Marcos Bontempo was born in Argentina in 1969. At the age of six, he came to live in Spain with his family. Marcos now lives in Ronda, a city in the mountainous community of Andalusia, Spain. Ronda is known for its beauty, its bullfighting and the important creative individuals who found inspiration there. Rainer Maria Rilke wrote much of his poetry in Ronda and kept a permanent room there. Ernest Hemingway, Orson Wells and Ava Gardner summered in Ronda, sharing a passion for bullfighting and a friendship with the famous bullfighter, Antonio Ordonez.
Marcos Bontempo periodically suffers from schizophrenic episodes. Painting, and his connection with nature seem to be his best therapy. Marcos paints like he breathes, sometimes naturally and other times, in fits and starts, driven by his anxieties and his demons. Alone every day in his studio, haunted by the outside world, he creates very personal and unique work. His exuberant brushwork and bold colors portray a floating world of polymorphic beings – some human, others half human-half animal. His figures communicate both psychological turmoil and hope, contorted in pain, yet vital in their vigorous push towards freedom.
Bontempo uses ink or acrylic paint in combination with salt and/or iron to create his transformative and expressive paintings. His dark palette of deep red, ultramarine blue, golden yellow and black combined with the emotive gestural abstract quality of his work, call to mind renowned Spanish painters.
Anyone who has met Marcos Bontempo is unable to forget the candor in his eyes and the flow of his words, which are full of emotion, yet pure. His work is in private contemporary collections in the U.S. and Europe. The artist will have a one-person exhibition at Ricco/Maresca Gallery this May 16 – June 15, 2013.