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2 December 2021 – 12 February 2022

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Portals 32 (2021) & Portals event poster 


Mareo Rodriguez - Portals


Along with vertigo, under your feet, you will find an eternal space, vast, difficult to access but real ... something exists at the bottom of this place. Nature always surprises and these cracks that seem to abound in the desert and in the mountains, how can they have a place in a world as saturated, rational and concrete as ours?


The cracks are not, only, of earthly domain, also in the immensity of the sea they appear in the form of infinite abysses, and demonstrate -as in romanticism-, the impotence of the human being in the face of the immensity of nature. And it is these places, to which the human being has never arrived, those that appear as metaphors of our unconscious, that unexplored space of the mind that has cracks, or rather, fractures that are forming the personality of the individual and that appear in the most complex moments of life, as defense mechanisms or as an invitation to madness, how much do we know about our internal world? How much of what surrounds us?


As Mareo says, a crack can also be: "that fracture that creates a tension between two sides that seem to approach and move away at the same time", can be understood as a constant force of repulsion and attraction, as an uninhabitable, endless space, so natural in the battle of opposites that it can be understood as a space defined by the denial of its existence, to the point that it can be a reflection of nothing. As if it were a tribute by opposition, Mareo's works recall that need to fill that Void, which at some point terrified the world, the horror vacui, which shaped the Baroque and the saturation of images.


It is that these cracks can be an invitation to constant reflection, they can invite us to discover possible worlds, as Baumgarten pointed out about art in general. They are an invitation to live sublime experiences, both from the natural and from the being.


Nature is the main motivation for Mareo's work, probably this is the reason for the intense light work, whose technique is reminiscent of chiaroscuro, but this time with monochrome and without images, with a strong contrast constantly highlighting white on black. 

Regardless of the technique, be it sculpture or painting, his work is located on the space, appropriating every inch and impacting through the reduction of color. In this way he manages to focus attention, without distraction, on this invitation to imagine what the abyss brings before us.


"Portals" is presented as a reflection on space, on the possibility of knowing new worlds in the face of that feeling of eternal emptiness, that feeling of uncertainty that, among other things, the pandemic brought to the collective memory in a fresh way and that it is present in our daily events. It is a way of standing in front of the abyss; before infinite possibilities.

Text by Elisa Massardo

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Mareo Rodriguez


(Mexico City, 1981)

Born in Mexico City, Mareo Rodriguez is a Colombian artist, raised in Medellin, Colombia, and currently based in Barcelona, Spain. In 2004 he graduated in Architecture at U.P.B, Medellin, Colombia followed by a Fine Art course at Bournemouth Arts Institute, UK, in 2006. In 2007 he received a Master in Design, ELISAVA, Barcelona, Spain and in 2013 a Master in Fine Arts, UNA, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

His work explores the strength of the topography and natural territory, conceived as an energy living mantle constantly moving; Epidermal stratification wrought by time, with a telluric language emerging, pressing, gravitating, revealing through the landscape. He seeks to cover different scales within his artistic approach, from the massiveness of the mountains and rocks, through its decanting process and fragmentation up to the stone as the basic unit. He is interested in the matter as condensation of light and its process of transformation and expansion of energy over time, releasing weight to return to the origin.

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