Cruising Totem, 2012. Baskets, burlap, paint, and collage, 10 ft. high.

Dressing Up Sculpture: A Conversation with Pepe Mar

Pepe Mar’s sculptures pulse with vivid color and small elements—cut-up slivers of paper, tiny objects—that when assembled form quasi-creatures. The New York Times described his early exhibition “Hunga Bunga” as personifying “the visually devouring soul of modern mass media.” The process of collage constitutes a vital element of his art, though he distances himself from it at times. Fragility and tenderness make an occasional but pronounced appearance. Over the past seven years, Mar has challenged himself to explore new expressions of his core preoccupations, employing baskets masquerading as bronze, or most recently, ceramic. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; the Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach; and the Miami Art Museum. Mar, who was born in Mexico, arrived in Miami two years before the first Art Basel Miami Beach in 2002, and three years before the Wynwood Arts District Association was founded in 2003. In many ways, his experience reflects the trajectory of Miami’s nascent art movement and the transformations that have occurred in the city. …see the entire article in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.