Fisherman until 23 years old, graduated from the School of Fine Arts at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ, 1992, he attended the Engraving Workshop of Ingá, from 1988 to 1990, and the School of Visual Arts at Parque Lage, in 1991. He was a student and friend of Lygia Pape, who gave the following account by the artist: “Marcos Cardoso was metamorphosed by the myth of the carnival and its machines: he recycled dust and cloth in palaces and castles, he makes endless pretense as fairy-tales, today pure noble language, steeped in the sensitive, in the alchemist’s dream that engenders disturbed panting objects”.
Since 1986 he has been participating in collective exhibitions and art shows in Brazil and abroad, with emphasis on First Art Exposition – Brazil, Holland World Trade Center, Amsterdam, 1987; XIV Contemporary Art Salon, Ribeirão Preto, 1989; IX Engraving Exhibition of the City of Curitiba; Las Americas House, Havana, 1990 Prize; I International Biennial of Printmaking in Spain, Santiago de Compostela, 2nd Prize, and 10th Pará Arte, Belém, ProLabore Prize, 1991; 49th Salão Paranaense, Curitiba, 1992; “Indomitable Images”, School of Visual Arts, Rio de Janeiro and “Playful, Logical, Lyrical, Lucid”, Art Gallery Universidade Federal Fluminense – UFF, Niterói, 1994. He also participated in the “48 Contemporâneo” exhibition, held by Galeria de Arte UFF, in 1996. From 1991, he held solo exhibitions at Bar Baratos, Fragoso – RJ, Gallery of the Instituto Brasil EUA, EUA, Rio de Janeiro, 1992; Anna Maria Niemeyer Gallery, also in Rio de Janeiro and Paschoal Carlos Magno Cultural Center, Niterói, 1995. His work is represented in the collections of the University of Malaga and the Museum of Engraving, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris, France, in addition to the João Satamini collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Niterói.