photo cred ~ andarsawyers.com
I paint out of necessity. I am the byproduct of a close-knit, artistic family filled with architects, carpenters, designers, photographers, and artists. I consider myself 100% Latino - equally Colombian and American.
My art is rooted in the experience of becoming an immigrant - something I didn't want to imagine at 17 years - as Bogotá was all I knew. Being forever between two cultures has shaped my views and molded the themes of my pieces.
Throughout my art practice, I enjoy illustrating 'snapshots' of a peripatetic lifestyle — that of my own, which was focused on survival of the time (living undocumented) and of those I encountered along the way. Creating portraits of others who have defied the odds and/or were infamous or honorable in one life time often takes over my canvasses. A community’s history and roots are other themes that I enjoy learning about and painting.
My work is often full of unapologetic color and is a direct product of my expressed energy - meaning there are no sketches or previous drawings. I work solely from in-the-moment energy and I transfer what I see and feel on to the canvas. The urgency and pace I employ to materialize what I see is very real (to me). The rawness of my work exemplifies how my realities were never picture-perfect as the images I render are not either.
Nico Amortegui was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. He has lived and worked in the United States since the late 1990s. His current artistic foci include large-scale paintings on canvas or wood panels, sculpting and wood-working with found objects. He enjoys spending time in the ceramics studio and his elaborate garden. He lives in Charlotte with his wife, two daughters, and studio companion - a chocolate Lab.
Click here to take a 3 minute peek into the world of NicoArte. video cred ~ Sammy Lopez