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Mod Cárdenas (born Guatemala 1982) is a contemporary visual artist and pioneer of Guatemalan street art. His geometric yet gestural works that teeter between the abstract and the figurative have evolved from the street to the galleries, overcoming the perceived boundaries between urban and fine art.  He calls himself an optical abstractionist and figurative illusionist, working across painting, sculpture, and public installation.


Cárdenas grew up under the long shadow cast by the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-96), where authentic expression was often discouraged. In art, he discovered a powerful honest voice. Drawing on the punk philosophies of DIY, he dedicated his youth to acquiring creative skills that enabled him to speak his truths without fear. While a self-taught artist, he found a way to study alongside the Guatemalan art masters, working in a diverse range of mediums including painting, drawing, and sculpture. Cardenas cemented his artistic legacy in the 1990s as his work helped shift perception about art appearing on the city streets. Working anonymously for almost 15 years, his work eventually gained recognition by the art world and greater public.


Alongside his art, Cardenas pursued a career in Clinical Psychology, that has informed his approach to the effect of color and form on the psyche. Today, he continues to grow and experiment with his practice, integrating new technologies such as 3-D printing.


Cardenas has exhibited extensively around the world with 13 solo exhibitions and more than 50 group shows, in addition to his murals and public art installations locally and abroad. His work has received numerous honors including the Highly Commended Award from SAP in Australia, Honorific Mention by Fundación Rozas Botrán in Guatemala, and a finalist position at GAA in Dubai. He was also recognized by the Finance Minister of Guatemala for his contribution to Guatemalan culture and by the Congress of the Guatemalan Republic for his impactful contributions and elevation of the art and culture produced in their country. His work is included in collections such as the Guatemalan National Congress Collection, the Luciano Benetton Collection in Italy, and the Fundación Rozas-Botrán Museum in Guatemala.

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Artist Statement

I create paintings, sculptures, drawings, and interventions that dissolve into abstract forms, optical illusions, and distortions of reality. Creating a coherent chaos out of our collective human unconscious.  I am drawn to the physical elements of architecture and space, how they interact with light and color, and the resonances of these elements with the human psyche.


Borrowing from the ancient Mayans of my region, I use plants and the earth to create pigments, combining these methods with those gained from my years of experience as a street artist– industrial paints and applications, spray paint and stencils, as well as construction materials–that grant the sense of freedom of expression and direct engagement with the urban space.


Informed by my background as a trained psychologist, it is important for me to use both ancient and modern materials as I explore the possibilities of abstraction as a way to tap into the universal human experience.


Solo exhibitions:

Pintura y escultura, Galería 77, Galería 77, Guatemala, 2022

Narrativa visual, La Galería, Fundación Rozas-Botrán, Guatemala, 2021

Expresiones alternas, Galería Panza Verde, Antigua Guatemala, 2021

Muestra Personal, Sala del Artista, Casa Santo Domingo, Antigua Guatemala, 2021

Muestra Personal, galería Quarentena, Chile, 2020 (Online)

Muestra Personal, El Convento, Antigua Guatemala, 2019

Percepción Alterna, Galería Alianza Francesa, Guatemala, 2019

Conexiones Universales, Galería Punto Cero, Guatemala 2018

Retrospectiva, Galería 77, Guatemala 2018

Visual Aesthetics, MBC, Guatemala 2018

Dualidad Intrínseca, Galería 77, Guatemala 2017

Recorrido, Galería Punto Cero, Guatemala 2017

Diálogo Urbano, Galería Fundación G&T Continental- Guatemala, 2016



Duo exhibitions:


Abstracciones, con artista SOFT, Casa Municipal, Guatemala 2016

Altos Contrastes, con artista Sandra Ariz, Yantra Studios – Guatemala, 2014




Florence Biennale, Artista Invitado, Italia 2019


Art fairs

Art Palm Beach, USA, 2022

Art Miami, Context, USA, 2021

Pinta, Miami, USA, 2020

Market Art + Design, Hamptons, USA 2018

Art Santa Fe - Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2018.

Art expo New York, NYC, USA 2018

Art Las Vegas, Las Vegas, USA 2018

Red Dot Art Fair, Miami, USA 2017

Art San Diego, San Diego USA 2017


Group exhibitions  (post 2014 *for earlier exhibitions please inquire)


Guest artist, Centro cultural, Taipei, Taiwan 2022


Juannio Subasta de fin de año, MUNAM, Guatemala, 2021

Museo UNIS, Ventanas del tiempo, Guatemala, 2021

Juannio Subasta de fin de año, MUNAM, Guatemala, 2021

Juannio Subasta, Guatemala, 2021

Arte en mayo, Fundación Rozas-Botrán, Guatemala, 2021

Juannio Subasta, Guatemala, 2020

Arte en mayo, Fundación Rozas Botrán, Guatemala, 2020

Festival 14, Guatemala, 2020

Juannio Subasta, Museo Arqueología, Guatemala, 2019

Arte en mayo, Fundación Rozas Botrán, Guatemala, 2019

Ecléctica, Fundación Rozas-Botrán. Guatemala 2019

11+, Museo Ixchel, Guatemala 2018

Julio bohemio, Museo Ixchel, Guatemala 2018

Arte en mayo, Fundacion Rozas-Botran, Guatemala 2018

Reflejos, West Palm Beach, USA 2017

Contemporaneo – La galería, Guatemala, 2017

Arte en Mayo, Fundación Rozas Botrán, Guatemala 2017

Pop Art, Galería 77, Guatemala 2017

Stencil Art Prize – Sydney, Australia 2016

FilmStudios, Miami, Florida, USA, 2016

Colectiva Junkabal, - Guatemala, 2016

Arte en mayo, Galeria Fundacion Rozas Botran, Guatemala 2016

Distrito Cultural Zona Viva- Guatemala, 2016

Colectiva Junkabal, - Guatemala, 2015

BIB Biennale WTC Suffolk University, Boston. 2015

Te Amo Te Odio, Galería Casa Municipal, Guatemala,2015

Distrito Cultural Zona Viva- Guatemala, 2015

Arte en mayo, Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno- Guatemala, 2015

Desvío, Galería Viva – Galería Fundación Rozas-Botrán, Guatemala, 2014

ART AUCTION, Un Caballo de Batalla – Fundación Rozas-Botrán, Guatemala, 2014

Antología – Galería Fundación Rozas-Botrán – Guatemala, 2014

Arte en mayo, Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno- Guatemala, 2014

Distrito Cultural Zona Viva – Guatemala, 2014



Selected commisions:

Mural, Streets levels Gallery, Florencia, Italia, 2019

Mural 50 mts, Ministerio de Finanzas, Municipalidad de Guatemala y Fundación GyT Continental, Guatemala, 2019

Neo mural – Fundación Rozas Botran, 2019

AVIA – Intervención de estructuras, Guatemala, 2019

Intervención de ventanal en Aeropuesto Internacional La Aurora, ciudad de Guatemala. 2018

Edficio Murano Center, Guatemala, Mural, 2018

Edificio Murano Center Guatemala, Mural, 2017

Centempo Investments, Miami, United States, Mural en edificio, 2016

Ciudad de Guatemala, Interbanco, Intervención sobre esculturas de metal, 2016

Intervención sobre estructura pública, Guatemala Capital Iberoamericana de la cultura, 2015

Ciudad de Guatemala, Mural para Edificio Topacio Azul, 2014



Printed publications and printed art catalogs

2021, Ventanas en el tiempo. Art from Central America, UNIS MUSEUM

2019, Florence Biennale, ISBN 9788849858921

2019, Arte en mayo 2019, Fundación Rozas-Botrán

2018, Arte en mayo 2018, Fundación Rozas-Botrán

2017, Mod Cardenas: Dualidad intrinseca, Galeria 77
2017, Arte en Mayo 2017, Fundación Rozas-Botrán
2016, Guatemala: Memory and timeless avant-garde, Luciano Benetton, ISBN 9788899657130
2016, Arte en Mayo 2016, Fundación Rozas-Botrán
2015, Entre Siglos: Arte contemporáneo de Centro América y Panamá, Fundación Rozas-Botran, ISBN 9789929406865
2015, Arte en Mayo 2015, Fundación Rozas-Botrán
2014, Arte en Mayo 2014, Fundación Rozas-Botrán
2013, Un caballo de batalla, Subasta de arte, Fundación Rozas-Botrán

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