Marcelo Suaznabar

Artists Statement

Marcelo sets his imagination free in his work, exploring the elements of the unconscious. He examines universal themes like nature, death, beauty, and the passing of time. To express his observations from the world of the imagination he uses the surreal and symbolic language of his paintings.

To me, he says, my art is about moving forward, finding new ways to express the dreamlike elements of the imagination.

The strong folklore traditions of his native Bolivia add a mystical energy to his artwork.


Marcelo has always been drawn to different media and techniques. He is a careful illustrator and a very precise and detailed painter.

He uses traditional oil painting techniques when working on his larger canvas works and utilizes a combination of oils and heavy glazes for his miniatures.

Marcelo’s imagery is like no other. Working in a very personal and surrealist style, the artist is able to conjure a variety of subjects for his artwork. They are sometimes rooted in the rich stories of his native homeland or can emerge fully formed from his own creative soul.


Marcelo was born in Bolivia, in 1970, in the mining city of Oruro, located in the mid-western part of the country. From an early age, he showed a passion for drawing, motivated by his uncle, a professional photographer who lived nearby. He focused solely on drawings as the main motor of his creations, displaying an interest in colors that led to the exploration of watercolors, pastels, and colored pencils. During this stage of his life his artwork was primarily focused on insects, animals, houses and portraits on paper and cardboards.

In his teens, Marcelo began taking trips to Potosi with his father and brother. They visited churches and museums, examining the rich cultural heritage of the old colonial city. He became absorbed in religious art and created a series of sacred scenes. Through his fine art professor, Martitza Ajuacho, Marcelo began to show this work, first in a group shows then in a solo an exhibition in La Paz.

In 1992, Suaznabar traveled to Santiago in nearby Chile to attend art school at the Catholic University. He studied under professor Roberto Farriol and the experience led to selection into an emerging artist show back in Bolivia. This lead to further exhibitions and to the exploration of different themes.

In 1999, he participated in a large art festival in Brazil that focused on environmental issues. His work about the fragile environment and ecological disaster called Live Nature Dead Nature was then exhibited at Bolivia’s National Museum of Art.

In 2000, he married Milenka Azuga and soon after immigrated to Canada. Marcelo and his family currently reside just outside of Toronto, Ontario.

Marcelo has had a number of successful shows in his native Bolivia and in the principal capitals of countries in South America. His work is currently showing in galleries throughout Canada, Mexico, Spain, Germany and the United States.