In conversation with Maria Abramenko for Nasty Magazine

I have read that your work is about matter and light, what else is there?

All my artwork is a tribute to nature, expressed in the abstraction and synthesis of the landscape; there is also a spiritual search, constant aspects like “Matter” related to this material and physical plane and “Light” related to the ethereal and search for the sacred. Concepts such as expansion, frequencies, gravity, the movements of the mantles and waves, all this is part of my understanding of the mineral kingdom and the connection with the cosmos. My installations complete my body of work and were born as a necessity to express and potentiate concepts and thoughts beyond of the pictorial, of immersing the spectator in an experience spatial and sensory where they prevail volume insertion geometric clearly defined in contrast with organic forms; the concepts of balance and duality between light and matter, contrasts of different materials and scales as well as recurring concepts throughout the work. Some of these installations are physically made, others remain in the conceptual project phase waiting to be materialized and experienced. I conceive my work as a laboratory in constant exploration, in which the different languages and techniques seek to communicate the strength, energy and vitality of the natural territory.

In one of your installations I have also found some references of Joy Division’s (Unknown Pleasures) masterpiece album cover? Am I right? How much does your musical background influence your art?

Yes, one of my series of sculptures called “Frequencies” started with a tribute piece to Joy Division’s cover album.
The frequency series is also the result of an investigation about the earth’s telluric language caused by the movements and shocks of energy in the tectonic plates; drawing a sound spectrum that could resemble an electrocardiogram with different wavelengths. I am interested in music, as I am interested in sounds, vibrations, frequencies, and the emotions they can generate in people; as Walter Russell said: “The Universe exists solely of waves of motion. There exists nothing other than vibration.

How and when did you begin your artistic career?

All my life I’ve been surrounded by a studio as my mother had one, so I was raised immersed in spaces of creation, clay, casts, paintings, fabrics. I started to create very early, and was rolled in different academies. Then I got a bachelor degree in Architecture in Colombia. But I could say that professionally I started my career in 2013 when I decided to go to Buenos Aires, Arg to make a master in Fine Arts; afterwards I came to Spain in 2014 and opened my own studio.

Would you describe yourself as a minimalist and who are the artists of your references and inspiration?

I don´t like tags but Yes I could say that I am part of the abstraction and reductive way to take the essence of an idea and materialize it. I have a lot of inspiring artists such as Richard Serra, Olafur Eliasson, Richard Long, Anish Kapoor, Pierre Soulages, Carlos Cruz Diez, Jesus Rafael Soto among others, but definitely in the contact with nature I find my best way to get inspired.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am always exploring new techniques and changing between sculpture and painting as I get bored doing the same thing for a long period of time, currently I am taking up a painting series started 7 years ago called “Desert Skins”. Explores the vision of the earth´s dermis as a living and latent surface, which folds, expands, wrinkles and erodes; geological stratification wrought by time which layers leave traces, scars and cracks, expressing our connection to earth and evidencing the fragility of that relationship. I am also developing my series “Stones” where it represents the basic unit of the fragmentation of the rocks and mineral kingdom, as a tribute and testimony of its existence, memory and energy content on each stone. The matter in its constant process of transformation. Traces of real rocks found in different locations of the world are taken for the manufacture of this serie, taking out a cast in resins and fiberglass, for their subsequent fabrication and final paint finishes in the studio.






The Earth, a layer of soil that sustains us and binds us as if we were inseparable. It is what gives us life and supports us in our journey, and it is also the basis of Mareo Rodríguez’s work. In his pieces, he thoroughly explores the topography and the natural territory, spaces that are conceived as a mantle of energy that is alive and constantly moving. In Mareo’s own words, it is a “superficial stratification sculpted through time, with a terrestrial language that emerges, beats and creates different tensions revealed in the landscape.” Painting, that old technique that had led men to create since the dawn of time, is also one of the tools Mareo Rodríguez uses to create.


His work brings forwards monochromatic pieces with a roughness so effortless that they resemble landscape photographs. The interplay between light and shadows breathes life to their two-dimensional nature and strengthens the message about the Earth’s surface. Black, gray, gold and white hues fill the space of the canvas in each of his pieces. Perhaps this interplay of the two dimensions is what led the artist to explore with sculpture, recreating the reliefs and depressions in the Earth’s surface with volume. With the same color spectrum as his paintings, Mareo is capable of capturing the shapes in nature, grasping only the projections of height, the geometric shapes and complexity of the surface to create clean, elegant and self-sufficient pieces. As if this were but a small feat, the tribute he pays to the Earth is so lively that his sculptures later became installations. His identity, as if the pieces had his signature visually tattooed, is repeated through his color palette.


Large scale installations complete Mareo’s body of work. Halls are completely filled with elongated sculptures that represent valleys, hills and the real spaces his work undeniable alludes to. Complex sculptures remind us of the environment, of the rocks and spaces were elevations and depressions meet. The vastness of his work is such that it is nod to romanticism in the sense it alludes to the grandeur of nature in comparison to the individual. How could we not remember Caspar Friedrich’s work and the vast sea in front of a single man? How could we not, when we are faced with a large structure as a metaphor to mountains, rocks and all the nature that surrounds us? “I aim to encompass different scales in my artistic proposal, from the massiveness of mountains and rocks, their decantation and fragmentation process until arriving at a single rock as a basic unit,” Mareo explains. He also addresses the condensation of light into matter, as well as its fragmentation process as fundamental elements in his work, especially due to the transformation and expansion of energy in time.

Elisa Massardo

Editor and curator



Paris, France

  • First of all, how did you become an artist ?


The fascination about creation, and art as a language of communication has always been with me since my early years of life,  my mother discover the talent since I was a child and roll me in classes of different techniques as watercolor, oil and sculpture.

I think my first approach with installations comes from my years as an architect and interior designer; I quit my 12 years career of architecture to become what I´ve always been.



  • You seem very inspired by Minismalism. Don’t you ?

 Since I´ve studied Architecture, the minimalism has always been present, I learned in the university to synthetize, to reduce to the minimum aspect of the design, do the more with the less. Is a concept that I ´ve carried all this years in my practice; however I don´t seek to fit in a particular movement of art, or in a trendy style;  I rather the timeless and universal language as a testimony of the particular time we live.



  • In your work, matter is stretched, compressed, creased, suspended…. In one word, tested. What’s the point of that reflexion ?


All my artwork is a tribute to nature, expressed in the abstraction and synthesis of the landscape; there is also a spiritual search, constant aspects like “Matter” related to this material and physical plane and “Light” related to the ethereal and search for the sacred.

Concepts as expansion, frequencies, gravity, the movements of the mantles and waves, all this is part of my understanding of the mineral kingdom and the connection with the cosmos.


  • This reflexion is even more obvious in your installations. Is it then a way to confront material with space ?


My approach to art has a lot of influence of how I faced an architectural project, I think every project is different and singular, so I try to think about the space where is going to be inserted and how is going to be related with it, so the piece of art can dialogue and communicate. The material is also part of the same process of thinking in the context, the history of the place where is going to be located, and also the resources designated to the project, and every material is a whole universe, so is a combination of many factors that determines the design of the installations.


  • About the spectator, how should he feel in front of your installations ? What is his role ?

The view and perception of the viewer completes the artwork in the sense that they give a proportion, scale, interacting with piece, and feeling it; the more interpretations and feeling they come up with the installations the better; for me Art doesn´t need to be explained, but it does has to transmit and communicate.



  • How do you comprehend the space of the museum and the gallery ? Does it rather enclose or emphasize your work ?


I try to study well the space before making a project, aspects in the museum or galleries like lighting, materials, proportions are decisive to make a good proposal, so the artwork can breathe and dialogue properly.


  • Many artists use color as a powerful way of expression. You don’t. Is the light of your artworks used for replacing this lack of color ?

I use color in a very reduced palette, when I use it is because I need to transmit something with it, not just as a decorative aspect, I rather use it as an element to reinforce a concept. Certainly black and white are my favorite colors, you can´t reduce them anymore, they contain the essential.


  • La Perle deals with french cultural actuality. What is your vision of french art as a spanish artist ?

I am Colombian, based in Barcelona. France has always been one of the places to look for art in many periods of humanity, one of my favorite artist is French, Pierre Soulages, who has one of my favorite quotes: “ Black is a luminous color”.


  • To you, how does contemporary art look like in people’s mind and public opinion ?

I think more and more the people in general have a better approach to conemporary art, specially with the installations where they can interact; also, the big use of the smarthphone and social media makes the art more democratic and accessible to the public, at least through a screen.







His work is filled with the grittiness of natural territory: mountains, rocks, waveforms and lava. Nature is his biggest inspiration. He says: ’Matter is light condensed.’ Referring to matter as a process of transformation and expansion of energy over time.

His work is constantly moving like a tectonic plate and depicts beautiful earthforces.

LINK:  https://www.x-is-y.com/contact/





  • Where does your interest for topography come from ?

 My firts approach to topography comes from the city I grew up, Medellin, which is a Valley surrounded by mountains, afterwards working as an architect I had to deal with topographic plans.

  • Your approach conveys a telluric vocabulary, is there a symbolic aspect

behind ? What is your gaze towards this ?

 My works is related to nature, and I seek to cover different aspects, from the stone as the basic unit in fractal scale of the universe, untul mountains, rocks, and telluric forces is the language of that mineral reign.

  • In which way, natural territory occurs as a living entity through your

work ?

In  Nature everything is related, so I try to express our connection with our mother earth that is not an entity appart from us, is part of us, is also a call to respect and value it more.

  • Your artistic approach is kind of divided into two axes or two mediums,

paintings and sculputres. What each of them allows you to embody/ state ?

 Yes, each technique is a new language and way of expression to talk about the same speech, let’s say my artwork is a laboratory where I am constantly playing and researching with new materials and methods,  that allows me to express in different ways and touch different points of sensitivity in the viewer.

  • Also there is an ambivalence as paintings appear to depict  fluid landscapes while sculptures seem more constant/solid in a way. Is that really revelant in your approach or is it something different ?


 Let’s say painting is a more organic and emotional proccess , sculpture are more rational and geometric, somehow the architect side speaks in the 3D approach, although I m currently working on a new serie of sculptures very organic and fluid.

  • However, both axes seem to find a common way through their contrast between light and darkness. Could you describe your process/ vision about it ?


 I went through the path of art as a neccesity to heal and to find a spiritual way to connect with myself and the universe; we all have Light and darkness inside, and there is the eternal struggle between them; one exists because the other; I am tryng to find the balance.

Also darknes or matter refers to this material living plane, ligth is related to the eter and spiritual state.


  • What about the combination of materials within your scuptures ?

 Depending on the concept or idea I need to express I look for the elements to materialize it.


  • We notice a strong interest for materiality in your approach as your work deals with the invasive and huge aspect of elements but also with it's reduced aspect. Could you tell us more about this consideration ?


 I am very curious about the elements in nature and how different and complementary they are.

  • What would be your dream place to exhibit your work (institution,

natural environment, it can be anything) ?

 Natural environmet is always a great place to comunicate, is where my art speaks with more freedom I think.

Obviously the intimacy of a museum or institution is something that atracts me aswell.

But in any case in silence is where my art

Can breathe and speaks clearly.

  • What is your definition of Art ? (starting the sentence by « Art is … »)

 Communication, meditation, therapy, legacy of our existence.




Por: Rubén Alves

Crítico de Arte


La obra de Mareo Rodríguez es orgánica. Sus tramas evocan paisajes de otros tiempos, tal vez un efecto nostálgico en su pasado entre la memoria y el olvido. La naturaleza, la materia y la inmaterialidad y el paso del tiempo dejan su huella en relieves y volúmenes que el artista utiliza hábilmente para articular el presente.
Cuando uno contempla su trabajo, percibe el poder plástico ejercido por el color negro latente en muchas de sus composiciones. El negro y su poder metafórico asociado con el dolor, la muerte y el duelo adquieren una nueva connotación en su producción. Cuando Kasimir Malevich presentó su Plaza Negra en 1915, afirmó que su trabajo no era una imitación de la realidad sino una realidad en sí misma. Con eso enfatizó la idea de que su trabajo no era una demostración de habilidad, sino la materialización de una idea y que la materialización es lo que busca Mareo. Su negro ilumina, atrae y capta la atención del espectador en un viaje que evoca la introspección personal. Al observar sus obras, nos invitan a reflexionar sobre el componente espiritual que rodea cada una de nuestras acciones diarias. Su determinación de explorar la relación entre la materia y el paso del tiempo se traduce en trazos y trazos sueltos que nos recuerdan a la lava volcánica. Una lava que se nos revela como una fuerza primordial, como creadora y destructora de todo lo que es orgánico y nos anima a reflexionar sobre la fragilidad del ser humano.
Mareo juega con una dicotomía cromática constante en su producción artística. Siempre buscando un equilibrio espiritual, combina, juega y se expresa a través de tonos sólidos y fuertes. Su universo está compuesto de blancos inmaculados, negros puros y reflejos dorados. Luces y sombras como forma de expresión intercaladas con ráfagas doradas que iluminan y completan las obras. El oro es insinuado como una metáfora de la alquimia y el poder de la transmutación de la materia. Su lucha por lograr el equilibrio espiritual se refleja en estas combinaciones: una búsqueda incesante de la representación artística de la naturaleza y, en última instancia, de sí mismo. Las frecuencias y los mantos revelan su ansiedad por estudiar e intentar descifrar la relación entre lo orgánico y la geometría como pilares para comprender la naturaleza. El mareo profundiza en una de las obsesiones de todo ser humano que no es más que el deseo de controlar la naturaleza, el personal y eso, irónicamente, es inalcanzable porque su condición intrínseca es ingobernable. Su trabajo no permanece estático, sino que se percibe como un vínculo adecuado y coherente en su evolución personal y artística.




Mario Rodríguez, Mareo, es un arquitecto y artista visual nacido en la Ciudad de México en 1981; creció en Medellín, Colombia y actualmente radica en Barcelona. Su obra es una mirada a la materia, a la topografía y al territorio natural concebido como un ser vivo, latente y en constante movimiento; construcción epidérmica labrada y desgastada por el tiempo, con un ritmo y un lenguaje telúrico propio, que emerge, pulsa, gravita y genera diferentes tensiones revelándose a través del paisaje.

Respecto al arte, el artista cree que “Es un lenguaje y una vía de comunicación directa con la fuente superior; el artista entonces no es más que un canal para materializar, transmitir ese mensaje y tocar almas”.

Existen dos ejes proyectuales dentro de su proceso de creación: la pintura responde a un método más orgánico, subconsciente y expresivo, donde el acrílico acuoso se desliza rápidamente con la espátula entre veladuras y texturas, revelando paisajes no preconcebidos; como contraparte, sus esculturas responden a un proceso de trabajo más racional y geométrico en el que maderas, metales, poliestireno y resinas sirven como medio para plasmar abstracciones de pliegues, montañas y topografías emergentes.

LINK:  http://lomalinda.com.mx/mareo-rodriguez/



Por: Anna García 

Curadora de Arte


Expansión, del latín expansĭo, es la acción y efecto de extenderse o dilatarse.

Una de sus primeras lecturas, relaciona la expansión con el crecimiento territorial.

En este caso hablamos del crecimiento de Mareo en su estilo pictórico que evoluciona,

materializando espacios calibrados en relación con la expansión de su conciencia,

depurando su técnica, en la que el equilibrio entre el pigmento claro y oscuro,

la luz representada en ocasiones con el dorado en contraposición con la materia, lo efímero y lo eterno,  el silencio y el ruido, el movimiento visceral orgánico y la línea racional geométrica están siempre presentes.

Mareo parte de geometrías que le sirven para entender el universo, delimitando así su

territorio natural, su unión entre el cielo y la tierra, en una constate búsqueda de lo sublime

y de lo espiritual como su manera de conectar con el todo.



Por: Andrés Aguilar

Fotógrafo y crítico de Arte


La conciencia se expande, el equilibrio es una vibración que se desprende del vacío y la materia, lo efímero se equilibra con lo eterno y todo al final es parte de la composición de una obra, de un espacio dedicado a crear un universo.

La obra de Mareo Rodríguez se compone de materia, de un reconocimiento permanente sobre el territorio y el paisaje, con interpretaciones muy espirituales de su visión del mundo. 


LINK:  http://barcelona.lecool.com/event/expansion-mareo-rodriguez/ 


Por: Andrés Aguilar

Fotógrafo y crítico de Arte

The work of Mareo Rodríguez is silent and with an intense vibration that accompanies his work, in which the balance of his antagonisms beats waves of images, colors and lines, transforming his scenery into palpitations.

His work Expansión, is the evolution of that space that Mareo has expanded in his worlds, with series where landscapes are stages, in which the being finds itself in its most empty, ephemeral moment, but at the same time, more real and human.

LINK:  http://polaroidoftheday.com/mareo-rodriguez-expansion/




Por: Lucrecia Piedrahita

Curadora de Arte


Sus pinturas negras redescubren los espacios calibrados en pesos visuales y simetrías de masas que redefinen las relaciones de llenos y vacíos. Paisajes de menhires sólidos, atmósferas de claroscuro, sucesión de infinitos, ausencias y oposición de espacios, sitios y lugares reestructuran constantemente los planos compositivos y la condensación cromática de negro, gris y blanco para subrayar la reciprocidad atmosférica.

El artista da cuenta de las tensiones entre los esquemas elementales de los espacios vacíos y sus cualidades transitorias en la gravitación de la materia, los paisajes contenidos y las relaciones entre figura y fondo.

“Experimentamos el sentimiento de que el aire en esos lugares encierra una espesura de silencio, que en la oscuridad reina una serenidad eternamente inalterable” Tanizaki.



Por: Bill Jimenez 


“Scapes”, recupera los temas que han caracterizado a la producción de Mareo Rodríguez desde sus inicios: el terreno y sus orografías, así como las conexiones emocionales e intelectuales que se desarrollan a partir de sus rígidas y, no por ello cambiantes, formas. “Scapes” surge de la palabra landscapes y juega con un interesante doble sentido. “Es un juego de palabras vinculado al paisaje, pero también habla de escapes, de la huida que para mí es el arte. Habla de su significado más allá de las ideologías. Una vía de escape a través de los mundos interiores que construimos.

"El paisaje es aquí algo más que un territorio, también es un estado emocional, un lugar contemplativo”.

Contemplación que remite al romanticismo de Caspar David Friedrich, donde el paisaje como objeto adquiere connotaciones sublimes y establece intensos diálogos con el observador. En su caso, más que a las preocupaciones románticas, “Scapes” apunta a la estética de Hiroshi Sugimoto, el fotógrafo japonés.

“Scapes” es “una serie monocromática, donde el blanco y el negro me permite tratar la dualidad entre luz y oscuridad, así como la lucha que se establece entre ellas.

El monocromo es un acercamiento que ya hice anteriormente con el objetivo de eliminar distracciones, que los sentidos no solo fueran a la forma, también a la esencia. El blanco y negro aporta aquí una dimensión atemporal”.

Otra de las influencias en torno a “Scapes” es “El elogio de la sombra” de Junichiro Tanizaki, en donde también “se habla mucho de los silencios y su relación con la sombra. Solemos temerla y tendemos a buscar la luz, pero en esencia, no dejan de ser lo mismo. Una no puede existir sin la otra. Encuentro mucha belleza en la oscuridad, de ahí que mis obras tengan un componente nocturno. Casi todas están pintadas sobre una base negra que, progresivamente, he ido iluminando”.

Aparte de la inspiración proporcionada por Tanizaki y Sugimoto, “Scapes” continua el trabajo iniciado en la serie “Estamos hechos polvo” que habla del desgaste de la materia y como el plano material, el plano terrenal en el que nos encontramos, caracterizado por su peso, se va liberando poco a poco de esa materialidad hasta volverse etéreo.”

LINK:  http://www.underdogs.es/entrevista-mareo-rodriguez/


2010 - present

2010 - present