Nick Bontorno, artist and 2009 alumnus of BYU-Idaho, spoke about his artwork Thursday night and is exhibiting his recent portrait paintings in the Spori Gallery.
Bontorno’s works were of still portraits. He said when he was painting he was more interested in the spirit of the model than of the physicality.
He avoided the “fleshy awe” by being abstract and eliminating strong shadows and highlights, said Bontorno.
The focus was on the emotion and spirit of the person.
The exhibit showed portraits of coles, single girls and single men. Some were engaged in an action like riding a horse or reading.
In the seminar, Bontorno showed a slide show that displayed portraits of other contemporary artists.
Bontorno explained that these artists had influenced him throughout his life, and he discussed which pieces of art he liked the most, what techniques were used, and what he felt when looking at them.
These contemporary artists were William Barnett, Fairfield Porter, Peter Doig and David Hockney.
Bontorno said he felt that his work was similar to that of Alex Katz.
Students had the opportunity ask Bontorno questions at the end of the seminar.
“If I could leave you with one thing of advice it would be to make sure what you are doing is coming out of you,” Bontorno said.
After the seminar the students had the chance to view Bontorno’s work in the gallery and enjoy refreshments.
Bontorno has done commission works and exhibited throughout western United States and New York.