photo by Andar Sawyers / andarsawyers.com
In the beginning, I wanted to depict the constantly changing direction of my home country (Colombia) as the imagery of my patria was (is) always with me. As the byproduct of a close-knit, artistic family filled with architects, carpenters, designers, photographers, and artists - I paint out of necessity.
As an immigrant to the US in the late 90s, I became starkly aware of the transaction between two 'allied' countries and my encounters in this place we had always referred to as the "American Dream." Throughout my art practice, I enjoy illustrating 'snapshots' of a peripatetic lifestyle - one that was focused on survival of the time - my own (as an immigrant) 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.
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 focus is large-scale paintings on canvas or wood panels and sculpting and wood-working with found objects. He now resides in Charlotte with his wife and two daughters.