medial 4. art biennial [2018]
Ignacio Montano. usa



1.I am taking care of my children. Faith City Mars, 2017 oil on linen 40.6x30.5 cm., US$ 5,000.00    2.Socrates in Egypt. New City Mars, 2017 oil on linen 40.6x30.5 cm., US$ 5,000.00.    3.A pleasant evening. Hello Mars, 2017 oil on linen 40.6x30.5 cm., US$ 5,000.00.    4.Very emotional waiting for you. Always Mars, 2017 oil on linen 40.6x30.5 cm., US$ 5,000.00.    5.Our sorrow. Lament City Mars, 2017 oil on linen 40.6x30.5 cm., US$ 5,000.00.    6.Plato in Alexandria Mars, 2017 oil on linen 40.6x30.5 cm., US$ 5,000.00.    7.Always within my heart. Beauty, Europa Jupiter, 2017 oil on linen 40.6x30.5 cm., US$ 5,000.00.    8.My family. London Mars, 2017 oil on linen 40.6x30.5 cm., US$ 5,000.00.   9.Do you understand my beauty? Objection City Mars, 2017 oil on linen 40.6x30.5 cm., US$ 5,000.00.    10.Beethoven in London. Europa Jupiter, 2017 oil on linen 40.6x30.5 cm., US$ 5,000.00.    11.Einstein in New Mexico, Mars, 2017 oil on linen 40.6x30.5 cm., US$ 5,000.00.    12.Michelangelo in Rome. Europa Jupiter, 2017 oil on linen 40.6x30.5 cm., US$ 5,000.00
 (click on thumbnail to enlarge)





































Ignatius Montano
5225 South Mozart Street
Chicago, Illinois, USA


Originally many of my paintings com sometimes from the digital recreation of other original paintings of mine done in the old fashion way. Other time, come from the multiple digital recitation of my sculptures, then proceed to create each one of those digital images in the old fashion classical way, which is paintings each one of them by hand and other many different kind of brushes. Obviously, this process take much longer but it is also an unique experience with an inner lasting soul fillings.


Not long ago, on a day like any other, a microscopic essence -pure retransformed energy began its journey through this planet of ours. Today that being is this repository body of mine, which somewhere along the way decided to enter the sacred corridors of the aesthetic, intuitive and expressive realm of a forthcoming world. My work tries to articulate the exploration of visual space-a perspicuous space that demand the spectator to experience two separate entities: Physical and optical. My sculptures visually comment upon the challenges coexisting beyond the benevolent atmosphere of our terrestrial planet. There thru our intuitive, universal energy, I harvest our physical and psychological world which reinvents itself speculatively and spectacularly into this cognitive forthcoming ethereal world.
Thus, new matrices are reborn, bloom, fade away, abort, and die on the eternal circle of retransformed energy of the mind, expressed through an infinite range of colors and forms and unforeseen, unending mediums. On the plain of a painting the correlation between the mood of the subjects involved, be they physical or psychological, largely determines the celestial atmosphere evolving through the magic infusion of pigments, weighted, and determined by the drama, be it of exalted wonder, extroverted evil or introverted ugliness. On this journey of my spirit, each painting becomes a challenge in the realm of forms to be reinvented, and psychologies to be created anew. There are no battles, there are no struggles, in the pursuit to reach them only the dominance of perception. Thus the ultimate doer, intuition, through the medium of my soul, sails like a craft in its element, in a timeless, infinite world of wonder.


Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision," once declared Salvador Dali. Drawing inspiration from the idea of space travel, aliens and extraterrestrial activity, Contemporary artist Ignacio Montan's oeuvre pays homage to Dali's credo through his dynamically surreal style and intrepid spirit which challenges self imposed boundaries of reality and delves into the realm of the unknown.

Working primarily in oil on linen, Mr. Montano paints in a startlingly crisp manner which implies other mediums, such as plastic, liquid metal and pure electricity, are at use. The vivid colors utilized further the futuristic, otherworldly quality of the artwork, hues such as molten red, deep ultramarine and velvet black fusing in a melting, liquefying and swirling manner. He explores the boundaries between reality and the surreal by blending recognizable figurative elements with environments or substances that appear to be in the midst of a spectacular metamorphosis.
Mr. Montano incorporates a delightful tension between the sterility of technology and the organic landscapes of foreign planets: Steel machines are juxtaposed against shifting sands and marbleized backgrounds representing the separation between the physical and the optical. As though to relieve the viewer of the unsettling sensations accompanied with the unfamiliar, there is a capricious air to the subject matter portrayed, such as his curious machines which could represent anthropomorphized droids reminiscent of jovial characters in sci-fi movies. By witnessing Mr. Montano's artwork the viewer is transported to another dimension where one may marvel at the magic of the celestial, observe the universe as it reinvents itself over and over again, and wonder at a world which is yet to come.
(Ruthie Tucker, Executive Director-Curator, Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, Chelsea, New York City 2010)


Each time I undertake to paint a picture I have a sensation of leaping into space, " Pablo Picasso once said. Contemporary artist Ignacio Montano finds his inspiration in outer space and the idea of life on Mars. Drawing from popular images of space travel, aliens and extraterrestrial activity, Mr. Montano creates work which is truly unique both in style and vision.

Mr. Montano incorporates a delightful tension between the sterility of technology and the organic landscapes of foreign planets: harsh, steel machines are juxtaposed against shifting sands and marbleized backgrounds representing the separation between the physical and the optical. Mr. Montano explores the boundaries between reality and the surreal by blending recognizable figurative elements with environments or substances that appear to be in the midst of a spectacular metamorphosis . like this, Mr. Montano is similar to the Surrealist paintings of Salvador Dali which comment on the relativity of time and the questioning of reality.

Nonetheless, Mr. Montano highly innovative and imaginative style is like no other, absorbing aspects of contemporary techniques yet ultimately springing from a personal psychological and spiritual source. Working primarily in oil linen, Mr. Montano paints in a startlingly crisp manner which implies other mediums, such as plastic, liquid metal and pure electricity, are at use. The vivid colors utilized further the futuristic, otherworldly quality of the artwork, hues such as bright oranges, violets, reds and velvet black fusing in a melting, liquefying and swirling manner. The viewer is transported to another dimension where one may marvel at the magic of the celestial, observe the universe as it reinvents itself over and over again, and wonder at a world which is yet to come.

Ignacio Montano has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and in Italy. His work is in numerous private collections throughout the world and had been published widely.
Amsterdam Whitney Gallery is delighted to shine a spotlight on his work.
(Ruthie Tucker 2009)


Rene Magrite ones mused "Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist. Contemporary Master Artist Ignacio Montano exemplifies this credo in his dazzling series, as he transplants historical figures to an intergalactic setting. Creating a body of work that is incredibly modern in its unique subject matter, Mr. Montano demonstrates his vast creativity and exuberant imagination. The artist combines the cosmic world with that of the historical, juxtaposing the modern and unknown with the past and identified. Mr. Montano explains the source of his inspiration in an interview: " From the moment I saw the Viking spaceship land on Mars in 1976, I've never stopped thinking about life beyond planet Earth." The idea of uprooting olden times and transferring it to the future, presents a visual metaphor that history repeats itself . We should be wary and learn from history, for we might see these same problems and lessons in years to come.

Mr. Montano is truly a master painter, as he demonstrates his genius skill and unique style in his works. Painting on linen, the artist is inspired by his subjects in his style. He paints in a cosmic fashion, demonstrating the ultimate theme of the universe in his series. Mr. Montano has stated "On the plain of a painting, the correlation between the moods of the subjects involved, be they physical or psychological, largely determines the celestial atmosphere evolving through the magic infusion of pigments." Employing bold and neon colors. Mr. Montano captures ideas for the future through hue and theme, presenting a galactic idea for the viewer to enjoy. Mr. Montano produces truly celestial creations, demonstrating his genius skill and abundantly creative mind, providing breathtakingly modern works of art on themes of the past juxtaposed with the future.

Chicago-based artist Ignacio Montano has demonstrated his artistic skill all of his life, as his father called him "an artist in miniature" when he was just four years old. After attending Medical School, Mr. Montano realized that his true calling was to paint, leaving medicine altogether and becoming a full-time artist. Mr. Montano has been featured in several prestigious Exhibitions around the world.
(Ruthie Tucker Editor, curator and art director /AMSTERDAM WHITNEY 2008)


Born in Lower California, Mexico, Ignacio Montano is an artist of fervid creativity who lives and works in Chicago, USA. Driven since always by an artistic vocation, he enrolls at the Medical Faculty but then he follows his inclination by entering the Art School, where soon he discovers the rigidity of academic rules, too limiting for his imagination and expressive freedom; therefore he prefers to abandon any school or program to autonomously develop his own style through an experimentation path that is still pursuing, proving to be a professional, talented artist constantly involved in growth and research.

Montano's paintings seem to belong to an extraterrestrial dimension, parallel to ours: They introduce and guide us in a journey through futuristic landscapes, planets, buildings and extraterrestrial structures, technological vehicles and aliens, unreal formal compositions where every element of the painting dialogues with others, creating fascinating and spectacular sceneries at the limit of visionary.

To understand this artist in depth, an important year must be recalled, 1976, when the spacecraft Viking landed on Mars; this is an event that deeply marks Montano's artistic life, as he even confirms it, "It was like an artistic epiphany: I sensed how my artistic mission was to capture endless human and artistic possibilities that the universe offers". One of his interesting and recent series indeed, is named "Mars".

It would be impossible and limited to describe Montano's art through a simple "label", since it is neither of figurative, surreal or abstract type, but it consist on an intriguing mix of all these artistic trends. The author boast the great skill to develop a creative style from series to series and even from work to work, completely independent, in which various disciplines such as astronomy, fiction, science, and technology tend to mix, giving life to atemporal spaces and atmospheres where pictorial subjects stand out in all their uniqueness and imagination.

Nothing is left to chance in his works: care of details, clearness of stroke, and wise use of color show the passion of this artist for his profession and also his artistic maturity and command of the technique developed through a completely personal language, to which touches of irony are combined.

In a contemporary age as ours, rich of problems, conflicts and contradictions, the presence of an artist as Ignacio Montano is important, who uses his brilliant imagination to help us understand and visually imagine another reality and who, in addition to show us a different interpretation of life, opens the doors to new views and possibilities able to modify our existences. Montano's works urge us to become estranged from daily life, at least for a few moments, inviting us to go beyond our contemporaneity and planet Earth, by freely immersing ourselves into a universe that is not ours, but neither is that far away in terms of space and time.
(Paola Trevisan 2007)


The 19th century French writer Baudelaire declared: "The whole of the visible universe is only a storehouse of images and signs to which the imagination assigns a place. It is a kind of nourishment that the imagination must digest and transfer." Ignacio Montano seems to thoroughly understand Baudelaire's profound statement, interpreting it in his spellbinding paintings which seek to discover the connections between the cosmos, momentous earthly affairs, and abstract art. Employing the celestial landscape of Mars in much the same way that artist throughout time have utilized the familiar landscape of the planet Earth, Mr. Montano seeks to confirm his belief that "One day we humans will live on other planets and beyond." His works allow viewers to draw upon their imaginations in order to interpret common earthly beings and events through the imaginary world of an unfamiliar vista.
(Ruthie Tucker)


Widely imaginative and thrillingly compelling, The surrealist paintings of Mexican born Chicago based Ignacio Montano magnetically captivate the viewer. In an interview on his work, Mr. Montano explained his inspiration as, "From the moment I saw the Viking spaceship land on Mars in 1976, I've never stopped thinking about life beyond the planet Earth." Inspired by the cosmos, particularly life on Mars, Mr. Montano, wittingly creates dream-like fantasies as he superimposes American life styles and American cities on the planet Mars. The spectator is mesmerized by the unique transformation of life in Brooklyn on Mars, of festivities of New Orleans on Mars, or of boisterous Texas Bar-B-Q on Mars.

Mr. Montano firmly believes that one day humans will occupy other planets and beyond; his work strives to share this belief with the viewer, hoping to inspire others the way others have inspired him. His landscapes of the mind create a unique cultural vision, an original topography imbued with brilliant imagery. Expressed in vivid warm tones, his works are unrestricted fables of the imagination in free-flowing geometric patterns and shapes. Ranging from geometric grids to free-flowing shapes, his subjects are always offering the viewer a different way of looking at modern urban life. Mr. Montano acknowledges that his imagination is not limited to a particular scheme, and neither is his viewer's; therefore, each creation is a unique way of viewing human life from afar. Disconnected from the familiar setting of Earth, his works inspire a universality of the human race free from previous geographical boundaries.
(Ruthie Tucker, 2006)


The headline in the June, 2001 Beacher read: "Spaceships Land at Dunes State Park." And now, five year later, the winter dunes beach was briefly transformed into a Mars landscape by artist Ignacio Montano.
We met Ignacio on that long ago summer day thanks to a trip from an early-morning beach walker. At that time, the Chicago-based artist and sculptor had drawn curious onlookers as he proceeded to set up his first of several-to-follow spaceships. Ignacio chose the beach at Dunes State Park to photograph his realistic-looking, oversized creations because to his eye, the surroundings somewhat resembled the moon's landscape. No other newspaper photographer was around to capture Ignacio's out-of-the-ordinary set up and photo shoot that warm, sunny day.

In December 2005, The Beacher was invited-exclusively, we might add-to meet Ignacio at the beach for a second photo shoot. This time around, the sculptor said he needed to replicate, or at least resemble, a Mars-like environment. And we who live in Beacher country know very well how otherworldly the lakeshore can appear during the winter months. So we bundled ourselves up on that icy December morning, ready to witness the installation of Ignacio's 10-feet high pedestal work titled "Emperor at Berlin: Mars."

Ignacio did not show up on that appointed day. As he explained later, he had just finished the work by 4:00 a.m. that morning, which took him 980 hours over 11 weeks to make. His travel time from the northwest side of Chicago to the Dunes, plus another -(yikes!) 17 hours to set up and take it down-was a little more then Ignacio could handle. So he rested a few days and accomplished his bone-chilling mission several days later. Time was of the essence for Ignacio: he needed to be photographed next to his Mars Spaceship sculpture as part of his promotional materials for his debut exhibit at the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery in New York City. The Exhibit, "Transcending Infinite Dimensions," will run from March 3-28 at the New York gallery.
Only a handful of winter-hardy construction workers were around to witness the strange goings-on at the beach in mid-December. Ignacio had arrived with his friend before dawn to a snow-covered parking lot-in fact, to the most snow we've seen around here since winter began.
"At first the beach seemed unreachable and almost impossible because of the amount of snow," Ignacio recalled. But the condition, he added, did not dissuade him from forging ahead.
"I decided to take a walk on the beach, against the will of my friend, who wanted me to just forget about it. As I got about 200 feet from the water, I instantly felt enchanted by the scene (in my mind) of another planet."

Ignacio harbored no thought of turning back. And so, for the next ten hours, he went to work assembling and bolting the 124 parts that attach to three modules. The sculpture and parts consist of aluminum and plastic parts, non-functional electronics systems, and parts, 36 inches square by 2 inches thick plate at the base. The 10-foot high sculpture includes wings that expand 70 inches across.
Ignacio put the sculpture on a wheeled platform so that he could turn it to take photographs more easily. But, he found that the frozen, hilly sand would not work well without stabilizing the platform. The construction workers, who had no clue what Ignacio was doing, came to his aid by providing him with 2X4's. "They asked me what I was doing over there, and I told them I was setting up a spaceship. They told me they told me they would check it out later."

Sure enough, the construction workers walked over at quitting time to watch Ignacio toil at bolting the last pieces. The sculptor had put on his spacesuit for the first of a series of photographs.
"As these guys got to the sculpture, one of them asked me: 'Where are you going to take it?''
Ignacio replied (jokingly) that he was just going to take it around the lake and come back. And then he realized that the questioners were serious.
"One of the guys asked what kind of fuel I use. Then one of the other guys asked me where I get into the craft," Ignacio said, adding that he had a good laugh over the questions. The Mars spaceship sculpture does look "real" enough, after all. And so do the photos of "astronaut Ignacio" next to his creation.
So, how is it that this former med student-turned artist became fascinated with outer space? His body of work, which includes paintings and drawings too, reflects fascination with a reality focused on the future, when humans will live on other planets and beyond. The 1969 moon landing created a deep impression upon the artist. So did the tiny microorganisms that he inspected under the microscope in histology classes in med school. The visions that he saw under the microscope inspired Ignacio to leave medicine and instead, eventually pursue a career as a full-time artist.
Ignacio's paintings and his latest dunes-photographed spaceship sculpture are now on their way to New York for the Amsterdam Whitney gallery exhibit. The International Find Art Gallery states that it "searches to discover foremost cutting edge contemporary artists who will be the trailblazer Contemporary Masters into the twenty-first century...''
And who wouldn't agree that it takes a strongly dedicated, cutting edge artist to stand on an icy winter dunes beach from dawn to well after dark to complete his artistic vision?
The artist's work also is included in the latest edition of New Art International, A Compendium of Recent Works by World Contemporary Artist. Published by Book Arts Press, New York.
(Paula Mchugh, The Beacher, Weekly Newspaper, Volume 22, 2006)


When Chie Curley received a picture postcard of Ignacio Montano's works from the National Museum of Mexican Art, she new she had found her man.
Curley and Barbara Goldsmith curate the exhibits at the Noyes Cultural Art Center in Evanston and were looking for an artist for the millennium show when the card arrived in the mail.
"So much of his work looks like computer circuitry," said Curley. "I'm sure he thinks very much about computers and how they will affect our lives in the future."
As it turns out, circuitry is just one of the elements sparking the imagination of the 51-year-old Montano.
"From the moment I saw Viking spaceship land on Mars in 1976, I've never stopped thinking about life beyond planet earth," said Montano during an interview at the Noyes Center, where "Prospective/ Retrospective: The Art of Ignacio Montano" runs through Jan.15. Two sizable sculptures , 22 paintings and three of his drawings, all completed between 1976 and the present, are on view.
The sculptures, fashioned from materials including aluminum sheeting, glass, plastic tubing, plastic components, computer ships, mother boards and solar panels, resemble shining space ships poised for take-off. The meticulously detailed paintings and drawings depict colonies in outer space or in distant planets.
All of the paintings carry the inscription "T.Time," for terrestrial time, emphasizing the artist's conviction that men will one day travel in outer space. "We have been on this earth- this cage-too long", Montano said. "The idea of being free to go to other worlds excites me."

Montano grew up in a large family in Mexicali on the baja peninsula. His parents wanted him to be a doctor, and he dutifully attended medical school for three semesters, then dropped out to pursue his long-time interest in art.
He enrolled at The School of Find Arts at The University of Guadalajara, but soon left there, too.
"I objected to their methods and rigid policies," he explained. Not only did the drawing teacher insist the students replicate the pots and pans-and only the pots and pans-placed before the class, the style of art was prescribed. "Mexico is known for its muralists, so they wanted all of us to paint murals," Montano explained. "Why murals? Painting is painting and murals are just one alternative."
He withdrew from the University after a few months, but continued to frequent the art school library, educating himself in the history of western art from the Greeks to the present. He found he was particularly drawn to the futuristic works of Umberto Boccioni, an Italian who died 1914."I loved the way he expressed energy," said Montano.
His love of energy was nothing new. "When I was very little, I loved machines," recalled Montano. "And when I came to Los Angeles at 17, the expressways dazzled me. Technology dazzled me. I loved America."
He came to stay in 1974, when he answered an ad for a driver to Chicago. For the next two years he worked at various jobs while mastering English. He painted when he could. "I was attracted to art, but had not really determined what I would do with my life," he said.
Then came the Viking Landings, and his life literally changed overnight. "It was a turning point for me," he said. "I started doing these drawings, and I have never stopped."
Today, he rises before 5 a.m. five or six days a week to make art. At 3 p.m. he reports to his paying job, which he declines to name but describes as "something totally different from art that doesn't require my brain and has no problems to bring home."
He figures he puts in an average of 60 hrs. a week in a studio he has built in his garage. "I feel better when I spend more time on my art than on my job," he said. "That way, it is the job that is the hobby."
He is a very intelligent man, a very driven man, his art is a passion," said Noyes curator Curley, who considers Montano an outsider artist because he is so out of the mainstream. "He has literally taught himself how to paint and has proceeded on his own over the decades."

Ketty Montano, the artist's wife of 11 years, works to help support her husband's endeavors, and he need all the help he can get. The tools he uses to make his sculptures, including metal cutting saws, aluminum welding and plasma cutting machines, high-tech torches and drill presses, do not come cheap, and the process of creation is slow going. The two sculptures he has completed so far have each taken some 600 hrs. to create.
He would like to incorporate sound and movement into his third sculpture, which he has recently begun, so that it would appear even more like a space ship about to take off. "But the vibrating will cost me 4000 dollars alone," he said. "So for the moment, no movement no sound."
"In four, or five or may be six generations, we'll be living in Mars," he said. "In the history of the human race, that is just the blinking of an eye. "I am ready now to go to the moon. If they need an artist there, I am the man."
(Virginia Gerst, Diversions Editor, A Pioneer Press Newspaper Highland Park IL .1999)


The last thing visitors to Dunes State Park expected to see on a balmy November 9th were a pair of strange-looking satellites sitting on the sand.

I got call from a friend Lynn McGrath telling me that she had been to the beach earlier that morning and there was a story brewing, and I should go take a look. Approaching the beach, I noticed a U-Haul with electrical cable running out of the back, leading my eyes to a man with a video camera set up on a tripod. His lens was aimed at the two otherworldly looking objects, and a crowd had gathered around wondering what was going on. Turns out the spaceships are actually sculptures created by artist Ignacio Montano of Chicago. Ignacio, and his nephew Eli Sotelo, and photographer Alex Plenys had come to the dunes to capture Ignacio's works on film in a sandy environment that would in some ways mimic the landscape of the moon or Mars. Alex, who is the official photographer for channel 23 in Chicago, said the shots he was taking were planned for Ignacio's website.

A mostly self-taught artist, Ignacio said that he created the sculptures out of inspiration from the moon and Mars landings. "I bought pieces of lots of different things and put them together" the artist said, adding that he had several months of formal art training but quit because of what he considered were "to rigid" rules. Ignacio has assembled parts of PVC tubing, thick glass lenses, auto parts, antennas and computer motherboards, brushed aluminum rods and many more components to create his two works, each weighing approximately 350 pounds and costing him $8000 in materials.

One year ago, as I was taking my early morning beach walk, I passed Ignacio's original sculpture from a distance. Not another soul was around, and I assumed the odd-looking structure was a state of the art weather monitor placed there by the Park Service. I had planned to check into it at the time, but never did. It looked so "official" somehow, even though there were no signs posted on that deserted November '98 beach warning people to stay away. Now a year later, the mystery was solved for me.

What I saw on the beach last year was Ignacio's "Spaceship Manhattan, Trenton. Mars." And this year Ignacio appeared to enjoy having the onlookers approach and ask about his creation. "Spaceship Manhattan" can be configured both horizontally and vertically. This year, the artist/sculpture set it up vertically, so it stood 108 inches long , (2.75mts) and 87 inches wide(2.21mts).and 94 inches high (2.39mts).

Ignacio is also a painter in oils, and his subjects matter is the same-his own imaginative and colorful renditions of space vehicles, composed on canvas and wood panel. His works have been displayed at the National Museum of Mexican Art and are do to be on exhibition at the Noyes Cultural Art Center in Evanston later this Month.

And yes, each of the two "out of this world" sculptures is for sale. I put in 600 hrs. of work for my first sculpture, and so far, 650 hrs for my latest, which I call "Prometheus at Kettym, Mars. Ignacio is willing to sell his original piece for 20,00 and "Prometheus" for 25,000. "I figure the price is right considering how much time and materials have gone into them," the artist said.

Back on the beach, Ignacio donned a spacesuit and a helmet to complete the scene that Alex was taping. The artist, who was striving for moonscape-like shots, run along the beach shooing beach walkers out of the line of Alex's video camera. Some people further back in the crowd by the pavilion figured that a movie production was in progress.

"Is this a movie? dunes visitor Mike Vidakovich asked. Well sorta, I told him. "I knew those satellites were no real" Mike said. "I didn't see any rockets or jets underneath them."
Alas, at that point, I had to leave for another assignment, so I missed the night spectacle, when Ignacio planned to have the spaceship sculptures' lights on display for more videotaping.
Ignacio has a website where anyone can view the artist's many creations. And if the weather stays as warm as it has been lately, who knows what we will see next somewhere along our lakeshore.
(Paula McHugh, The Beacher, a Weelkly Newspaper, Michigan City, Volume 15, 1999)