Born and raised in New York City, Gustavo received a masters degree in architecture from Princeton University. While at first integrating murals and sculptural elements into his architectural projects, he ultimately came to focus solely on his artistic practice.
His diverse production resists simple characterization, ranging from austere, minimal drawings to abstract geometric paintings and sculpture, to somewhat figurative watercolors. His work has been exhibited widely and is represented in various public collections. He draws more fully on his architectural background when working on his large-scale urban projects (in collaboration with John Bennett), including Tribute in Light, the annual memorial of the September 11th attack at the World Trade Center.