Vicki DaSilva


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 Allentown, Pennsylvania, and began making time exposure photographs in 1980 during her undergraduate fine art studies at Kutztown University. Vicki experimented with time exposures through trial and error, coining the early photographs as light graffiti. During her undergraduate studies, Vicki met Keith Haring, a Kutztown, PA native. 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.

Recent exhibitions and projects include 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.