Mars Ibarreche 'Outsiders' July 20 → August 31, 2023 Pasadena
Simchowitz is pleased to present Outsiders, the gallery’s first solo show of works by Mars Ibarreche. Born on the beaches of Florida, raised in New York City and adopted by the City of Angels, Mars has lived a life of constant creativity, even when their work goes beyond the confines of the gallery or what is strictly defined as art. For much of the past twenty years, first while living in New York and working with the clothing company A.P.C, and more recently as a designer themselves (formerly under Amber Ibarreche), they have developed a unique aesthetic, one that combines tenderness, sensuality, and humor, with a street/punk intensity and darkness—not just in painting and collage, but via poetry, murals, and clothing.
Their exhibition, Outsiders, features an array of new artworks. Their work on wood panels exploit the medium of collage effectively, using elements discovered while walking the streets of LA or riding their BMX through back alleys. This gives the work the feel of street art, but the words and phrases used tend to give them a camouflage of shiny optimism (“Time for You, “Love When You,” “You You You A Phenomenon”). For Mars the work’s personal and positive address doesn’t always mean outright optimism. “To have a light thought you also have to have a dark one,” they explain. “That’s kind of how I come up with the phrases, by countering some of the dark thoughts that I’m thinking of.”
This idea becomes all the more evident in Mars’ large oil paintings, which are often composed and quick intuitive gestures straight from their subconscious. Some are composed of intense black scribbles—like a deeply disturbed Cy Twombly—while others are decidedly more joyous and sensuous—where delicate layers of oil paint intertwine and converge like a more street-savvy Gerhard Richter. Mars admits that “some of the paintings come from a place of pain or darkness,” but they can also come from a tender and playful place—as perhaps best seen in their basketball paintings, which were composed entirely out of rolling a painted basketball on canvas. For Mars, who often plays basketball, they tend to convey their favorite aspect of art making—texture. “I try to convey the tangible in everything,” they say, “in the collages, the paintings and even the clothes.” Outsiders is Mars’ first solo gallery show.