Whether you’re from his home country of Colombia or the United States, if you’ve seen a piece of Carlos Alberto Quintero’s artwork, you know it’s impossible not to be captivated. Quintero’s use of color and pattern, along with the intermixing of realism and the abstract, make for graphic designs illuminated with color and rich with texture, adding vibrance to the real world and bringing fantasy to life.
Quintero’s humble story begins in Bogotá, Colombia, where, as a child, he found his love for the arts in both poetry and acrylic painting and then, eventually, in graphic design. It is the medium of graphic design where Quintero has found the most success and passion. Many of his current works contain those graphic design elements to showcase his extraordinary use of color, layout, lines, patterns and texture.
Quintero’s specialization in graphic design does not end with just the designs themselves. He also has managed to create a subgenre of art that is all his own, dubbed Quiropaintings, in reference to his surname Quintero. These Quiropaintings combine the elements of graphic design and digital painting. A Quiropainting is created through building different layers of the artwork, starting with models and other photographic elements and building on them to create a three-dimensional effect on the canvas. Next, the canvas is laser printed, painted with acrylic paint and finished off with a variety of different varnishes and characteristic textures with certain geometric effects.
“I made a limited edition of 25 pieces signed and numbered with their respective certificate of [a]uthenticity, meaning they can only be acquired by 25 people in the world,” says Quintero on his unique Quiropaintings.
While Quintero was still in Colombia, after studying at the National University of Colombia with a focus in graphic design, the mayor of Bogotá commissioned him to carry out a visual campaign with 320 students. He was to educate them in visual art and make the inhabitants better citizens with a great sense of belonging. This work brought him notable recognition in his home city as well as internationally, adding to his already immense artistic resume.
After learning this, I was even more curious to discover where Quintero found his inspiration to create such distinct and innovative work. His answer was quite simple, “Inspiration is the product of work.” He explained that he is not strictly an abstract artist in the real sense of the word, but that every work he makes is the product of an image conceived in his thoughts. Quintero thinks art has scientific support. His images have a slow and emotional construction, based on research, and carefully made. He continued to explain that there is a moment or special point when inspiration is attracted – the magic does not wait, and it allows artists to create satisfactory images. He believes his images are the result of study and investigation, and while they may not be liked by all the public, they are always very well constructed technically.
Quintero has a variety of new projects on the horizon, including a potential offer to join an exhibition in Europe as well as efforts to gain sponsors willing to help him have his art exhibited in public spaces and schools to “…aesthetically benefit the population. Art with a purpose!” Quintero calls it. Although his art has already been featured on clothing and swimwear for women, and in large-scale print works, Quintero’s dream project is much less of a personal ambition and more of a conscious effort to help inspire young artists to chase after their own dreams and follow their artistic ambition. He dreams of creating an art-specific university where young people can study and perfect different artistic pursuits ranging from dance to painting and develop their own spiritualities in the process.
Quintero explained that art has a spiritual mission and is not necessarily meant to be decorative or just to fill walls. He believes that art should take us to other unknown and wonderful spaces – even on a journey with our spirit to other worlds as well as the body. “It is precisely the mission of art to nourish our spirit and quench our spiritual thirst,” Quintero concluded.
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