David Castillo Gallery is proud to present Pepe Mar’s solo exhibition Raw Sewage, the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Mar employs collage, assemblage, and papier mache techniques to manipulate all manner of humble, found materials, such as plywood. By responding to natural materials or materials found “naturally,” the artist addresses head-on recycling.
As Mar continues to criticize the formalities of sculpture, he takes very disparate forms and arranges these with great clarity. By researching the life and potential of his materials, the artist achieves a sensation of the maniacal, somber, decadent, resistant, and delicate rebirth of the refuse of the everyday. Color and form come together along with techno music obsessions to create this new body of work of tribal-mechanical beings. Mar incorporates an entirely new set of materials, exploiting their breakdown with exceptional sensitivity.
The artist’s consumer culture critique is seen in the works in the exhibition. All of the sculptures incorporate elements from a demolished home and business in the vicinity of the artist’s studio at the Deering Estate at Cutler. His works have always served as a reminder of all that society leaves behind. That a former home and business would be considered detritus by a society is in itself a powerful statement. While having always dealt with recycling as a matter of necessity, the scale of recycling becomes massive in the current work.
Soft and circular lines are intercepted by jagged pieces of wood paneling, as ever a reminder that his work can be both camp and violent at the same time. Previous bodies of work were often described as monstrous yet somehow human. The current sculptures take the theme of human subversion further. Now Mar’s sculptures have pushed out the human identity, much in the same way that human identity is pushed out in our affluent fetishistic society. The works are informed as much by fashion in their sensitive approach to color as by scavenging to find rigorous and sturdy materials.
Pepe Mar was born in Mexico and he lives and works in Miami, Florida. He received his BFA from California College of Arts (CCA), San Francisco in 2001. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States, as well as venues abroad, and is included in major collections in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. Mar’s artwork has appeared in the New York Times, Artnews, Art in America, Art + Auction, ArtNexus, the Artnewspaper, and Artnet. The artist is currently part of the Deering Estate at Cutler Artist Residency, Miami and also participated in the Cooper Union Artist Residency, New York in 2007. He will be included in three exhibitions this Fall- a solo site-specific exhibition at White Flag Projects, St. Louis’ premiere alternative art venue; a permanent collection exhibition at Miami Art Museum; and More Please!: Excess and Indulgence in Contemporary Culture at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville.