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


My practice is a manifesto calling for innovation, social progress, and a deeper appreciation for nature.
I reject Postmodernist cynicism and banality; instead, I follow the tradition of bold theory, by postulating long-term proposals for human improvement with poetic elements found in utopias and landscapes.
I am interested in creating visions of an ideal future for humankind. I often use extrapolations based on new and promising advancements, as well as timeless concepts from science and philosophy. My drive is fueled by the quotidian news and the absurdity in the seemingly incessant need for people to deceit and sloth, oppress and destroy in evermore-insidious ways. I believe to move beyond that, we must evolve into a more empathetic, conscientious, feminine, and cultivated species. A species that behaves contrary to the cancer it has become — slowly killing its only host, planet Earth — by seriously setting out to fulfill our apparent cosmological categorical imperative — to nurture, guard and spread life.

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 in valleys, but also of mega-tall structures at the edge of Lake Michigan, lush flora and fauna, as well as flat prairies and endless fields of corn. In literary terms, I am a magical-realist who creates futuristic ideas for a better tomorrow while grounding my narratives within present constraints. I am also an omission-theorist, lucid and concise to convey my point effectively.

From the Bogotá of my youth to Chicago nowadays, I have always been surrounded by senseless violence. And so I have learned to see the world from above, like a bird in midflight, or from afar, like an artist should in foresight. Removed from issues to gain perspective, and abstracting shapes to broaden meaning within my vision, I create work with unapologetic optimism — sketches of intimate wishes and dreams. These are partly triggered by my own insecurities, dissatisfactions analogous to the way honest Colombians feel about their image abroad, or how Chicagoans feel inferior to either city on the coasts.

I am easily seduced by beauty, not because I’m shallow, but because I understand its inherent complexity. Grace, elegance, and sophistication are culminating results — oftentimes minimalist and simple — of long, multiple, and arduous processes. I am passionate and intense, yet cool and collected. I’m forever a student of everything, always curious and never satisfied. Aware of my mortality, I want to contribute to the continuum of civilization’s progress.

Works in four series


Hope & human evolution


The fallacy of utopia


The careless human imprint


Unfulfilled ambition