Pepe Mar is a cognoscente of materiality at the forefront of social fluency and personal obsession. Mar excavates the ritual narratives inherent in secondhand stores, science fiction, celebrity, commercial design, and social media to create abstract and anthropomorphic barometers of contemporary culture. His rich, experiential process recalls the history of assemblage and painting. Mar heeds the call of Roland Barthes’ universal signifiers and answers with icons both appropriated and original. The artist’s work is committed to a personal and universal exploration of cultural alienation.
Pepe Mar was born in Mexico and lives and works in Miami, Florida. He received his BFA from California College of the Arts (CCA), San Francisco. Mar attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine (2011) and his MFA from Florida International University in 2012. In 2013, the artist participated in the Bronx Museum International Residency Program. In 2014, Mar had his first institutional commission in the US at DiverseWorks, Houston. In 2015, the artist participated in the Banff Residency in Canada and was awarded an Andy Warhol Foundation Wavemaker grant for his project Versus. In 2016, the artist participated in the ISCP Residency in New York and was the recipient of both a Pollock-Krasner grant and a South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship. In the same year, he was part of the exhibition Woven at Deutsche Bank, New York and Philodendron at the Wolfsonian Museum, Miami Beach. His most recent solo exhibition in 2017 was Excess of Sleep Produces Monsters at David Castillo Gallery, Miami Beach and Man of the Night at Locust Projects, Miami. Mar has an upcoming solo exhibition at The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh in 2019. His work has been exhibited throughout the US and venues abroad and is included in major collections in the US, Europe, and Latin America including public collections such as the ICA Miami and Perez Art Museum. His work has appeared in the New York Times, ARTnews, Art in America, Art + Auction, the Artnewspaper, and Artnet.