Pepe Mar

Locust Projects
3852 North Miami Avenue
November 18–January 20

View of “Pepe Mar: Man of the Night,” 2017.

In this modestly sized project gallery, Miami-based artist Pepe Mar manages to present a survey of colorful assemblages and collages made over the last fifteen years as well as new work. The past and present blur here. Mar’s approach to this compilation is not straightforward: He has digitally reconstructed images of his previous pieces and printed them onto large, irregular pieces of fabric that were then stitched together, stained, and often appliquéd. The overall composition becomes the installation’s walls, from which pipelike forms, also covered in fabric, intertwine and spill out onto the floor.

The installation Man of the Night, 2017, veers between evoking nostalgia and eagerness for an incipient future—and not just in the context of Mar’s practice. For instance, strewn throughout the installation are ephemera such as a flyer found in the collage Post no bills, 2017, from parties at queer clubs in San Francisco and Miami that the artist frequented. For Mar, these were sanctuaries, many of which are no longer around. His installation effectively brings into being a material world that embodies the camaraderie he felt in those sites.

The lack of space to amble in the galley nudges viewers into the aforementioned soft sculptural forms, and in this way, they find themselves drawn into the installation and, by extension, the artist’s world. Even a lone person here is hardly isolated.

— Alpesh Kantilal Patel