Mark Barretto (b. Philippines) currently lives in Toronto, Canada. Also known for his works in the streets as Defs, making his mark since the mid-2000s from then Manila’s early graffiti and street art scene.
His paintings, installations, and other works, are largely influenced by street culture and contemporary urban conditions, mostly seen in a build-up of images lifted from things he finds around, showing distinct attributes that identify his surroundings. He takes inspiration from places where he is currently at and reflects his views on unfamiliarity, identity, and adaptation relating to his experiences as a migrant moving to the Middle East in 2007, assimilating present influences and occurrences that shaped his works.
He has been part of international exhibitions and art events in America, Mexico, Germany, Belgium, Italy, venues such as The Cultural Center of the Philippines, The Metropolitan Museum, Lopez Museum, Ronac Art Center in Manila, Massachusetts Museum Of Contemporary Art in the US, Insa Art Center in Seoul, Korea, Abu Dhabi Art Hub, Tashkeel, Alserkal Avenue, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre in the UAE.
In 2016 his work was represented in ART DUBAI, a leading international art fair in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia under the Marker Programme. He is one of the headliners for SIKKA Art Fair 2017 and 2018, an initiative by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, invited to Sasaran International Art Festival 2017 in Malaysia, and one of the exhibiting artists at the Clubhouse - HKwalls Festival 2019 in Hong Kong.