The Eye, The Vessel, and The Spell

Pepe Mar
March 2 - April 6, 2013

David Castillo Gallery is proud to present The Eye, The Vessel, and The Spell, new works by Pepe Mar in sculpture, collage, painting, and installation for the artist’s fourth solo show with the gallery.


The Eye, The Vessel, and the Spell cruises the banquet demarcating Mar’s oeuvre, including glossy magazines, club music, and the supernatural energy that fuels pop culture and ancient mythologies. Mar delights in the corporeality of objects, augmenting and storing with a charismatic indulgence often reserved for cyberspace. Mar flaunts the contraband of his quotidian life, practicing shamanic swag with the New Sincerity. He embraces strolling, after Balzac, as the “gastronomy of the eye,” digesting lived into aesthetic experience.


Small sculptures traverse David Castillo Gallery with the surprise of boogiemen; the fortitude of pioneers; the lucidness of debutants; and the playfulness of figments. Magz moves toward an oasis that is both sustenance and mirage. The series enacts Matthew Fuller’s media hypotaxis, irrupting a linear list into a “matrix of immanent universes” and waking The Eye, The Vessel, and The Spell to life.


Mar’s shadow boxes evoke plumage and masks with the dexterity of beat-boxing. They challenge hegemony as bougainvillea overgrows a fence, softening compartments with epileptic color and fission. Mar curates an eclectic domesticity as eroticized as it is phantasmagoric. Several open boxes in the exhibition raise bronze sculptures from the dead to interact with their dioramic environments.


Cabeza (bronze) exemplifies Mar’s counterintuitive marriage of found objects and formal bronze, casting baskets and burlap with the ceremony of baby shoes. It preserves a trinity of Bakhtin’s most renowned theories: the grotesque, the carnivalesque, and heteroglossia.  Like the furies depicted in Roman mythology by Virgil, The Furies share a manic vascularity. Mar’s furies dance their own ekphrasis with the lavishness of an Art Deco canopy and the geometric glitch of a Coogi sweater.



Mar operates a machinic phylum in which order emerges unexpectedly from chaos as a result of its nonlinear dynamics. He transubstantiates the viewer into his everyday through a distillation of drive into materiality. For the Situationists, to adapt to a new technology is to adopt a new accident. Under this mantra, secondhand finds, social encounters, and viral culture become Mar’s system of interpretation. He ensconces the viewer, filling the gastronomical eye even as he crowd-sources for new material. The Eye, The Vessel, and The Spell is a phenomenological study in which the eye filibusters the mind and the body transports the spirit. The eye is traversal and the sight, spellbinding.



Pepe Mar was born in Mexico and lives and works in Miami, Florida. He received his BFA from California College of Arts (CCA), San Francisco and his MFA from FIU, Miami. Mar attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine (2011). Upcoming in 2013, the artist is participating in the Bronx Museum International Residency Program. 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 Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami and Miami Art Museum. His work has appeared in the New York Times, ARTnews, Art in America, Art + Auction, the Artnewspaper, and Artnet.

Pepe Mar