Mario Vélez (b. 1968) was born in Colombia and is now based in Medellín. Velez studied at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellín in 1994. During his undergraduate degree, he was took part in the studio programme in painting at the Hochschule fur Angewandte Kunst in Vienna. After graduating, he returned to Europe for a master class with Karl Horst Hodicke at the Hochschule der Kunst in Berlin (1997). Vélez works in a variety of mediums, including painting, drawing, and sculpture. Vélez builds on the paradigm established by early Latin American abstractionists, who synthesized elements from indigenous and modernist art to create a new, post-colonial visual lexicon that transcends temporal and cultural barriers. In his unruly yet geometric shapes, the artist refers to the natural world and Latin American visual culture, while simultaneously evoking a contemporary feel.
Mario Vélez’s work has been exhibited worldwide, and he has participated in numerous exhibitions every year since 1994. His work is included in museum collections in South America, North America, and Europe, including that of the Museo de Arte Moderno in Bogotá and the Museum of Latin American Art in Los Angeles. His paintings are also in the collections of prestigious private and corporate clientele, including that of UBS Switzerland and the Sultan of Oman. He recently exhibited at the Gallery Elena Shchukina in collaboration with Ministry of Nomads in 2016.