Marcelo Suaznabar

A Bolivian Artist Crafting Surrealism to Expose Environmental Catastrophe

By Carla DLM

Marcelo Suaznabar is a Bolivian artist who has been making waves in the international art scene with his unique style of surrealism. Born in the mining city of Oruro, Bolivia, in 1970, Marcelo has been passionate about drawing since an early age. Encouraged by his uncle, a professional photographer, Marcelo began exploring his interest in color through the use of watercolors, pastels, and colored pencils.

Marcelo's work is heavily focused on allegory and didacticism, drawing inspiration from painters like Hieronymus Bosch and elements of the Surrealist tradition. He uses his art as a means of commenting on the looming environmental catastrophe that humanity is facing due to its inherent greed and temptation for the soul. As a Bolivian artist, Marcelo's upbringing was steeped in a colorful, cross-pollinated version of Christianity that was filled with miracles, such as the Virgin of Candelaria. Marcelo's art draws on this cultural richness, using Biblical themes like the Apocalypse as a foil to express his concerns about the environment. Marcelo's phantasmagorical creatures line the limits between Earth, Heaven, and Hell, exhorting redemption or providing temptation.

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Marcelo's early works were heavily focused on religious themes, influenced by colonial baroque artists such as the Bolivian Master of Calamarca, the Peruvian Holguin, and the Italian Bitti. However, he later discovered the force and language of color and began exploring the Bolivian altiplano landscape, the scenery of his childhood, which he finds magical with great power and energy.

In his paintings, Marcelo creates images that are whimsical, complex, absurd, and surreal. He records his phantasms as sketches throughout the day to ensure that he doesn't lose the fleeting visions. Marcelo's conscious intentions are to use his art to comment on the environmental issues that the world faces.

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Today, Marcelo continues to progress forward using his surreal and symbolic language, an aesthetic that covers all of his work. In his three series, Apocalyptic, Angels, Archangels, and Magical Altiplano, Marcelo finds his unique voice. He sets his imagination free in his work, exploring and examining the elements of unconsciousness, including universal and common themes that preoccupy human beings.

Marcelo's work serves as a call to action for society to take a closer look at the environmental challenges facing the world. He challenges us to examine our values and priorities and to take action to protect the planet. Marcelo's unique style and powerful message make him one of the most exciting artists on the contemporary art scene today.

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Photographize granted permission to feature photos by Marcelo Suaznabar


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