Mare 139 is one of the Living Legends of our culture, the epitome of what our culture is capable of. His place in history spans longer than most, there are only a handful of artists that can say that they were there during the beginning and that they are still evolving our art form. Mare is a contemporary modernist who not only is a backbone of our traditional history. Mare is also pushing the boundaries of our art form in fine art through sculpture and his drawings. It was good to see that 12oz had posted an interview and studio visit with the artist. Here is one of the questions below.


Being around trains and putting work on metal, it makes sense that you are designing the metal to form graffiti now. But since your origins on paper and trains in the 70’s and 80’s how did you begin sculpting with metals?

Sculpting graffiti letters grew out of two central issues with me, the first being that during the early 80s we were making the transition from trains to galleries and I saw that my peers started to delineate from traditional graffiti aesthetic- Wild Style in particular so I took that as an front to the culture and I saw an opportunity to respond by creating sculpture in full scale letters using traditional Wild Style and spray paint. To me when I realized this potential in 1985 I saw deeper into the aesthetics of this language, that we were in fact eluding to 3-D space since the 70’s, whether by using drop shadows, 3Ds or arrows piercing letters. I should also point out that when I was a student at the High School of Art and Design I was a fashion design major and I was exploring constructed shapes on forms, this was in 1983 so it was somehow already in my psyche.

Full feature here.