Eolo Paul Bottaro’s powerful oil paintings and works on paper explore intrinsic and often contradictory facets of human nature. This is expressed through the narratives that the artist creates, where figures are arrested in motion, forever caught in a moment of dramatic tension. Friends and family enact his often mythologically driven narratives that take place in various contemporary urban locales. From the Merri Creek and Melbourne city skyline, to the rocks of a Sicilian waterway – each of his paintings are unique in narrative and subject matter. Yet they consistently hold up a mirror to some aspect of ourselves, revealing the idiosyncrasies of human nature that occur on both a social and individual level.
In certain works the imaginative element that drives them verges on the surreal, and is made all the more pervasive through the uncompromising realism and clarity in which Bottaro describes his invented imagery. He paints with bold colour that resonates with intensity, and displays a complete mastery of capturing human form, utilizing the expressive possibilities contained therein.
Born in Melbourne in 1974, Bottaro graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1994 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting). In 1997 he began researching fresco painting, which led to a five-month restoration of a church in Sicily and numerous private commissions in Melbourne. Prizes include the People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Metro 5 Art Award, the 2008 City of Darebin Art Prize, 2012 Nillumbik Prize, 2012 Mornington Peninsula Works on Paper People's Choice Award, and he has been selected as a finalist in numerous major Australian art prizes, including the 2008 Archibald Prize winning paintings. His work is held in private and public collections throughout Australia