Nico Amortegui








Nico Amortegui


I paint out of necessity. I am the byproduct of a close-knit family filled with creative types including architects, carpenters, designers, photographers, and artists. I learned by doing.

My art is rooted in the experience of becoming an immigrant – something I didn’t want to imagine at age 17 when Bogotá was all I knew. Being forever between two cultures has shaped my views and molded the themes of my pieces.

I lean toward creating portraits of people who have defied the odds and were change makers past and present. Illustrating ‘snapshots’ of a peripatetic lifestyle – that of my own (which was focused on survival while living undocumented) and of those encountered along the way – often takes over my canvases as well. A community’s history and roots are other themes that I enjoy learning about and painting.


My work is often full of color and a direct product of my expressed energy. For canvas pieces, I don’t sketch or predraw. I work solely from in-the-moment energy and transfer what I see and feel to the canvas. The urgency I feel and the pace with which I create leads to an organic trait of rawness in my work.


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 foci include large-scale paintings on canvas or wood panels and sculpting & wood-working with found objects. He enjoys spending time in the ceramics studio and his elaborate garden. Nico lives in Charlotte with his wife, two daughters, and studio companion – a chocolate Lab.

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Solo Exhibit on display now through Oct 30 at Red Dog Gallery, Winston-Salem.