Marcos Bontempo was born in Argentina and moved to Spain with his family at the age of six. For the artist, painting is like breathing: sometimes it flows calmly and other times it comes in fits—punctuated by schizophrenic episodes. He lives in Ronda (in the mountainous community of Andalusia), a culturally edifying city known for its stunning views and rich cultural history—including bullfighting. Bontempo’s emotional shifts have led him to create two separate bodies of work. During the day, he draws and paints very refined landscapes, striking in their depth, depicting his immediate surroundings. At night, he conjures a whole other universe filled with enigmatic figures, each a scream coming out of a shadow on a theatrical stage. These nimble beings—some human, others anthropomorphic—float in a space that has a life of its own and reminds the viewer of totems and ancient rituals. Bontempo utilizes ink or acrylic paint with iron oxide and/or salt and a deep palette of reds, ultramarine blue, golden yellow, and black. The artist’s exuberant brushwork and bold colors communicate both psychological turmoil and hope. His creatures are painfully contorted yet vigorous in their impulse toward freedom; existing in a body of work that is both abstract and poignantly expressive. Bontempo’s works are in several private collections in both the United States and Europe.
Artist’s website: marcosbontempo.com