nico camargo, artist, chicago nico camargo, artist, chicago

Statement

My practice focuses on innovation, social progress, and a deeper appreciation for nature. As an artist, I aspire to follow the tradition of bold theory that challenges the establishment and drives civilization forward by using poetic elements found in art, science, and philosophy. As a fashion designer, my purpose is to be a steward of refined craftsmanship and heritage, while at the same time pursuing innovation and advancement. My aim is to elevate fashion further through collaborations across disciplines with scientists, engineers, and other artists.

About Nico

I was conceived in the Andes Mountains and forged in the Midwestern plains. My spirit is composed of Spanish-style architecture on cliffs and valleys, but also of the grid and mega-tall structures at the edge of Lake Michigan, lush flora and fauna, as well as flat prairies and endless fields of corn.

From the Bogotá of my youth to Chicago today, I have always been conscious of senseless violence and political unrest. And so, I have learned to see the world from above like a bird in midflight or like an artist with foresight. Addressing issues aesthetically, I consider in my work the way complex systems exist today. From sustainability to war, and others, I offer unapologetic optimistic visions of progress — carefully rendered “sketches” of my hopes and dreams for the future of humanity.

Aware of my mortality, I want to contribute to our civilization’s continuum. My mom passed away when I was a teenager, and my dad’s life choices are ones to avoid. I’m lucky I can find support from my extended family and my life-partner, Veronica — the source of beauty in my life.

Forever a student of everything, I am always curious and never satisfied. Researching is my entertainment, I watch history shows and read scientific papers for fun. I believe comedy is art, and love long philosophical conversations paired with German-style beer or Scotch. I am passionate and intense, yet cool and collected. I am hardworking and straightforward, self-aware and analytical. I am easily seduced by beauty, not because I’m shallow, but because I want to understand its inherent complexities and power. 

A few years back, as an artist, my ideas grew beyond painting and drawing. Creating soft sculptures for the body came next. I became more interested in design — a different kind of problem-solving based on economics and human behavior — and submerged myself in fashion at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Now, as a brand new designer in 2017, I aspire to be a good steward of refined craftsmanship and tradition; I strive to maintain the legacy of good design wherever I work, and elevate fashion further through collaborations across disciplines with scientists, engineers, and other artists.

Works in four series

Future

Hope & human evolution

Plans

The fallacy of utopia

Maps

The careless human imprint

Roads

Unfulfilled ambition