RICCO/MARESCA GALLERY is pleased to present Marcos Bontempo: Dancing in the Void. This show marks the first time the gallery has brought the intricate and enigmatic works of the artist together in a solo exhibition. Born in Argentina in 1969, Bontempo moved with his family to Spain at the age of 6. He currently resides in Ronda, a culturally edifying city known for its stunning views and rich history. Bontempo, often viewed as complex and elusive, spends his days walking his dog through the town pocketing inspiration from the creative energy and natural beauty of the world that surrounds him.
In addition to his kinship with nature, Bontempo’s ingenuity can also be traced to his intermittent battles with schizophrenic episodes. Unencumbered by the outside world, the artist finds clarity in his work. Driven by both his environment and personal demons, Bontempo sits alone in his studio every day painting his own emotionally charged world filled with mental dissonance, adversity, and subtle glimpses of the hope aroused by the healing power of creation.
The exhibition brings together a powerful selection of paintings from Bontempo’s highly personalized and unique body of work. Bold in color and marked by ardent brushwork, the pieces portray a multifarious array of distorted bodies, floating in the pictorial plane while engaged in a disconcerting yet mystifying dance. His figures- some human, others more animalistic- emanate a personified amalgamation of cognitive agitation and freedom through physical malformation and cathartic expression. To create these lively and emphatic paintings, Bontempo uses ink or acrylic paint in combination with salt or iron. His dark palette of deep reds, blue, gold, and black embodied in fervent gestural abstraction are seemingly indicative of a primacy, misplaced and overthrown, and serve as a gentle reminder that both pain and normality are relative to one’s own experience.
Marcos Bontempo’s gentle and honest deportment is memorable on both a personal and professional level and he remains a welcome addition the gallery. His work is in several private collections in both the United States and Europe.