Bontempo 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 find 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.1
The first four images in this set are a sample of works executed in Se Detieme Ingravida La Vida “Without Gravity”, a 160 page book created by the artist in 2010. To see the full contents of the original artist book, click here to be directed to a digital pdf.
1 © 2016 Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York