Whitehot Magazine

Whitehot Recommends: Seguimos: Contemporary Art in Costa Rica

 Javier Calvo, El Blanco es Relativo, 2009, archival pigment print, 16 x 20 inches, edition of 3


By WM, March 29, 2024

Seguimos: Contemporary Art in Costa Rica is a group exhibition co-curated by Hannah Sloan and Craig Krull Gallery, where it opens on Saturday, March 30 with an artists’ talk at 3PM and a reception immediately following from 4:30-6:30PM. Six of the thirteen artists represented in the show are traveling to Los Angeles for the opening and will participate in the talk: Adrián Arguedas Ruano, Allegra Pacheco, Priscilla Romero-Cubero, Luciano Goizueta, Mimian Hsu Chen, and Matias Sauter Morera. 

Seguimos features installation, video, photography, painting, works on paper and sculpture by a highly diverse and intergenerational group of thirteen Costa Rican artists, the majority of whom are highly regarded in Central America, but have never exhibited in the United States.  The artists in this exhibition reflect a spectrum of interests and concerns facing Costa Ricans today and position themselves within the broadest developments in contemporary art, with particular focus on the topics of body, identity, and place.  Five of the artists identify with the queer community.

 Priscilla Romero-Cubero, Seguimos, 2023, installation of 120 prints on silk gampi paper, 6 x 9 inches each (unique)

The title Seguimos comes from an installation of 120 works on paper by conceptual artist Priscilla Romero-Cubero, who registered the liquid latex imprints of the fingers of dozens of people, then printed them in groups of four with diagonal tally marks slashed across them. The tallies suggest the continual counting of deaths, victims, injustices, the disappeared and the silenced. Seguimos, translated as “we continue” or “we keep going,” implies lives and memory that refuse to be forgotten.

Like Romero-Cubero, other artists in this exhibition use the body for explorations of identity, both personal and political. In his work, El Blanco es Relativo, which depicts the artist’s arm tattooed with these words, Javier Calvo addresses a racial stereotype in a country incorrectly generalized as non-white. Interdisciplinary artist and ballet dancer Lucia Howell takes body-oriented video art into the Costa Rican landscape, her nude figure camouflaged in fragments of mirror creating a mythological and symbolically charged realm.  Alina González produces personal works reflecting on their identity as a transgender woman, including poignant nude self-portraits, portraits of media icons like Bridget Bardot, and transgressive bodies including the “stars” of the transgender pornography industry. The eroticized body also plays a role in the work of Valiente Pastel, who uses irreverence and humor to discuss queer culture in Latin America and female empowerment. Pastel paints over erotic advertisements and found objects in order to tell stories, as well as normalize and satirize sexual behaviors that are usually hidden or considered shameful in a conservative society.  For a complete show overview: https://www.craigkrullgallery.com/current

The complete show roster: Adrián Arguedas Ruano, Alina González, Allegra Pacheco, Christian Wedel, Isaac Loría, Javier Calvo, La Cholla Jackson, Lucía Howell, Luciano Goizueta, Matias Sauter Morera, Mimian Hsu Chen, Priscilla Romero-Cubero and Valiente Pastel. The gallery is located in the Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., Building B3, Santa Monica, CA, 90404



Whitehot writes about the best art in the world - founded by artist Noah Becker in 2005. 


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