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The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU opens "Tesoro: Pepe Mar's Love Letter to the Frost"
Installation view. Photography by Vince Rives, Courtesy Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU.

MIAMI, FLA.- This Miami Art Week Frost Art Museum FIU presents a new exhibition “Tesoro: Pepe Mar’s Love Letter to the Frost.” In Tesoro, Pepe Mar—an artist who marries a broad range of visual references and personal obsessions spanning art, fashion, queer history, and Mexican culture—has created an installation drawn from the Frost Art Museum’s collection. Mar envisions the Museum’s permanent collection of art from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe, as special treasures and presents them as gifts to the public.

“I wanted to make a collage of the collection as an extension of my artistic practice to create new definitions for the objects on view and encourage unexpected connections throughout the installation,” reflected Mar.

Organized visually across thematic chapters such as Theatre of the City; Mirror, Mirror; Procession; and Cabinet of Curiosities, Tesoro’s highlights include masks, ceramics, and paintings by René Portocarrero, Manuel Mendive, Thornton Dial, and Purvis Young, alongside select loans by artists such as Pawel Althamer and Anna Betbeze.

“A singular canon of art history is, by definition, exclusionary, and reflective of the social, political, and economic biases of a privileged few. I have winnowed through the museum’s collection and proposed an alternative narrative, one in which I focus on art made by artists of color, self-taught artists, LGBTQ artists, non-Western artists, and others regularly excluded from the dominant narratives of art history. I present this art in tandem with work that would more comfortably fit the established canon,” added Mar.

An FIU alumnus who has been living and working in Miami for the past twenty years, Pepe Mar’s recent solo exhibitions include presentations at the Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art in Pittsburgh and Locust Projects in Miami. He received his MFA from Florida International University and his BFA from the California College of the Arts.

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