Our latest Carolina Art Crush is Nico Amortegui, whose work we have been admiring in public spaces around Charlotte. Upcoming, he is exhibiting in Odyssey, a group show opening on Saturday, January 20 at a new gallery in Rock Hill, SC, Met Contemporary so we thought it would be a good time to catch up with him and learn more about him and his work.
HappeningsCLT: Describe yourself in three words?
Nico Amortegui: Dreamer, lover, and fighter.
HCLT: Who or what inspires you artistically?
NA: These days my little girls, but usually people that have an amazing view on life no matter their situation.
HCLT: When did you realize you were an artist?
NA: I’m not sure I know what that means still.
HCLT: Where can we see your work?
NA: In Charlotte, you can find several murals in a few neighborhoods and then some large pieces in select restaurants & businesses. In Winston-Salem, you can see the most recent large scale mural at the Benton Center as well as around the city. In DC, in the Shaw neighborhood, and a piece is currently being exhibited at the Smithsonian Anacostia. Also, the largest mural I’ve completed to date is in the Brookland neighborhood of DC.
HCLT: Tell us about your current body of work?
NA: Large paintings, exterior sculptures, and my garden.
HCLT: What do you think is the most valuable art experience in the Carolinas?
NA: Public art, street art, art markets, art that is open and accessible to the majority. When art lovers can interact with artists, you see hope and life and amazing art – and leave feeling energized.
HCLT: What book is on your nightstand right now?
NA: A few, but always a Picasso; then the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Cuba; Art of the Huichol Indians; Eddy Martinez; and Obregón.
HCLT: Best meal in (your city)?
NA: Vegetarian – Luna’s Living Kitchen; Salud for their waffles; and Get Fit Foods for good stuff to go.
HCLT: What’s up next?
NA: I’m working on sculptures and trying to find the best (repurposed /found) materials that can weather the elements. One goal for 2018 is to bring more public art into the communities where I have opportunities to help or encourage the arts.