I try to seek answers and then to contemplate them. I need to express something… thoughts, ideas, visions, and to express visually with the language of colour. In my figures there is symbolism of life, nature, the environment, progress, time, death, the universe and the confusion of the human mind.
— Marcelo Suaznabar


At age 16 Marcelo began exhibiting his work as part of group shows. This he accomplished without formal art training. Driven by a passion for drawing and the encouragement of his uncle, at an early age he explored his interest in colour through the use of watercolours, pastels and coloured pencil. Later he completed a course in art at the Catholic University in Santiago.

His early works were heavily focused on religious themes, influenced by colonial baroque artists such as Bolivian Master of Calamarca, Peruvian Holguin and Italian Bitti among others. This first phase in his career lasted more than five years. Then, he discovered the force and the language of colour. Later his influence came mainly from Brueguel, Bosch, Carrington, Dali, Kahlo and Borda to name a few. This led to a second phase which he calls the "apocalypse" phase and subsequently the "altiplano magico" phase.

For the past ten years Marcelo has been engaged in the exploration of a more subtle symbolic language. The repetition of the Bolivian altiplano landscape is evident in his work. This is the landscape of his childhood and the memory of the scenery haunts him – it is magical with great power and energy.

The images in Marcelo’s paintings are at the same time whimsical, complex, absurd and surreal. These images appear to him at moments throughout the day and he is compelled to record them as sketches in order not to lose the phantasm.