Marcio Decker is a painter. He’s also an interior designer—he co-owns Aspen Leaf Interiors, a company based in Truckee, Calif. But there’s not a hard line separating the two artforms. He paints with acrylics, creating geometric blocks of colors layered over vibrant abstractions or nearly subliminal landscapes. His paintings convey a sense of careful composition that’s reminiscent of a comfortable, elegant room.
“The connection to interior design is in the structure, the architectural blocks,” says Decker of his paintings. “I compose every area. Just like in interior design, you design every area—the walls, the ceilings, the floors. It’s the same here. It’s like I’m working in a three-dimensional space in two dimensions.”
In some ways, Decker’s approaches to painting and interior design are similar. But there are also differences. Painting, particularly Decker’s style of non-representational painting, allows for a spontaneous free expression. He says he never knows, when starting out, what a painting will look like when it’s completed. Some of his lines and washes are loose, almost messy. But the more chaotic elements are usually balanced out by a more precise shape, often a rectangle.
“Those oppositions are very interesting to me,” says Decker. “It creates a nice tension.”
He usually works on multiple canvases at a time, alternating among them, completing a layer of paint, and then working on a different canvas while the other one dries. He uses masking tape to block out different areas, which helps create the defined geometric shapes.
Some paintings remain in his work rotation for years, subject to constant revision. He says he’ll sometimes take a painting too far, past the point of being finished, and have to scrub it out and scale it back.
He says the landscape aspect of his work, often deep in the background of individual paintings, is inspired by living in “our Tahoe area, which is such an amazing place.”
Decker is originally from Brazil. He studied art and design there at Universidade Federal de Santa Maria. He eventually found his way to Lake Tahoe, which appealed to him because of the beauty of the natural environment.
“I don’t know if I was looking for something, but I found it,” he says.
At the beginning of the year, Decker and his business partner, Betty Scott, moved their interior design business into a new location, which also gave Decker an opportunity to show his work in a site-specific gallery, which he calls the Decker Gallery. He’s also represented by a gallery in Miami, and has shown work in many places, including Minimal/Colorful, a current group exhibition at the Blue Lion Gallery in Roseville, Calif.
Decker’s interior design work takes him all over the region—including a lot of work at The Montage in Reno, for example.
“My clients have strong opinions and a vision,” says Decker. “It’s my job to guide them, help them. I’m an assistant to their vision.”
He says he loves the work, and adds that he’s better able to serve his clients’ visions when doing design work, because he also has another creative outlet.
“With painting, I’m the writer, director and editor,” he says. “I have a freedom to express myself without a requirement list.”