PAUL DEO | ARTIST
Paul Deo is on a mission to use his artwork to help heal and inspire communities. His visionary murals that he calls “Altars of Higher Consciousness” use traditional and mixed reality digital arts technology to bring powerful stories and moments to the public with maximum impact. Deo’s latest mural is the newly commissioned, “The Day Harlem Saved Dr. King,” slated for permanent installation adjacent to the historic mural pavilion in Harlem Hospital Center (HHC). It tells the story of how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was treated at the hospital and survived a knife attack in 1958. In the mural, Deo illustrates how the spirit of Harlem lifted the knife out of Dr. King’s heart, giving him a new lease on life to move into his most politically charged years with fearless dedication and focus.
As part of an augmented reality (AR) layer of his mural, Deo will create animations accessible via a digital app in which the mural’s characters will tell their stories. 'For his research he is conducting interviews with relatives and contemporaries of the characters shown in the mural, including the son of the surgeon that treated Dr. King and local Harlem seniors. Deo also plans to create a virtual reality (VR) component to the project that will allow visitors to completely immerse themselves in his surreal Harlem landscape.
This mural was commissioned by Community Works and New Heritage Theatre Group as part of the permanent home for the “harlem is . . .” series at Harlem Hospital. The mural will join a number of major, historically significant public art projects at the hospital illuminating the Black experience, including WPA-era murals that were the first to depict people of color in civic and medical roles.
Paul Deo is a visionary artist revolutionizing the integration of spirit and technology. Growing up between New York City and New Orleans, he found early inspiration in the Apollo Theater performances of soulful artists and dancing in the streets to the second-line parades of New Orleans, absorbing the rich flavors of both cultures. His psychedelic historical paintings and murals illuminate many areas throughout NYC. In 2019, New York Magazine voted his renowned, mixed-media mural, “Planet Harlem” as one of New York City’s Best Places to Visit.