A Claw for an Eye
September 20 – November 9, 2013
Gallery Two

Exhibition Text


ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce A Claw for an Eye, new works by Pepe Mar in Gallery Two.

Chicago, IL, September 20, 2013- ANDREW RAFACZ opens the fall 2013 season with A Claw for an Eye, new sculpture, collage, painting, and installation by Pepe Mar. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. It continues through Saturday, November 9, 2013. PLEASE NOTE WE WILL OPEN WITH AN ARTIST’S RECEPTION ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 6-8PM.

Furthering his interest in fashion, shopping, and outsider culture, Pepe Mar employs a multimedia approach to collecting and arranging the heteroglossia of contemporary daily life into something wholly his own. Spending his younger years in the border town of Reynosa, Mexico, the artist would often travel stateside to shop, collecting items from craft stores. This early experience has continued to be elemental to his process, using both hieratic and demotic objects and images in his art making. His collages of found images from pop culture magazines and other sources, paint and wood in shadowboxes are presented as the centerpiece works in this exhibition. They evoke a voracious appetite for the bandwidth of the visual and the bombardment of information that is unique to our contemporary life. The result is a multitude of intersecting, potential mythologies that seem to simultaneously exist in relationship to history but also operate outside of it. This counterpoint of a general totality and a personal intimacy of seeing is critical to the power of Mar’s work.

The title of the exhibition reminds one again of Balzac’s notion of ‘gastronomy of the eye.’ The visual experience has its own wanton appetite, unrestricted, when let loose in our quotidian world. Mar’s aim is to saunter in this ubiquitous field, over and over, collecting the richest details.

In typical fashion for the artist, Mar presents shadow boxes of three-dimensional collages, shelf-based wall installations of paint, bronze and ceramic objects, and cast bronze sculptures. His interdisciplinary approach to making has a direct affinity with the imagery he collects. Moving in vast, sometimes disparate directions, his final objects are personal and deeply connected to one another.

PEPE MAR (b. Mexico, 1977) lives and works in Miami, FL 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). He recently completed 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. He has had four solo exhibitions at David Castillo Gallery, Miami, where he is represented. This is his first solo exhibition in Chicago and with the gallery.