Pablo Power was born in a log cabin in rural Maryland and spent his formative years in the seamy, creative crucible of 1980′s and 90′s Miami. As a teenager, his earliest work experimented with a myriad of offerings to the street. Beginning with only scissors, scotch tape, and a photocopier, he waged a disinformation campaign on Miami Beach’s telephone and light poles, in which he would cut up and reassemble live music fliers, taking a band’s name from one flier and mixing it up with the venue from another, and the time and date from others.
Seeing the confused reactions created by simply taping up these photocopied pieces of paper in the street, Power began to appreciate the impact that art has when given up for public interpretation. He then graduated to more permanent materials, writing and painting on the surfaces throughout Miami’s urban wilderness, even collaborating on a commission for a permanent mural installation in a Miami Dade Transit station while still in high school. Eventually Power settled on what would be an obsession for many years to come: his bombardment of all accessible public space with his visual mantra. This campaign eventually led Power to begin collaborating with The Inkheads, a group of kindred artists that was gaining recognition in Miami and New York City at the time.
Power moved to New York to study at Parsons School of Design and School of Visual Arts, and although began painting in the studio, still continued to create outdoor works inspired by the sprawling, Dinkins- era urban wilderness of his new home. After years of carrying a camera to document the collective’s work as they traveled across America and abroad, his focus literally widened to let the frame capture more than just the painting on a wall, but the whole decrepit building, the adjacent street and train track, and finally the bizarre characters that populated them. Eventually the painting became incidental to the photo, then faded into the background, and finally disappeared completely.
As the colorful group of friends who he always had the good fortune to be surrounded and inspired by, began to take separate paths in their work, Power was pushed to become more conceptual in creating new subject matter for his photos. This led him back to Miami, but only with a camera, to imbed in and photograph a community that gentrification was pushing out of the forgotten areas that he had formerly painted on. Power continues to discover and immerse himself in forgotten communities of America, sometimes completely changing his appearance and living in the street with his subject matter as he records their time together, and always forming personal relationships in the process.
In his most recent work, he layers these photos with drawn and painted elements, and collects writing from his documentary subjects to combine with his own writing, which are all added to create the illustrated texts and textures that have been part of his work from the beginning.