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Young Costa Rican artists: nine proposals

Both vitality and pluralism blended in the IDB Cultural Center art exhibit, titled “Young Costa Rican Artists: Nine Proposals.” The show, displayed in the Center's art gallery at IDB headquarters from May to August, 2007, featured the work of nine contemporary Costa Rican artists who embody recent trends in the country’s contemporary art scene.

This eclectic exhibition included works in media as varied as painting, interactive digital art, ceramics, digital graphics, conventional photography, wire drawing and constructions made with recycled materials. Félix Ángel, general coordinator and curator at the IDB Cultural Center, said that despite their varied choices of media, all nine artists displayed an interest in social issues.

According to Dora María Sequeira, executive director for the Foundation of the Central Bank Museums of Costa Rica, which collaborated with the IDB in presenting the artists’ work, the exhibition also offered a critical interpretation of environmental issues.

Some of the artists employed traditional techniques. Tamara Ávalos, for example, works in ceramics, although her approach is rather conceptual. Her work pays tribute to womanhood, while a painting by Carolina Guillermet offered witty social satire.

Photography was the primary vehicle for José Alberto Hernández Campos, Víctor Agüero Gutiérrez, Sebastián Mello and Guillermo Vargas (a.k.a. Habacuc). They explored topics of social interest with distinctive styles, exploiting the manifold possibilities of photography.

Francisco Munguía offered a startling fusion of ceramics, photography and painting. And the amusing objects crafted by Paco Cervilla called attention to the need to develop an efficient capacity to increase the sustainability of our planet in the wake of so much industrial waste.

Finally, Jorge Albán created interactive pieces with the help of contemporary digital technology, venturing into the world of virtual reality. One of his first works prepared using this technique is his “Central American Gothic,” a piece that was included in the IDB exhibition.

The nine artists, all living in Costa Rica, were selected out of 34 who responded to an open call launched in July of 2006 by the IDB Cultural Center and the Foundation of the Central Bank Museums of Costa Rica. The artists had to be 40 years of age or younger, have had at least one individual show and have participated in a minimum of three group exhibitions.

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