Creating a relationship between time, movement, and light, Vicki DaSilva’s work plays with the physicality of light as well as the shaping of spaces and perception. There is a temporality and performative aspect to her work that becomes apparent during the process of making the photographs. This sometimes leads to chance encounters with spectators who become random and unplanned participants.
The works do not have any deeper conceptual meaning than their immediate aesthetic impact, though, for Vicki, looking back at her work over the years evokes an intimate shared experience of making work as a couple. Since 1987, every photo was made in collaboration with her husband Antonio: Vicki as the creator and Antonio as the technician.
Vicki was born in 1960 in Bethesda, Maryland, USA and began making time exposure photographs in 1980 during her undergraduate fine art studies at Kutztown University of PA. Vicki experimented with time exposures through trial and error, coining the early photographs as light graffiti. During her undergraduate studies, Vicki met Keith Haring, who grew up in Kutztown. After receiving her BFA from Kutztown University in 1983, Vicki moved to New York City and was heavily influenced by Haring, among others, and the convergence of street and graffiti art during the birth of hip-hop. This significant time period led to a lifetime passion and dedication to creating light graffiti and light painting photographs.
In the mid 80s, Vicki did an internship and later worked as an assistant for several years with internationally acclaimed performance artist Joan Jonas. Through Jonas, she was introduced to many artists including Richard Serra, for whom she worked as a personal assistant throughout the 80s. Vicki’s work evolved during this time, and in the late 80s and early 90s, she began to use 4ft and eventually 8ft fluorescent lamps to make light paintings and has continued to use this medium along with a variety of hand held fluorescent lamps for her light graffiti works.
In November 2018 Vicki and Antonio relocated permanently to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. They have been making art and memories together there since 1988. Nova Scotia continues to be Vicki’s favorite location to create her light painting photographs.
Recent exhibitions and projects include Lumen Lineation, SL Gallery NYC (2018); Allentown X 7: Photographic Explorations, Allentown Art Museum (2016-2017); Interference, International Light Art Project, Tunis (2016); and East River Flows, NYC Art in the Parks (2015). In 2012 Vicki was the solo winner of the international competition Art Takes Times Square that resulted in her work being featured on the cover of the New York Times Arts section as well as on 13 major digital billboards of the Times Square Midnight Moment art program. In March 2015 during UNESCO’s International Year of Light, Vicki partnered with the humanitarian organization Oxfam International in London’s Trafalgar Square to create and donate her signature work to raise awareness and shine a light on the 4th anniversary of the tragic Syrian conflict.
2018 Lumen Lineation, SL Gallery https://www.sl.gallery/artists NYC, September 7-October 19
2016 http://www.180maiden.com/, NYC, Lobby Exhibition, Sept 29-Nov 21
2015 East River Flows, NYC Art in the Parks, 60’x10’ photo banner on East River Esplanade & 116th Street, NYC, May 8-Aug 31
2013 The Four Seasons Restaurant Lobby NYC, Woodward Gallery, NYC, April 1 - June 1
2012 Times Square Arts: Midnight Moment, electronic billboards June 18-July 31, 2012
2011 Reverb, Able Fine Art NY Gallery, 511 W 25th Street, NYC
2008 Speed of Light, Flanders 311, 311 West Martin St. Raleigh, NC,
2006 Fluorescence, Art Gotham, 547 W 27th Street, NYC
2004 Non-Function Follows Form, Tompkins Gallery, Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA
2017 Radical Love #FEMALELUST, The Crypt Gallery, London, UK, Feb 14-March 5
2016-17 Equity Gallery Members Invitational, NYC, Dec 9-Jan 14, 2017
2016 Nuit Blanche, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Dec 3
2016-17 Allentown X7, Allentown Art Museum, Nov 13-Feb 5, 2017
2016 INTERFERENCE International Light Art Project Tunis, Sept 1-4, 2016
2015 Possible Realities Two, Grossman Gallery, Lafayette College, July 12-August 15
2014 Thaw, Curated by Jill Conner, Dorsky Gallery, LIC, NY, Jan 19 - April 6
2013-2014 Rouge, Cheryl Hazan Gallery, Dec 14 - Jan 4
2013 The Language of Painting, Curated by Carol Salmanson, Lesley Heller Workspace, NYC, Oct 18 - Dec 2
2013 Femalenergy 3, Woodward Gallery, NYC May 4 - June 30
2013 Lingo, Cheryl Hazan Gallery, NYC March 13 - April 20
2013 Snap! Orlando Photography Festival May 2-5, headliner artist
2013 Real Time, Artist Studios, pop-up show 526 West 26th Street, NYC
2012 A Virtual Exhibition, Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University Art Galleries, October 31-December 9, 2012
2011 Independence Day, Able Fine Art Gallery, Seoul, Korea
2011 Keystone Biennial, Silver Eye Center for Photography
2010 The Takeover, Art Whino, Art Basel Miami Beach
2010 Back to New York, HP Garcia Gallery, NYC
2010 Escape from New York, curated by Olympia Lambert, Paterson, NJ
2009 Currents in Contemporary Photography, Flanders Art Gallery, Raleigh, NC
2008 Refracted Planes: Vicki DaSilva & Mia Yoon, Flanders Art Gallery, Raleigh, NC
2008 Darkness, Darkness, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
2008 PHOTOGRAPHY NOW 2008' Center for Photography at Woodstock, Juror: Darren Ching Creative Director, PDN and co-owner/co-director KLOMPCHING Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2016 ArtsQuest Foundation, Linny Awards, Visual Artist of the Year
2015 International Photography Awards, Lucie Foundation, Two Honorable Mentions, Moving Image & Night Photography
2015 OxFam International, Act with Syria: Turn the Lights on for Syria, London, March 15
2013 International Photography Awards, Lucie Foundation, Three Honorable Mentions, Fine Art & Night Photography
2012 International Photography Awards, Lucie Foundation, Honorable Mention, Night Photography
2012 Art Takes Times Square international competition Solo Grand Prize Winner from 35,000 entries.
2008 Hasselblad Masters '08 Semi-Finalist
2005 Allentown Art Museum, Third Place, 29th Annual Juried Show
2003 PA Council on the Arts, Visual Arts Photography Fellowship
2001 PA Council on the Arts, Visual Arts Photography Fellowship
Allentown X 7: Photographic Explorations, exhibition catalogue, November 13, 2016 to February 5, 2017, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA, 2017.
Peter Weibel and Gregor Jansen, Light Art from Artificial Light: Light as a Medium in 20th and 21st Century Art, ZKM Museum for Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2006.
BFA, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, 1983