Marepe was born in Northeastern Brazil in 1970, and his work reflects a deep connection to the local traditions, history, and customs of the Bahia region. He transforms objects used in everyday life such aluminum basins, plastic buckets, water filters, and telephone cards into sculptural objects that take on a social and poetic significance while questioning the institutional status of the art object. In this respect, Marepe's work is related to Marcel Duchamp's provocative 1917 presentation of a sculpture entitled Fountain that was, in fact, a urinal that the artist purchased from a local iron works.

Duchamp called these objects "readymades" to reflect his use of an already existing object. Marepe refers to his sculptures as "necessities," in order to emphasize their social origins and connection to the subsistence economy of rural Brazil. "Necessities" are transformed by Marepe's artistic intervention into objects with almost spiritual power.