Mario Marzán

Mario Marzan

Installation | Durham

The North Carolina Arts Council supports diverse and innovative artists with fellowships professional development and more to enhance the state’s brand and drive economic impact.

Mario Marzán is an interdisciplinary artist whose work includes drawing, video, sculpture, performance, and installation. His works explore topics such as migratory aesthetics, walking as an aesthetic practice, the study of landscapes in relation to individual identities and histories, and the expanding field of pilgrimage studies.

Walking and actively engaging with the natural environment are major components of his creative process.  His interest in the continually shifting and evolving landscape and our relationship to place are recurring themes in his body of work. Many of his pieces are inspired by his birthplace and childhood home, Puerto Rico. He describes how “the shifting landscapes of the island, be they political, economic, or ecological, are thrown into relief by tides of environmental degradation, political exploitation, and economic upheaval. Historical transitions are often rendered as dystopian: the people and the land vulnerable subjects to natural disaster, corruption, and the abuses of global capital. Puerto Rico bears this history in the physical terrain; it is inscribed on the land just as it is in the minds of its people.” His works encourage viewers to consider topography as a mode of language and to contemplate the relationship and complexities of identity and place.

Mario Marzán is a 2018-2019 N.C. Arts Council Fellowship recipient. He has exhibited his work nationally at venues such as The Drawing Center in New York, Seattle Center on Contemporary Art, Circuit 12 Contemporary in Dallas, and the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro. He has achieved numerous awards including a National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures artist grant (2011) and two Emerging Artist Grants from the Durham Arts Council (2007 and 2011). He received his M.F.A in Studio Art from Carnegie Mellon University. He is currently Associate Professor of Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and lives in Durham.