Born into a family traditionally linked to arts, by a sculptor grandfather of mechanical puppets and painter-restorer father of religious art , Mario lives a childhood in constant curiosity for learning art techniques and filled of creative motivation , leading him, with only sixteen years old, to accomplish solo (individual) exhibitions of painting, reaching an irreverent success. But his interest and fascination for Fine Arts will eventually lead him to the European centers of greater cultural dynamics and artistic avant-garde.

Initially settled in Paris where he remained three years studying and working, he is a regular visitor of workshops, galleries and museums. His sympathy for expressionism and in particular the manifesto of "CoBrA" group led him to visit Amsterdam and settle in an atelier near New Market where he continues his work as a painter, yet participating in actions of a group of artists dubbed " surreal neo - mannerist ".
In constant search of his own path of artistic identity, Mario travels to Venice, Rome and Florence confronting the Workings of the great Renaissance masters but is particularly interested in the Mannerist painters, considered the precursors of Expressionism, such as Perugino, Ucello, Veronese, and Parmigianino. At this point, Mario becomes a compulsive draughtsman and frequenter of museums, especially the degli Uffizi gallery.

During his stay in Italy, he nourished a particular curiosity about ancient civilizations, influenced not only by his childhood birthplace but throughout the European Culture. In order to study classical antiquity, Mario makes several trips to Greece where he discovers his new passion, the sculpture.

We are in the early eighties, and back to his home country Portugal, Mario settles in the vicinity of marble exploitations in the South of the country, initiating an autodidact approach in sculpture. Initially he explores chromatic adaptation processes from painting to sculpture dimension, where he carves and paints on marble representations of an oneiric universe, applied in a low-and high-reliefs that appear to be fragmented frescoes.
This method progresses to the execution of large murals using the cutout of various overlapping marble plates, combining colors and textures of the stone to define the contours of the figure, in a neo-Expressionist exercise. At this stage, Mario starts to use machinery and tools, allowing the method of direct carving, and abandoning his classical method of sculpture elaboration, appearing thereby the first three-dimensional sculptures.

In the late nineties, it draws an important phase in the Artist career as a sculptor; as it arises the landscape interventions (actions of inspiration "land art"), the outcome of the traditional versus a higher abstraction and sensuality of bodies in the vast landscape. Following a succession of orders for the public domain in urban centers, the work became monumental establishing “dialogues” with architecture. We can observe Mario’s work for distinct periods of evolution both by the versatility of technics and by the diversity of mediums but also by its formal approach. His work has this humorous and infinite capacity for suggestions that characterize as an author.

Clara Lavignia.