Carlos Mare aka Mare139
New York, New York
Mare is a NYC based sculptor/ painter/ scholar/ US Cultural Ambassador who in 1985
pioneered a novel version of urban graffiti as modern sculpture.
Throughout his career as a sculptor, Mare has consistently brought innovation to the genre’s
aesthetic and vocabulary.
His metal sculptures are inspired by his interests of form, light, space in an architectural
environment. His admiration of early avant-garde art and sculpture inspired the merging of
aesthetics between ‘graffiti’ styles and the modernists of the early 20th century.
As a member of the golden age of subway graffiti (1975–1985), he painted under the moniker
"Mare" which was short for "Nightmare".
He wrote alongside many of the style masters of his generation among them Kel First, Dondi
White, Crash, Kase2, Noc167 and others.
This tutelage along with his interest in modernizing the art form lead his interests to
contemporary art as a vehicle to re-interpret the concepts and aesthetic of style writing.
As a sculptor, Carlos Mare139 Rodriguez's breakthrough was with the metal "K" sculpture in
This led to a series of large-scale sculptures that were true to graffiti lettering format, but
peeled and folded into space. By 1986, the sculptures departed from the common vernacular
of writing to the more complex study Constructivist, Cubist and Futurist ideas, but yet retained
its initial feel of graffiti-style writing.
His sculptures have been exhibited internationally.
Rodriguez also designed and created the award for the annual BET/Black Entertainment
Awards show, which is given to entertainers, athletes and actors.
In 2009, Rodriguez did re-skin his first building using his unique sculptural talents.
Works of Rodriguez (as "Mare 139") were included in the 2010 "Art in the Streets" exhibition of
graffiti and street art at MOCA in Los Angeles.
Rodriguez also lectures and writes about the evolution and history of urban art in New York
City, where he lives.