Disease” Bee Market, San Francisco, Cal, USA
2010 “Selfportrait”, La Tenería, León, México (Curated by Laura Reséndiz)

Selected Group Exhibitions
2020   “Money go round” Rosso20sette Gallery, Rome
2019   “I portici” Public space intervention at Civitavecchia, Italy
2018   “CICLO” stand at ZonaMaco Fotografía Art Fair, Mexico City
2018   “ROMA in cento centimetriquadri, Spazio 40 Gallery, Rome
2017   “Hora de tratar”, Espacio Arterial Gallery, Mexico City
2016   “Everything is transformed”, as part of SiTE:LAB for ArtPrize 2016, Rumsey St., Grand Rapids, MI, USA,
2015    “Muralismo Mexicano Contemporáneo”, Arte Hoy Gallery, Mexico City
2012    “Migrant Suitcases”, Memory and Tolerance Museum, Mexico City; Philanthropy House, Brussels, Belgium; New Americans Museum, San Diego, USA; CECUT Centro Cultural Tijuana, Mexico, National Anthropology Museum, El Salvador
2012   “Colectivo 4”, Traeger & Pinto Gallery, Mexico City
2012   “Casa de Empeño”, Anonymous Gallery, Mexico City

Social Practice
2017  “Lets save our oceans” painting workshop at El Ganzo Community Center, San José del Cabo, BCS, Mexico
2016  Muralism workshop for inmates at the Female Prison in Tepepan, collaborating with Fundación Mujeres con alas, Mexico City
2016  Art Direction, Smart (Mercedes Benz), National Creativity Contest for the reactivation of an abbandoned park through collaborative muralism and community engagement, Mexico City
2016 Muralism Workshop for kids at Centro Cultural Pedregal, Mexico City
2015  Art Direction, CICLO; 9 spaces in Magdalena Contreras area. Community art workshops and collective murals with the support of CONACULTA, (National Council of Culture and Arts), Mexico City, 
2013  Adeco, donation for the fundraising auction of “Alfabetiza” National Literacy Campaign, Mexico City
2012  Central Verde: Life action painting for environmental awareness, Vive Latino Festival, Mexico City
2011  Cultura Colectiva: Life action painting to raise funds for the startup of Cultura Colectiva artistic platform,
2011 Rock & Love, Life action painting to raise funds for different social purposes, Vive Latino Music Festival, Mexico City
2010  Secretaría Nacional de Salud: National campaign for Human Papiloma Awareness, Mexico City.

Public and Private Collections
Colección Juan Antonio Pérez Simón, Mexico
SHCP National Contemporary Art Collection, Mexico
Habitat for Humanity Art Collection, Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Hotel El Ganzo, San José del Cabo, Mexico
Reforma Newspaper, Mexico City Headquarters
Timberland, Mexico City Headquarters
VANS, Mexico City Headquarters
Cultura Colectiva, Mexico City Headquarters
Fermatta Music University, Mexico City
Natalia Lafourcade, Mexico
Luis Castañeda Mariscal, Mexico
Benito Echeverria, Mexico
José Pinto Mazal, Mexico
Laura Reséndiz, Mexico
Alex Marín y Kall, Mexico
Christine Lensberg & Alonso Coronel, Bergen, Norway
Cristina Pesqueira Kalb, New York, USA
Cristina Thome & Jan Trojan, Paris, France
David Mee, Basel, Switzerland
Margarita Caraballo, Amsterdam, Holland
Sara Manganelli, Rome, Italy

2021   “Ocean Mural” & “Air and Earth Mural”, Thulusdhoo Island, Maldives
2018   “Un nuevo amanecer” Fundación Casa Alianza Headquarters, Mexico City (4 x 10 m)
2018   “Casa Guacamaya”, Acapulco, Mexico (18 x 3.5 m)
2017   “We are watching” Hotel El Ganzo, Los Cabos, BCS (56 x 4 m)
2017   “Oceanomar” Spongies Nursery and Preschool, Mexico City (13 x 4 m)
2016   “Cronometría de un lugar sobre la tierra” Collaboration with Lesuperdemon &        LeoTezcucano, 30 x 7 m
2016   “Sisterhood” Collaboration with Maria Canfield, Condesa, Mexico City (7 x 10 m)
2016   “Out of the water I am nothing” Puerto Escondido, Mexico (2 x 2 m)
2015   “The eagle-man and the coyote-boy” Collective mural for CICLO and the community of El Tanque, Magdalena Contreras, Mexico City (16 x 3 m)
2015   “Eva Luna y su jacaranda” Mural for Timberland and Cultura Colectiva, Mexico City (16 x 7m)
2014    Various murals for One Love Hotel, Puerto Escondido, Mexico (“El León-Ola” 16 x 4 m)
2013   “Our Legacy” Collective mural for Zankafest Music and Arts Festival (44 x 2.60 m) Zihuatanejo, Mexico.
2013   “The last journey” 4 x 2 m, Mexico City
2013    Installation for Absolut Mexico, 2 x 3 m, Mexico City
2012    “This is Mexico”, Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York. (4 x 2.5 m)
2010    “I love DF” Mexico City (13 x 4 m)

2018   Art teacher in Spongies Nursery and Preschool, Mexico City
2011-2019   Collaborational teaching workshops with artists such as Mikelis Fisers (Winner of the Purvitis Prize 2015, Latvia), Rafael Uriegas (Winner of the Rufino Tamayo Biennal Award 2014, Mexico), Diana Quintero (Winner of FONCA 2011, Mexico) and Miguel Ángel Cordera (Diagrama Founder and Director) among others.
2014 Art teacher at Instituto Alfa Primary School, Puerto Escondido, Mexico
2009-2011   Artistic Drawing and Anatomy instructor, Jannette Klein Fashion University, Mexico City

Artist Residencies:
2021   Oceanbreeze, Thulusdhoo Island, Maldives (4 weeks)
2017   Hotel El Ganzo, San José del Cabo, BCS, Mexico (2 weeks)
2016   Private Comission for collector David Mee, Basel, Switzerland (4 weeks)
2015   SiTE:Lab collaborating with CICLO for ArtPrize International Art Contest, Grand Rapids, MI, USA (8 weeks),

2006   Degree in Illustration and Multimedia Animation, IED Istituto Europeo di Design, Rome, Italy

Collaborations as illustrator/photographer/writer for Harpers Bazaar Mexico, Rolling Stone Mexico, El Fanzine Mexico, Picnic Magazine, El Periódico de Andorra, Editorial Prekop Mexico, among others. 

Collaborations with:
Absolut, Smart, Fiat, Nike, Timberland, Vans, Häagen Dazs, Tequila Cuervo, Comex, Citibanamex, Volaris (Mexico City), Visioni Fuori Raccordo Film Festival (Rome), among others.

“I murales come manifestazione visiva di impegno civico”, The great beauty / La Grande Bellezza Magazine, Rome, Italy, April-June 2019
“Curiosidad Tropical”, Estelí Garcia, Cultura en Marcha Newspaper, Veracruz, Mexico, March 2013
“Paola Beck”, Mariana Diaz, Excelsior Newspaper, Mexico, October 2012
“El retrato de Paola Beck”, Laura Reséndiz, Casas y Terrenos, Mexico, February 2011